Next: The Set
The costume designer, if working solely in a design position, will
typically need to produce several documents so that the rest of the
costume crew may acquire or make the costumes. These documents,
ranging from simple sketches and notes to color sketches and pictures,
are the most important means of communication between the costume
designer and the rest of the design staff. Figure 2.4
shows a typical costume sketch.
An example costume design sketch.
It is not uncommon for a costume designer to take or find photographs
of costume styles they wish to replicate, and leave it in the hands of
the seamsters and costume crew to come up with them. In other cases,
a very specific design may be required, and the designer may go out of
their way to make patterns or other detailed drawings indicating how
the piece should be constructed.
It is very valuable to the actors and technical production staff to
have sketches of the costumes available well before the production
begins. The overall direction of the production can be a lot clearer
in the minds of those on the production staff if everyone involved
knows what all of the designers (including costumes) are working on.
In many smaller productions, the costume designer ends up working on
the costume crew, or is the costume crew. Sometimes in these
cases, much of the documentation process is ignored because it's just
one person. This has the advantage of making the costume designer's
job somewhat easier, but does not allow the rest of the production
staff to have some sort of visual reference as to what direction the
costume design is taking.
Next: The Set