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The Process of A Costume Designer
So, you are wondering what process a costume designer goes through to design a costume. The basic process takes the costume from just an idea to the full construction that we see on the stage.
The Costume Designer must first read the materials, then he or she begins the preliminary visual research. When developing the character, they must conduct research and read the script. This is done because visual research gives the designer a place to start.
The way a designer will communicate their ideas to the producer is through loose images or collages. These collages give the costume designer a way of showing the director how the world might look like in the play.
The preliminary research includes reading up on the author and understanding the intent of the author. This is an important step in the research process, as well as learning about where the setting takes place, and learning about the people that are in the play.
The costume designer will then receive feedback and produce collages that give an overall feel of the characters. These collages include manipulated images that include the mood and the feeling of the play.
The designer will again receive feedback and revise accordingly. Feedback is given every step of the way and is just as important as the rest of the design process. The feedback given by the producer guides the designer towards what he or she likes. Every step of the way the feedback that is given as a guide the designer must follow.
Finally, the costume designer will render a preliminary sketch, meet with the director, receive feedback, and make their final renderings. Some of these steps will be more important than others depending on the production, but they all play into one another and lead to a rendering that accurately supports the design concept of the production.
The sketch should be in full color and should have clear details of what the actor will wear from head to toe. These renderings help the designer present their concept to the production team. It is a road map for them to follow and should include accessories, footwear, makeup, and hair ideas. It should depict the actor’s proportions and include swatches of the materials, written notes about the garment, a clear label with the show title, the characters name, and the scene that the garment is worn in.
Only after this whole process has taken place would the process of producing the costume start.
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