Character Design – Costumes


Costumes are a big deal to me in films. I feel like costumes can reflect a character completely. I researched costumes in my last project when looking into Wes Anderson. I found out the importance of costumes and how he uses them. Below is an extract from a blog post I made exploring developing a character through costume. Wes Anderson takes costumes into great consideration and that’s really inspired me to do the same in this film.


In my last film I also looked a lot into designing the costumes and I think it really added to my film. It made it seem more thought out and detailed. All the costumes stuck to my could schemes (either contrasting or complimenting). I want to do the same in this film. However the process will be completely different. With the costumes for the last film, I made sure they were retro, happy, adventurous and exciting. All these things reflected the character of Beatrice. This time, it will have to be the opposite.

I think costumes are very important in films. It’s usually something that I notice when I watch a film. You can take a lot from a characters costumes, like Richie from The Royal Tenenbaums. Christopher Laverty a writer for a website called ‘Clothes on Film’, wrote in an article called ‘How to Read Costume in Films’…

‘A film can be read via costume; sometimes overtly, sometimes subtextually. Not just conspicuous sci-fi or period, but contemporary stories set within a familiar world in familiar attire. On screen even the most rudimentary item of clothing can take on meaning’

(11 April 2011)

Furthermore, costumes are important in my film as it is spread over an amount of days. The character wouldn’t be wearing the same clothes everyday, therefor I need lots of different costumes.





Malcolm, the father of the family, was the first person I designed a costume for. I wanted Malcolm to dress smart/casual. This gives him a friendly look, but also makes him look older and more mature. However, throughout the film I want him to look scruffier and less well kept. At the end of his scenes, I want him to be wearing a hoodie, and maybe a baseball cap. This look will make him look like he’s ‘let go’ of himself.

I made a pinterest board to collect ideas:


Costume design:









Final costumes:


Screen Shot 2016-06-06 at 9.15.12 AM.png

With Malcolm’s first costume, I went with a dark blue blazer, with dark blue jeans and a light blue shirt. I think he defiantly has the smart/casual look I was going for.


Screen Shot 2016-06-06 at 9.19.26 AM

With his middle costume, he is still wearing the same outfit, just without the blazer and with the shirt sleeves rolled up. This gives the effect that he’s still trying to look nice, but finding it hard. He’s also not wearing his glasses, which again, gives the impression as if he’s stopped making the effort.


Screen Shot 2016-06-06 at 9.20.33 AM

By the end of the film, he is at his ‘scruffiest.’ He’s wearing an old leather jacket, a warn shirt and old jeans. He’s dressing for comfort rather then to give a good impression. He is also wearing a cap. This was added to the costume because I think it made him look even more rough round the edges. I also liked how it made his face more in shadow.



Emma, the oldest child, was the second person I looked for a costume for. I want Emma to dress innocent and summery. This gives off the impression she is younger/more full of life. Throughout the film she gets scruffier, like with Malcolm. It shows her being drained, almost like her personality, as in her innocence and happiness, is leaving her.

This is the pintrest board I made for her:


Costume Design:







Final Costumes:


Screen Shot 2016-06-06 at 9.15.28 AM

I chose a yellow floral dress for Emma, with grey converse. I think it makes her look childish and normal, which is the look I was going for.


You can’t see her full outfit in the first shot, but she was wearing a shirt with jeans and a denim jacket. This makes her look slightly scruffier then in the first section of the film. In the second picture, she is wearing a shirt with a scruffy jumper over the top, as if she’s still trying to look nice but it’s harder to.


By the end of the film, Emma has lost all colour from her clothes. I chose the top that was low cut for Emma, because it showed her collar bones and neck, which I made look skinner.



Oliver, the youngest child, was the next costume I designed. With Oliver, I wanted him to give the same impression as Emma, innocent. I wanted him to look like a ‘normal’ boy. I think he should look cute because audiences will feel more attached to him. The clothes for Oliver would be easy to find and look for.

Here’s the pinterest board I made for him:


Costume Design:







Final Costumes:


In the first part of the film, Oliver is wearing very normal and simple boy clothes. This gives a more innocent and ‘cute’ impression.


Screen Shot 2016-06-06 at 9.44.14 AM.png

In the middle of the film, Oliver is wearing a shirt. I chose for him to wear a shirt in this scene because its as if he has no other clothes left but smart ones.


Screen Shot 2016-06-06 at 9.46.18 AM.png

By the end of the film, he is wearing a very plain blue top. It matches Emma’s, which I thought worked really well.



This entry was posted in Y1 Film 10 - FMP. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Character Design – Costumes

  1. kendalcollegefilm says:

    This is stupendous. As with your Wes Anderson piece, you’re demonstrating an awareness and a comprehension of the importance of costume design that is approaching professional. (Next stop is learning to stitch, sew, and modify clothes!) The way you’re developing your costume designs shows research, reflection and clear aesthetic decision-making. Together, it’s an extraordinary workflow that makes your work extremely convincing.


  2. Pingback: Evaluation | Izzy Pye

  3. Pingback: Evaluation | Izzy Pye

  4. Pingback: unit 11 – Drama Project | Izzy Pye

  5. Pingback: FMP – Idea Generation | Izzy Pye

  6. Pingback: Idea Generation – FMP | Izzy Pye

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s