Research the costume design concept

Business Sectors (Suites): Costume for Film, TV and Theatre Productions
Developed by: ScreenSkills
Approved on: 30 Mar 2021


​This standard is about your ability to research the creative aspects, practical aspects and feasibility of an idea or concept to inform costume design.

This may involve understanding the production requirements, researching the proposed design, utilising a variety of sources, examining the practical aspects of the design, checking the availability of resources and taking the design concept forward

This standard may be applicable to costume designers, supervisors and managers, costume assistants, costume makers and wardrobe assistants.

Performance criteria

You must be able to:

  1. ​analyse and select effective research strategies
  2. assess the scale and type of production and its overall visual style
  3. research according to the brief and production requirements
  4. collect and collate information about the period or genre of the production
  5. identify the creative preferences of the director and performers
  6. recognise performers ideas about the character and the wait it will be played
  7. ensure the costume design concept conserves the function, style and purpose of the costume
  8. identify the special effects required and assess the affect they may have upon the costume design
  9. identify the resources required to create the design
  10. estimate the cost and time scale of the costume manufacture
  11. communicate the information collected and the design concept to the production team, other departments or individuals
  12. negotiate and agree changes required to the design concept
  13. follow the productions confidentiality rules and requirements
  14. identify suppliers that have the specialist and technical skills to fulfil the design concept within the budget and production deadlines
  15. find alternative sources of supply when current suppliers cannot meet requirements

  16. follow health and safety legislation and guidelines at all times

Knowledge and Understanding

You need to know and understand:

  1. ​the visual style/genre of the production
  2. time and budgetary constraints of the production
  3. the requirements of the original design concept
  4. best practice in relation to researching information
  5. types of garments worn for the genre/historical period in which the production is set
  6. how the personality and physical activities of characters within the production will impact upon costume design
  7. the creative preferences of other relevant person(s) such as the director and performers themselves
  8. materials, costume personnel and construction techniques required
  9. potential cost of materials, costume personnel and manufacture of the design
  10. reliable suppliers with capacity to create/deliver the required design concept
  11. the productions confidentiality rules and requirements
  12. how to present and communicate information clearly and sensitively
  13. statutory responsibilities under health, safety and environmental legislation and regulations


Scope Performance

Scope Knowledge





Links To Other NOS

External Links

Version Number


Indicative Review Date

30 Mar 2026





Originating Organisation


Original URN


Relevant Occupations

Arts, Media and Publishing, Associate Professionals and Technical Occupations, Crafts, Creative Arts and Design, Media and Communication, Media Associate Professionals, Performing Arts

SOC Code



costume; wardrobe; research; design; concept; creative; designers; performers; directors; resources