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Theatrical Costume Maker and Designer

No Formal Qualifications On The Job Training Experience Needed VOC Course Subject Prerequisites Traineeship Year 10 Preferred Year 12 Preferred University Course Subject Prerequisites Interview

Also known as Wardrobe Master/Mistress.

Theatrical costume makers and designers undertake or coordinate the design, manufacture and purchase of costumes for television, film and stage productions.

Theatrical costume makers and designers work as part of a production team and may be required to work long or irregular hours.

They generally begin their careers as wardrobe assistants.

TASKS

    Theatrical costume makers and designers may perform the following tasks:

  • talk with directors about the types of costumes to be worn in a production
  • estimate costs involved in supplying costumes and accessories such as hats, shoes and jewellery
  • prepare material and labour budgets for supplying costumes for each production
  • take actors' measurements and coordinate garment, wig, hat and shoe fittings
  • buy or hire costumes, or arrange to have them made
  • undertake or supervise the making, alteration and repair of costumes
  • make running repairs and alterations to costumes during the production
  • ensure costumes are properly stored and cared for

PERSONAL REQUIREMENTS

  • knowledge of fashion and historical or culturally specific costuming
  • skills in pattern making and sewing
  • able to work independently or as part of a team
  • creativity
  • able to work under pressure
  • good communication skills

Interest Area

Artistic/Creative Manual/Practical Clerical/Administrative

EDUCATION & TRAINING


No Formal Qualifications On The Job Training Experience Needed VOC Course Subject Prerequisites Traineeship Year 10 Preferred Year 12 Preferred University Course Subject Prerequisites Interview

You can work as a theatrical costume maker and designer without formal qualifications. You will probably get some informal training on the job. A sound knowledge of the history of costume and an extensive knowledge of dressmaking, costume making and materials, millinery techniques and sewing machine operations is essential.

Entry to this occupation may be improved if you have qualifications.

You may like to consider a VOC qualification in costume for performance, live production and technical services or live production and management services specialising in costume, or a related area such as fashion design. As subjects and prerequisites can vary between institutions, you should contact your chosen institution for further information.

You can also become a theatrical costume maker and designer through a traineeship in Costume for Performance.

Entry requirements may vary, but employers generally require Year 10.

Alternatively, you can become a theatrical costume maker and designer by completing a degree in costume design or fashion design. To get into these courses you usually need to gain your HSC/ACT Year 12 with English. Competition for places is strong. Applicants may be required to submit a portfolio, complete a project, or participate in an interview prior to enrolment. A number of universities in Australia offer degrees in costume design or fashion design.

Universities have different prerequisites and some have flexible entry requirements. Contact the universities you are interested in for more information as requirements may change.


Additional Information

    Once you are employed, you may be able to develop, and have recognised, additional skills under the Live Performance and Entertainment; Screen and Media; or Textiles, Clothing and Footwear Training Packages that will expand your career opportunities within these industries.

    Each November the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA) and the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA) conduct interviews in most states and territories for their courses. Contact NIDA or WAAPA for more information. The Queensland University of Technology (QUT) and the Victorian College of the Arts (VCA) usually hold interviews in November and early December. Contact VCA or QUT for more information.

EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES

Theatrical costume makers and designers are employed by theatre, dance and film companies, television stations, and video production houses.

Many years of experience at an assistant level are usually required before the industry recognises skills gained. Competition for jobs is very high and interstate or overseas experience will improve your employment prospects.

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More Information - External Links

Job Outlook for Theatrical Costume Maker and Designer Innovation and Business Skills Australia Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance Council of Textile and Fashion National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA) Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA) Queensland University of Technology Victorian College of the Arts


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