In Summary - Costume Designer
Costume Designers typically work in the following Career Sectors:
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The Work - Costume Designer
The Costume Designer works closely with the Production Designer and Director to establish the visual requirements of the script in pre-production, making sure the colours and imagery will blend. The work involves researching the costume requirements (particularly if it is a period production, to ensure that costumes are historically accurate) and breaking down the script to establish the number of costumes and changes of costume that the actors will require.
The Costume Designer then plans, designs and supervises the purchase, hiring and /or making of all costumes for the production. Thereafter, the costume designer is working with the heads of department of wardrobe, hair and make-up. He/she supervises fittings of the actors at rehearsals with the director, to ensure the overall look will be right.
When principal photography of the film begins, the Costume Designer is required to be on set during the establishment of each new scene or set up. While adequate preparation will ensure that the costumes as presented are accepted by the Director, it can happen that the requirements of any given scene may need changing or modifying. The Costume Designer works ahead, fitting and preparing costumes and ensuring everything required is available when scheduled for filming.
The work of a Costume Designer includes paperwork and administration related to the costume department.
Most commonly reported Work Tasks
- Distribute costumes or related equipment and keep records of item status.
- Arrange costumes in order of use to facilitate quick-change procedures for performances.
- Return borrowed or rented items when productions are complete and return other items to storage.
- Clean and press costumes before and after performances and perform any minor repairs.
- Assign lockers to employees and maintain locker rooms, dressing rooms, wig rooms, or costume storage or laundry areas.
- Provide assistance to cast members in wearing costumes, or assign cast dressers to assist specific cast members with costume changes.
- Design or construct costumes or send them to tailors for construction, major repairs, or alterations.
- Purchase, rent, or requisition costumes or other wardrobe necessities.
- Check the appearance of costumes on stage or under lights to determine whether desired effects are being achieved.
- Inventory stock to determine types or conditions of available costuming.
Most commonly reported Work Activities
- Getting Information Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
- Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
- Handling and Moving Objects Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
- Assisting and Caring for Others Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.
- Performing General Physical Activities Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.
- Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
- Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
- Communicating with Persons Outside Organization Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.
- Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
- Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
Interests - Costume Designer
This occupation is typically suited for people with the following Career Interests:
Creative people are drawn to careers and activities that enable them to take responsibility for the design, layout or sensory impact of something (visual, auditory etc). They may be atrracted to the traditional artistic pursuits such as painting, sculpture, singing, or music. Or they may show more interest in design activities, such as architecture, animation, or craft areas, such as pottery and ceramics.
Creative people use their personal understanding of people and the world they live in to guide their work. Creative people like to work in unstructured workplaces, enjoy taking risks and prefer a minimum of routine.
Realists are usually interested in 'things' - such as buildings, mechanics, equipment, tools, electronics etc. Their primary focus is dealing with these - as in building, fixing, operating or designing them. Involvement in these areas leads to high manual skills, or a fine aptitude for practical design - as found in the various forms of engineering.
Realists like to find practical solutions to problems using tools, technology and skilled work. Realists usually prefer to be active in their work environment, often do most of their work alone, and enjoy taking decisive action with a minimum amount of discussion and paperwork.
A Costume Designer requires a lot of initiative and commitment as it entails working very long hours. It is important to get on well with people. It is important to be a creative thinker and posess good organisation skills. Fashion or Interior Design is desirable and it is important to have dressmaking and sewing skills.
Entry Requirements - Costume Designer
Pay & Salary - Costume Designer
Salary Range (thousands per year)* 18k - 39k
Last Updated: March, 2017
* The lower figures typically reflect starting salaries. Higher salaries are awarded to those with greater experience and responsibility. Positions in Dublin sometimes command higher salaries.