Dear Director (words from your devoted Costume Designer)
I do costumes because I love working within a team. I enjoy the collaborative process of going trough challenges all together in order to bring stories to life.
I’m not a fashion person although I’m into clothes, colors, fabrics and shapes.
I’ve studied a lot in order to understand the body and the way we dress today in our culture. I’ve also studied the way people dressed yesterday and way before that.
I’ve learned to manipulate colors and fabrics together in order to make something meaningful happen.
I’ve studied film, theatre, visual arts and philosophy but I don’t consider myself as an artist because my work is mainly driven by someone else's needs.
I’m a creative as much as I’m a good technician. I’ve studied how to identify and use different materials. I’ve learned to dye fabrics and reproduce blood, ashes, age stigma and steins. I know how to make a brand new t-shirt looks like you’ve been sleeping with it for years.
I’ve learned to contemplate life around me and how clothes define part of our identities. I understand what it means for an actor to have this little “off” detail that will help him feel his character. I also understand his needs to feel comfortable in his clothes in order to feel confident in his body.
After couple experiences, I’ve learned to become a good listener, a problem-solver, a task-manager and a business handler. I enjoy working behind the scene in the shadow of someone else. I like devoting my craft to great artists, inventive creatives and life-changing stories.
Please respect my work. You may love clothes, and your wife may tell you that you have a great style, but please understand my craft.
I’m not a personal shopper and I’m actually not only doing shopping. I’m working with a range of co-workers and collaborators from friendly brands to rental costume companies and tailors with magic fingers.
I’ve studied the script carefully and I may be aware of some weather continuity problems that you haven’t even noticed yet.
I understand the body of the leading actress and I know what her body complex is. Please don’t reduce her character by just asking me to make her look sexy. I'd like to avoid cliché because it kills the depth of a character.
Please don’t ask me to buy this brand just because this is your favorite brand or because this is trendy. Unless the character is you.
Please don’t give me shopping advice. I would never feel untitled to give you light or acting advice.
Please understand the importance of the fitting process. Unless we are working on a high budget film, I can’t afford to change an entire character’s wardrobe a day before the shoot.
Please understand when I’m telling you that we can’t afford certain things. I’ve studied the budget and I’m doing everything I can to please you. I also have to please the producer.
Please let the wardrobe assistant do her job on set. Last looks are as much important as changing a lens. Her job is to keep the continuity flowing and make sure the character looks like how he is supposed to look.
Please help us build a team-spirit between departments. We are all linked to each others. I need to know what’s the Production Design looks like and I’ll probably share my space with Hair and MUA. We’ll surely work closely with the Sound Guys and the Script Supervisor and sometimes it's good to have a word with the DP.
Thank you for reading this. I love working with you.