This page discusses how the Guidelines for Produced Projects pertain to costumes.  See the Shop Deadlines page in right sidebar for a full listing of Costume- In Shop Due Dates. Before you begin any show, the first task is to copy both sets of deadlines into your calendar and show bible so you can see the large picture at a glance.

Click to download the full 2009-10 Guidelines Produced Projects 09-10

Individual Mentor Meetings

Each show is assigned a Faculty Mentor.  Through out the Design Process, you will meet with your mentor to make sure you are prepared for each meeting.  It is poor judgment to surprise your mentor with new information in a public meeting. In some cases, faculty mentors must broker compromises or recommend changes, and if your faculty mentor is not familiar with your progress, this can be embarrassing or detrimental to your design approach.

The scheduled 240 time slot (M/W 3-5) is used for your design work, preparations in the shop, and meetings.  Each designer is responsible for scheduling meetings with the mentor and shop head to gain necessary approvals.  Because there are so many shows that overlap, mentors may be overscheduled quickly– take the initiative to ensure that your meetings happen in a timely manner.

First year MFAs– Make an appointment to meet your faculty mentor to review the guidelines, look at examples of work and the schedules.

  • Meet with the faculty mentor once a week during the design phase. Be prepared to show progress each week and ask questions
  • Discuss preparing the working drawings; these may require revisions, so start early
  • Once the show enters the shop invite the mentor to look at your show rack to review the overall picture
  • If you are new to a specific period, ask the mentor to review your show rack for period accuracy
  • Invite the mentor to look at any mock up on the form you’d like advice for
  • At your discretion, invite the mentor to fittings that may require advising<

Second year MFAs– Make an appointment to meet your faculty mentor 1 time at the start of each project, and 1 week prior to all public meetings.  Discuss a meeting schedule appropriate for each show and design needs.  You may use the 1st year guidelines as a review.

Third year MFAs– Due to the large scope of most thesis shows, plan a weekly appointment with your mentor during the design phase to discuss the type of research and rendering communication appropriate for the specific project.

  • Meet with the faculty mentor once a week during the design phase. Be prepared to show progress each week and ask questions
  • Discuss preparing the working drawings; these may require revisions, so start early
  • Once the show enters the shop invite the mentor to look at your show rack to review the overall picture
  • If you are new to a specific period, ask the mentor to review your show rack for period accuracy
  • Invite the mentor to look at any mock up on the form you’d like advice for
  • Invite the mentor to fittings to approve the period silhouette as it translates to an actor

Deadlines

There are two categories of deadlines for a department show:  the Guidelines for Produced Projects outlines many design deadlines that affect your creative team or require collaboration with other departments.    There is second set of deadlines, called   In Shop Due Dates.  These deadlines pertain to construction or show organization in the shop, for example Fabrics Due or Fittings Begin/ Rentals due, etc.

Both sets of deadlines reflect standard practice in the average LORT or a Regional theater with a resident shop.   The USA Union contract will contain overall design due dates.  You then discuss more specific deadlines with the Costume Director or Costume Shop Manager.   At UCI we’ve broken these deadlines into smaller units for several reasons: we want you to learn what the steps and expectations are that you will decide for yourself when you leave,  we want you to be able to work around classes and all other obligations you have, and we must juggle many shows in our shop at once.  To assure no one is left out, we assign every designer a slot for every task.

The following outlines the general intent for each meeting.  Please consult the Production Calendar

Costume Elements Due for Faculty Mentors Meeting

This is a small meeting with all mentors, director and stage management team in attendance.  The goal is to outline the direction the director/ designer team will take.

  • Verbal presentation of initial design ideas
  • Casting breakdown:  scene chart with roles assigned to each actor, appearance in scenes
  • Preliminary costume count, summarizing number of costumes and types. (distributed)
  • Research images for general ideas, and each character or groups of characters (posted)  See the Research page for a larger discussion on what kind of research costume designers use.
  • Preliminary color and texture ideas
  • Period silhouette and foundations analysis (for musicals and shows prior to 1970s)

Click here for a sample period silhouette analysis by Caron Clancy for Costume History Class.

Click here for a sample period silhouette analysis by Amanda Avila for Costume History Class.

Preliminary Design Deadlines

(2 1/2 weeks after Faculty Mentor Meeting)

Preliminary designs are due to the shop head and mentors in each area.  Plan to review the preliminary designs with your mentor in a regularly scheduled meeting; they may require revision.  Then schedule a meeting with both the mentor and Vera to present the show to the shop head.   If time is short, prepare to meet with both at once, but you may have to spend extra time with the mentor for revisions notes.

  • Preliminary thumbnails or rough drawings for each costume or representing groups of costumes
  • Preliminary fabric swatches or possibilities
  • Preliminary piece list for each actor including a brief summary of types
  • Adjusted costume count summarizing number of costumes and types.
  • Preliminary footwear styles and movement needs (period shows & musicals)
  • Preliminary movement needs (discuss with choreographer, fight director, etc)
  • Preliminary wig, hair or make up styles

Budget Meeting Deadlines

This is a public meeting with the creative team, producer, production management, and shop heads.  This will be the first opportunity for shop heads to see the entire scope of the project.  Designers and director prepare a coordinated presentation describing the show and its needs with special attention paid to concerns that impact multiple disciplines.

Shop Heads present working budgets based on the preliminary design package. Additional budget meetings will be scheduled as needed to discuss technical considerations and cost estimates.

  • Designer meets with Costume Shop Manager to create a preliminary working budget
  • Adjusted rough sketches presented to Shop Manager and Faculty Mentor
  • Preliminary list of proposed builds, rentals and purchases
  • Preliminary budget estimate in progress
  • Designer, Shop Head and Faculty Mentor attend a group budget meeting
  • Designer, Shop Head and Faculty Mentor meet to discuss any technical considerations or budget cuts

Final Design Deadlines “Greenlight”

(2 1/2 weeks after Preliminary Budget Meeting)


  • Finished color sketches,  swatched with fabric & trim
  • Final allocation of resources: built, rented, or purchased costumes
  • Researched vendor and cost list for purchase of special items
  • Researched vendor and cost list for rental sources
  • Updated list of accessories and proposed specialty items for crafts builds
  • Final makeup and hair requirements and estimated costs

First Rehearsal Design Presentation

  • Digital presentation (PowerPoint) sharing the design approach with cast and guests
  • Full costume sketches with swatches

Additional Design Deadlines

  • Rentals pulled by IN-SHOP due date
  • Design presentation to costume shop staff in designated regular Tuesday meeting
  • Fabric modification samples, if any
  • Working drawings for built costumes
  • Fabric purchases due by IN-SHOP due date
  • Final Wig, Hair or Make Up designs
  • Schedule with Stage Management Wig fittings & Make Up rehearsal 1 week before Dress Rehearsals
  • Fast change list and stage placement coordinated with Stage Management by Production Mtg #3
  • Fast change rehearsal with costume staff and Wardrobe Crew after Production Mtg #3
  • Wardrobe Crew Orientation
  • Actor dressing lists posted in each dressing room


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