Costume Design 101 | Print |
User Rating: / 4
Written by Reviewed by Amanda Lynn Porter   

Never having had the chance to be involved in a high-budget film production, I didn’t know how much effort went into costume design! In Costume Design 101, author Richard La Motte, with over 20 years of experience, walks the reader through the business of costume design involved in production.

The book offers guidance on designing perfect portfolios and resumes, presenting concepts, getting hired, breaking down scripts for costuming requirements, and all the way to budgeting and other specialty jobs in the field.

Costume Design 101 really introduces a plethora of useful information for anyone interested in costuming or any sort of design. Including over 30 costume illustrations, you’ll find yourself entranced by the world of costume design. And like me, you may have found yourself a new profession!

Paperback: 180 pages

Publisher: Michael Wiese Productions

Language: English

ISBN-10: 0941188353

ISBN-13: 978-0941188357

Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 5.8 x 0.7 inches

Table of Contents:

The Role of the Costume Designer in Film and Television
-Union definitions and job descriptions

Getting in the Business
-Strategies and concerns

The Job Interview

The Deal
-Basic deal points

Programming and First Presentations
-Getting a direction –presenting a concept

Setting up the Department
-Working together

Script Breakdown
-Reading the script for department requirements

The Budget Package
-Assembling a budget package for production

Costume Design
-Breaking down the script for Designers, Design theory, illustrating the drama, creating character, manufacture.

Specialty Costumes

Color Theory


Production Meetings
-“Wardrobe” and all other departments

Accumulating Costumes
-Developing an angle of attack: rental houses, the package deal. Costume manufacture

Assembling the Costumes
-Organizing the stock for work

Fitting the Actor
-The “Show and Tell”

Aging and Distressing
-Techniques and supplies

The Shoot
-Primary objectives, day-to-day operations, foreign locations

-Various types of TV work

The Wrap
-A good return, losses and damages, final accounting

Reference Section
-List of costume houses in America and Europe

-Collection of sketches and drawings

-Example Budgets

About the Author:

Richard La Motte was born in 1943 and raised in West Los Angeles by adoptive parents Lucy and Ross La Motte. He graduated from University High School in 1961 and joined the US Marine Corp, where he served for four years. In 1966, he entered the Motion Picture Industry as a Stock Clerk at Fox Studio Wardrobe Department.

He worked as a Set Costumer on: Batman, Brackens World, Lost in Space, Time Tunnel, M.A.S.H., Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Tora-Tora-Tora, Planet of the Apes, Hello Dolly, Doctor Dolittle, Little Big Man, Dillinger, and many movies-of-the-week and TV pilots.

He was then drafted as Costume Designer for The Wind and the Lion and went on to do: Goonies, Rambo III, The Return of the Man Called Horse, The Island of Doctor Moreau, Crazy Horse, Geronimo, Tecumseh, Broken Chain, Army of One, Hanoi Hilton, Hawken, Stitches, Gods and Generals, and others.

To see this and other titles currently available from Michael Wiese Productions, visit their catalog by clicking here.

Associate Editor, Amanda Lynn Porter has been involved in many aspects of video/film production. Starting a video production class at her middle school in eighth grade, Amanda has always enjoyed every aspect of videography. After producing many in-school productions, including a daily newscast, Amanda branched out and began directing and producing commercials and short films for law firms, intermediate school districts, and various associations throughout Michigan. 


Most recently, Amanda worked for Michael Moore on his latest documentary: Capitalism: A Love Story. You can read her new column, Amanda's Book Nook each month in School Video News.