Costume Designer

With the Special in Mind - The Profession Costume Designer

Without costume designers monumental Hollywood movies would only be half beautiful. Especially in historical films, adventure or fantasy films creativity and intuition are required when it comes down to costumes. For this reason, the profession costume designer can nowadays oftentimes only be learned via higher university education. We take a closer look at this interesting occupational profile.

First, a costume designer works closely with the director of a theater or film production. He is the artistic and conceptual autonomous designer with regards to all costumes of a cinematographic work. Here, the costume designer broadly determines the visual appearance of characters acting in the film and helps to design the artistic synthesis of a film.

Costume designers especially need to come with a rich imagination. Based on the text and the idea of the director, they have to design the costumes, which then can be smoothly interlaced into the staging. The costume designer must be able to think her or his way into both - in abstract and in realistic or imaginative scenarios. The ideas for the costumes must be created in the drawing. Costume designers should have a broad knowledge in cultural history and in style and material science. They should not be missing the sight for the essentials. For example, there are specific requirements for the costumes of the dancers. The materials must be both comfortable and durable. And of course, they should look good.

A close coordination with the film team is the alpha and omega for a perfect staging. In case a movie plays in a particular period, the film therefore must also be accordingly represented in a historical way. The costume designer has to deal with the issue, how the fashion had looked those days and which substances had been used at that time?

Once the designs are done for the costumes, they can be tailored. For this costume designers are supported. There are wardrobe masters or tailors for this work at a theater. The next step is the fitting of the performers. Here the fine-tuning of each costume finally takes place.
Most professionally educated costume designers work independently and are hired for theater, film and video productions. Permanent positions are exceptions.