Profile: costume designer

Jacky Levy is costume designer on Rock and Chips. Having worked on the last three Christmas specials of Only Fools and Horses, she is well-versed in each character in the Trotter family, giving her insight into their individual clothing tastes and needs. She gives her advice to would-be costume designers.

Costume designers create the look of a production to a brief set by the director. Their work begins in the pre production period when they break down the script and work out exactly what costumes will be required. They must then buy, hire, or commission the creation of all those pieces of clothing. They are given a budget and a timescale in which they must achieve this.

"It's creating a look within a brief." – Jacky Levy

For period productions costume designers do research into the costume styles, designs and construction methods which are appropriate for the production’s historical setting, using resources including libraries, museums and the internet.

During filming costume designers do fittings and alterations with the actors and ensure that the clothes look their best on screen.

On Rock and Chips, the day starts early and finishes late for Jacky. But having worked on the last three Christmas specials of Only Fools and Horses, she is well-versed in each character in the Trotter family, giving her insight into their individual clothing tastes and needs.

Jacky advises would-be costume designers that although there are no easy routes into the industry, you should keep trying. Perseverance and determination can pay dividends.