Costume design

Costume design

Overview
Costume design is the fabrication of apparel for the overall appearance of a character or performer. This usually involves researching, designing and building the actual items from conception. Costumes may be for a theater or cinema
Film
A film, also called a movie or motion picture, is a series of still or moving images. It is produced by recording photographic images with cameras, or by creating images using animation techniques or visual effects...

 performance but may not be limited to such. Costume design should not be confused with Costume coordination
Costume coordination
Costume coordination consists of pulling existing stock clothing and costumes and altering them to be used in a theatrical production. Much like costume design, coordinating creates the characters over all appearance with the use of on hand items including accessories.Many theatres with smaller...

 which merely involves altering existing clothing
Stage clothes
Stage clothes is a term for any clothes used by performers on stage.More specifically, the term is sometimes used only for those clothes which are specially made for the stage performance by a costume designer...

.

Four types of costumes are used in theatrical design, Historical, fantastic, dance, and modern.

Designs are first sketched out and approved, then either draped on a form or a pattern drafted.
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Encyclopedia
Costume design is the fabrication of apparel for the overall appearance of a character or performer. This usually involves researching, designing and building the actual items from conception. Costumes may be for a theater or cinema
Film
A film, also called a movie or motion picture, is a series of still or moving images. It is produced by recording photographic images with cameras, or by creating images using animation techniques or visual effects...

 performance but may not be limited to such. Costume design should not be confused with Costume coordination
Costume coordination
Costume coordination consists of pulling existing stock clothing and costumes and altering them to be used in a theatrical production. Much like costume design, coordinating creates the characters over all appearance with the use of on hand items including accessories.Many theatres with smaller...

 which merely involves altering existing clothing
Stage clothes
Stage clothes is a term for any clothes used by performers on stage.More specifically, the term is sometimes used only for those clothes which are specially made for the stage performance by a costume designer...

.

Four types of costumes are used in theatrical design, Historical, fantastic, dance, and modern.

Designs are first sketched out and approved, then either draped on a form or a pattern drafted. Along with the fabricated portion, the costume may require accessories such as footwear, hats and head dresses for the actors to wear, but it may also include designing masks, makeup, wigs, underwear or other unusual specialty items, such as the full body animal suits for the characters in the musical Cats
Cats (musical)
Cats is a musical composed by Andrew Lloyd Webber, based on Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats by T. S. Eliot...

(designed by John Napier
John Napier (designer)
John Napier is a set designer for Broadway and London theatrical performances.-Biography:John Napier studied at Hornsey College of Art and the Central School of Arts and Crafts, studying under notable set designer Ralph Koltai....

, winner of the 1983 Tony Award
Tony Award
The Antoinette Perry Award for Excellence in Theatre, more commonly known as a Tony Award, recognizes achievement in live Broadway theatre. The awards are presented by the American Theatre Wing and The Broadway League at an annual ceremony in New York City. The awards are given for Broadway...

 for Best Costume Design). Costumes budgets will generally be as high a cost as other departments or theatrical needs such as set design.

History



In its earliest form, costumes consisted of theatrical prop
Theatrical property
A theatrical property, commonly referred to as a prop, is an object used on stage by actors to further the plot or story line of a theatrical production. Smaller props are referred to as "hand props". Larger props may also be set decoration, such as a chair or table. The difference between a set...

 masks from the time of the ancient Greeks
Ancient Greece
Ancient Greece is a civilization belonging to a period of Greek history that lasted from the Archaic period of the 8th to 6th centuries BC to the end of antiquity. Immediately following this period was the beginning of the Early Middle Ages and the Byzantine era. Included in Ancient Greece is the...

. Costume design evolved as the need for more elaborate and detailed characterizations were needed as the performances became more intricate and more complex characters began to emerge on stage. Defining each character separately allowing the audience the ability to follow a storyline with a conceptualised look defined prior to a performance was, and is needed as part of preproduction preparations.

Early performers were generally male, therefore costuming was needed for gender disguise so as to create the illusion of the opposite sex. In Asia, the men would dress up as women. Costuming also helps create other character building imagery such as age. The leading characters will have more detail and design to make them stand out and relate a sense of trust to the audience. Styles and technique has changed over the centuries but have maintained basic principles of clothing design yet geared towards pushing the characters traits out in its appearance.
The designer meets the cast, measuring each performer and making certain that the costumes will be appropriate for each individual.

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