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Drama

Option B

Costume

Where to start with costume

When thinking about costumes in a drama, your starting point should be the script. This should be in your mind at all times - you are designing for the play, and your work should support the piece.

Watch what the actors have to do during the drama. If there's lots of action, their clothes must be easy to move in. For quick costume changes, you'll need easy fastenings.

Do your research

Research the era of the drama, or research fantasy costumes if your drama's a fantasy. Make full use of libraries and the internet to find examples of all sorts of costumes - you could start with the costume and character galleries in this section for ideas and references.

Colour and lighting

Remember that different colours symbolise different ideas. You wouldn't dress an innocent child in red, or a devil in pale pink would you? A section dealing with colour would be useful in your notes.

costume sketch from dr who

Costume sketch from Dr. Who series

If the lighting designer is using coloured gels, experiment with how colours are affected by them. Red, for example, under red lights, looks washed out, while under blue lights it can look almost black. So choose your colours with care!

Sticking to your design

You may not need to make your modern-day costumes, but you should be the one who chooses and buys what you need for the drama. Don't compromise on your design - if you can't get the colour you want, be prepared to dye the garment. If it has long sleeves and you designed short sleeves, you will have to make alterations.

Taking photos

Remember to show the 'before' and 'after' garment in your photos, so the examiner can see your attention to detail.

Making sketches

If you make your costumes, keep sketches of your ideas, and perhaps also attach some fabric samples, or images used for inspiration.

Taking measurements

It's important you get your characters' measurements right, so show them clearly in your notes. Use the character measurement sheet to do this.

Your examined presentation

Document

Download character measurement sheet (PDF file 221kb)

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