Costume designing as an art form and how to make a career in it

at 3:15 pm
Costume Designing

New Delhi (NVI): Trained Fashion Designer and Faculty, Fashion Design and Textile, Sanchitaa Gupta has designed costumes for various characters in many TV and feature films produced across the globe.

She has also designed the gown for Malin Holm when she walked the red carpet of the Academy awards during the nomination in 2017. Excerpts from interview with Dwijendra Kumar, fashion journalist.

Q. Tell us about yourself and how did you get into costume designing?

A. I started my company Fash’Enable with the tag line designing beyond mindscapes, in 2007. It was my individual start up just after leaving my job as professor from NIFT, Delhi.

The whole idea to start Fash’Enable was to design and cater not only to the individual fashionistas but to be an ultimate design studio with in-house facilities to offer film costumes solutions as well.

I have been working with American TV shows, Dutch TV shows, Danish film, Swedish TV series, Japanese film and many more across the globe.

Q. Please share your experience as Costume Designer?

A. It’s much more satisfying when you go beyond the boundaries, research, understand, live the other tradition, culture and then create a character for a particular project.

All these international film costume projects required years of research work, working and collaborating with other crew member like Director or Director of photography, production designer – all sitting in different time zone but working like a great team.

I remember while we were doing initial research work for a Danish film – Iqbal & den indiske juvel directed by Oliver Zahle, I worked in various time zones and it was quite a fun! The reason was , during the entire research period most of us never met, travelling the whole world.

This film is based on very famous novel by Manu Sareen and this Danish film was the third sequel in the series. As a costume designer, it was very important for me to understand each character, his/her behaviour, emotions and how a particular character traveled through the timeline being a Danish feature film Not a Bollywood!!

I am thankful to the director, producers and production for having faith in my work. The film bagged 2 nominations for Danish film awards (Robert).

Being a costume designer also gave me a great opportunity to design The Oscar red carpet gown. All fashion designers yearn for it and it’s everyone’s dream.

Costume Designing

Q. What about other projects involving your work and experiences as Costume Designer?

A. have worked as costume director for a Swedish TV series “Delhis vackraste händer” directed by Hannes Holm. There I met Malin Holm who was also part of the crew and assisting the Director.

All of us had wonderful time on this Swedish project and at the end we went back to our respective home countries. Malin was quite impressed with my work and we were in touch with each other.

Few months later we got a wonderful news that Hannes Holm got academy awards nomination for his film “ A man called ove” under the best foreign film category in 2017.

Malin Holm was also part of the film and both Mr and Mrs Holm had to walk the Oscar red carpet together. Since Malin and I was in touch with each other, we discussed the entire designs, colors, fabrics through sketches, pictures and finalised the design.

The whole process was online. We never met during the whole designing process. Finally she wore that blue gown on that big Academy awards day and kept sending me amazing feedback and lots of praises she received for her gown. I will always be thankful to her for having believed in my work.

It’s a great honour for a designer when he or she designs for a celebrity who is representing her own country on the world’s biggest platform like the Oscar awards. I feel good things happens when you are just true to your work and rest is already taken care of.

Q. Tell us more about Costume Designing as an art form?

Ans. Costume designing is process of building visual identity of a character from the script to the real life through clothing and accessorising.

The pitch here is to translate the director’s vision by studying the script, researching the era, plot, mood and then creating the look for the film, series or theatre production.

A costume designer plans and creates the clothing and accessories worn by the characters in a film, series, or theater production.

Q. How a course in fashion designing helps one in pursuing career as Costume Designer?

Ans. If a person has a thorough understanding of fashion designing, technical skills, assembling ideas through mood board, sketches, making a timeline, character development etc. then definitely one can begin at an entry level or as Costume Design Intern.

Q. How do you view career prospects in Costume Designing?

Ans. Designing costumes for the performing arts, motion pictures or television shows is a challenging job. One has to have great communication skills with the understanding of the research process, collaborations and storytelling. It has a great career prospects for a go-getter.