Costume designers decide the overall look of a performance in collaboration with directors and other artistic directors, and then design costumes accordingly. The job consists of sketching costumes or setting them up in another graphic way, as well as choosing materials and colours that suit the overall look and use of the costumes at any given time.

Costume designers can work in large and small theaters, in television or as a contractor in filmmaking.

Main tasks
  • analyzing scripts, sketching costumes and participating in the preparation of a performance or project
  • determining the appearance of the performance in consultation with the director and set designer
  • reading scripts and doing source work, for example in relation to a certain historical period
  • choosing materials, colours, textures and shapes of costumes
  • considering make-up and hair and that these factors complement the costumes and overall look of the set
  • assessing how to fashion the individual parts of the costumes for performances
  • working on solutions to various problems related to costumes that arise during rehearsals
  • bringing designs to costume makers in the workshop for implementation
Competence requirements

Costume designers need to have a good imagination and be able to sketch their own ideas. It is important to understand pattern making and to be interested in design and history, as well as knowing how to combine materials, colours and textures. Organizational skills and the ability to work with others are also essential qualities. Costume designers work a lot with paper and drawing tools as well as by computer.


Costume making is not taught separately in Iceland. There is, however, a Fashion design program at the Iceland Academy of the Arts, a three-year program leading to a BA degree.

Related disciplines such as design and innovationclothing technologyand dressmaking and tailoring are taught at the Technical College, as well as the clothing and textile elective study paths of art study options of several secondary schools.

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