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What is the role of a costume assistant?

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 Ever wondered what a Costume Assistant does? Well wonder no further and let Kozzii shed some light on the matter.
With a plethora of roles involved in film and TV, it can be extremely confusing to know what it actually is that everyone does.
There are so many different terms and job titles to get to grips with, it’s no wonder that they all begin to merge together.
Rather than list them all in one bewildering bubble,  we thought we would unravel the mystery step-by-step and describe each in turn. This time it is the turn of the Costume Assistant.
There’s a lot of contradictory information out there, but thanks to Creative Skillset, the role of the costume assistant has been defined nicely and concisely.

So what exactly does a costume assistant do then?

It won’t come with much comfort to say that the answer is pretty varied (often depending on the size and budget of the show and production company) but there are certain elements of the job you can expect to find.

A costume assistant will more than likely be helping out with, or managing, the cast fittings as well as assisting with continuity of the shots, ensuring the actors are wearing what they should be in the same shot or the following scenes.



Costume assistants may be allocated a part of the script or assist in the process of splitting the script into different character plots, and working out which costumes are needed for what scene and when.
For those who like getting stuck into research, part of the job may include helping the designer by studying the period, styles and construction techniques associated with them.

Keeping things ticking over…

The role often includes setting up workrooms for the rest of the team, ordering and replenishing any equipment and materials, and assisting with the general running of the department.
Sometimes the costume assistant will assist with any making required, as well as contributing to any breaking down and distressing of costumes if needed.



If a shoot is taking place at different locations or will be going abroad, the costume assistant may pack the costumes and help organise the relevant paperwork and packing notes.
A Costume Assistant will ensure the actors have the right costume for the scenes being shot and will check any continuity issues.
Similar to the role of a wardrobe assistant, costume assistants will carry out any repairs or alterations on the costumes.

Roles that cross over…

Here’s where it gets really confusing. As you may have gathered, there are plenty of crossovers between roles, but a costume assistant may also act as a standby.
This may involve keeping track of continuity, dressing the actors and looking after them on set. They may also launder and provide maintenance for the costumes and accessories.



So as you can tell, the role of the Costume Assistant can include a range of responsibilities, so is it any wonder so much confusion often surrounds this type of work.
Hopefully, that’s a little clearer even if the role is a hard one to pin down!
Ever worked as a costume assistant? Perhaps you work in film and TV? We’d love to hear from you and your thoughts on working the other side of the camera. Leave us a comment or get in touch.

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