Costume design for film and theater is an exciting career choice that is becoming more popular among American college graduates. However, many people are unsure how to tailor a college education for this field. Because most colleges do not offer a major titled “Costume Design,” students mistakenly believe that those schools do not offer a major that will benefit them in their field of choice. This is not necessarily the case. There are a number of related majors that, when combined with a relevant minor field of study, will provide students with an acceptable background to enter the costume design industry, either in New York, Hollywood or even abroad.
Most state colleges and universities will offer a major field of study in art, whether it be art history, design or another similar subject. When combined with a minor or even a double major in fashion or fashion design, the student will likely emerge with an educational background conducive to even the most stringent of employment requirements. Being able to speak on the history of art and fashion within a specific era is a skill that translates automatically into expertise in costume design. The additional creative arts study within the realm of design will also help with designing costumes for a more fantastical type of project, such as swords and sorcery or even science fiction. Oddly enough, even a minor in English literature or literature of one of the romance languages will add a great flavor to a major in fashion design. Again, being able to converse intelligently about the period in question, its values, styles and ways of interacting, becomes of utmost importance to those who contact for costume design services.
While education is the primary factor, it is also a good idea to participate in the theatrical arts while completing your degree. Having your volunteer work in college productions on your resume is a huge bonus and may be the deciding factor when a project manager is choosing between you and another recent graduate.