Designing costumes for film and theater can be a fun, exciting and rewarding career. But while you do need to have a good set of innate creative and artistic ability, you will also need to hone those skills through a formal education program. Luckily, there are good fashion design schools with costume design programs all across the country.
When you look at costume design education programs, you will find 2-year Associate degree programs, and 4-year Bachelor’s degree programs. Either will give you a good foundation and teach you the basics, but you will of course learn much more in a 4-year program. Choose what fits your needs and your budget.
When you are in school, you will learn about all aspects of costume design, including the differences of designing for film versus theater, how to work with the director and set designer, and much more. To be successful in school and in your career, you will need to have a good working knowledge of history, enjoy research, and have a thorough understanding of fabrics, sewing and fashion trends.
While you are in the later stages of your schooling, you will also want to look for good internship opportunities. This real-world experience will help you develop your abilities as a costume designer and give you an edge over the competition. To find an internship, look into school film and theater productions, and into projects with community theaters or production houses.
The job outlook for costume designers is stable, but does ebb and flow with the fortunes of the entertainment industry. To best establish yourself for a successful career, get a good education and internship under your belt.