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Costume Designer - Career options and courses to study

A costume designer’s opportunity lies largely in the entertainment industry. You can work as a freelance costume designer

Antony Chacko

The entertainment industry is the main source of income for costume designers. You can work as a freelance costume designer or take up the task of teaching costume designing.

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The costumes worn by various artists and celebrities have fascinated you and you are the creative one who is always ready to give that extra special touch to a dress and design to make it stand out in the crowd. You have a creative mind and an eye for detail and just love to come out with designs that would fit the perfect body type then you have a bright future as costume designer. A designer does a lot of research and either designs or hunts for the perfect costume that can be used by artists in television shows, films and stage performances. They also create the idea and assist in getting the costume ready for people who walk the red carpet to people who love wearing designer outfits and are the unique special ones. Costume designers need to have the creative artistic streak in them and should also have a good idea of fabric, textiles, patterns, draping and fitting. They should also have a good ability to visualize things.

Work environment for customer designer

Costume designers get briefing about the overall feel and look that is desired and do the research on fabric, styles and sketch the designs and either source it from different places or get it done. They work with a team of costume makers and tailors and will be hands on to do the final touches.

What to study to become customer designer?

Knowledge of painting, drawing and sewing are mandatory and a bachelor’s degree in fashion design. If you are planning to take up teaching then you will have to possess a master’s degree in Fashion designing. A solid background in math and art history will help in the long run. Universities of Edinburgh, Leeds, Kent, Lincoln and Falmouth are some of the leading institutions offering programs in fashion design. There are various courses on Fashion Designing offered by Universities across the globe. 

Career Option for customer designer

A costume designer’s opportunity lies largely in the entertainment industry.  You can work as a freelance costume designer who can work on various projects at the same time or take up the task of teaching or be a resident costume designer who works on contract basis for a particular production or company.

Entry level for customer designer

You can start your career as a costume attendant and help the designers manage the costumes; keep track of the changes, etc. You can start your career even as an intern and gain experience. At the entry level you can earn around $500 per production but as you gain experience you can charge $20,000/ production and once you are established your fees can go as high as $150,000 per production. In India the industry is still at it’s nascent stage and you can earn around Rs 10,000 to 15,000 and go up to lakhs.

So if you have the creative urge to get that special costume, hat, shoe and create the special look then your choice as costume designer is just apt.

Worried about choosing the right course?

Neha Jain Neha Jain,
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