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Want to Become a Costume Designer? Here’s How

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One of the most incredible jobs to have within the entertainment industry is as a costume designer. Yet they are often not at the forefront of the film/program/show. Taking a backseat to the actors, directors and other cast/crew, the creativity that they have often isn’t recognized until awards season comes around.

This isn’t to say that it’s not a significant role. In fact, a costume designer plays a large part in how successful the final production is. A career that can prove to be incredibly invaluable, there are many reasons as to why millions of prospective designers are looking to enter the world of costume design.

If it’s something that you’ve always been interested in, it’s good to know the steps that you should take to do so. Whether it’s your first role or you’re looking to successfully change your career. To get the creative juices flowing, here are the key things you should do:

No character is complete without the right costume to bring them to life. Costume designers get to use their creative skills, imagination and problem-solving ability

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Get to Know the Industry 

No matter what industry you’re looking to get into, it’s vital that you’re fully aware of what it entails. You can do this by thoroughly researching it, using industry-related resources such as the Costume Designers Guild and by gaining work experience. Participating, whether it be via an internship or unpaid work experience is key if you want a true insight into what the industry is really like.

This can also prove to be invaluable in the long term, as you can make connections within relevant companies. It’s also great for the old CV and will impress future employers, showcasing the experience you’ve gained and how you have a more accurate view. 

Get A Degree

Although it’s not essential to have a degree for some roles, it’s nonetheless a great way to discover more about the industry and pick up valuable skills that are necessary to work within the field. From learning about the history of costumes, to creating your own costume design, you’ll leave with an education that you can then utilise in the future.

be creative

Develop a Creative Portfolio

Throughout your time at university or within work experience, you should start building a portfolio. From photographs of costumes, to sketches and drawings, it will showcase to future employers your creativity and experience. An invaluable asset, it can be continually adapted over the years. 

Look into Brand Protection 

Once you’ve left university and start to create your own costumes, it’s a good idea to look into fashion brand protection. Although this often refers to those looking to sell their clothes online, when you’re first starting out in the field, you don’t want any of your ideas finding their way into another costume designer’s hand. To retain your credibility and authenticity, it is a step that many take. 

Final Thoughts

So, there you go. Those are the key steps you should take if you’re looking to become a costume designer. Of course, this isn’t a complete list. So it’s worth fully researching in advance before taking the leap and making a final decision. 

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