What a costume designer does is a cross between magic and camouflage. We create the illusion of changing the actors into what they are not.

Edith Head



 

Philosophy

 

I believe that the director is the visionary for the show.  My job is to support and bring to life the world the director is creating in his imagination to the stage through the characters.  I believe a successful production exists when all the elements of the production- costumes, set, lights, and sound come together to create the world that exists in the mind of the director.

 

Preparation

 

Before official design meetings I read and re-read the script.  I start a list of questions for the director to answer at the first design meeting.  If I have any suggestions for the direction I would like to take in the costumes, I often run it by the director before our meeting and supply any visual references I think might be helpful.

 

Process

 

After the initial meeting with the director, I have a clear picture of what  the director wants for the overall look of the show.  From there, I start looking deeper into the individual characters in the production.  I re-read the script again paying particular attention to the personalities and intricacies of each of the characters.  When I feel I have a good grasp on the character’s personalities, it is easy for me to determine what each character would wear in each scenario.  I then start collecting images, making project boards of the style and type of clothing for each character along with fabric suggestions, colors, and general aesthetic of each character.

 

Production

 

In the following production meetings we narrow down the vision for each character and solidify the look of each scene.  When we are confident of each character’s look, I provide sketches, photos, or collage boards of each character’s look.  I then create, alter or purchase the needed pieces to create the character’s look agreed upon in previous production meetings.  

 

Planning the budget

 

I am very conscious of budget and look for the best use of the costume budget to create the most acurate look of the character with least amount of money.

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© 2019 by  Donna Southern Schmidt