Costume designer

Costumer designers head wardrobe/costume departments in film, television or theatre productions. The main responsibilities of costumer designers are designing garments and accessories for actors/actresses, overseeing the making, hiring and buying of items and adapting outfits. They collaborate with art and fashion experts when garments need to reflect specific periods in history. Some costume designers in theatre are also responsible for set design.

Job description

Work activities

  • Designing accurate, original garments for television, film and stage.
  • Managing other members of wardrobe staff.
  • Oversee hiring and purchasing of items.
  • Collaborating with fashion experts and technicians.
  • Designing theatre sets.

Work conditions

Travel: usually limited, although could feature when work is on location for television and film productions.
Working hours: will vary depending on the type of production and likely to involve evenings and weekends.
Location: usually in cities. Contracts with television and film could lead to locations across the world.

Entry requirements and training

Entry requirements

A degree in costume design is usually necessary. Other relevant degree disciplines are art and design. Institutions such as the National College of Art and Design, Dublin, and the Grafton Academy of Dress Designing, Dublin offer specialised courses in costume design. The industry is highly competitive therefore acquiring experience in a backstage environment is essential.

Further information

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Professional bodies