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Although they don’t receive as much fanfare as the men and women who wear them, costumes are one of the most vital ingredients to the success of any film. Without even realizing it, seeing what someone is wearing can take you back or forward in time or to any place on this earth or beyond.
Without proper costumes, it would be pretty hard to convince an audience that they were watching a scene in seventeenth century England if the main character is wearing a maxi dress or a pair of jeans.
Just like any profession there are many ways to become a costume designer. There are colleges and universities all over the country that offer special classes for aspiring designers. Some vocational schools also offer design programs that you can get certificates from. Another way of getting your foot in the door is by contacting groups, organizations, professional associations, and online forums where you can interact with professional costume designers and other aspiring designers.
You should research the profession as much as you can by reading books, magazines, watching interviews- whatever material you can get your hands on.
Some costume designers are so masterful in their craft that they manage to make the wardrobe the actors wear into its own character in the movie. Costume designers aren’t just seamstresses or fashion designers, they are historians, curators of knowledge about art, literature, textiles, what fabrics were popular in what time period, whether you had to be rich or poor to wear a certain garment. etc.
Costume designers must be willing to do extensive research, they must be prepared to motivate, direct, and supervise their crew. Costumes don’t stop at clothing. Costume designers should also have knowledge of the styles of jewelry, shoes and other accessories for the time period they are capturing.