Playing (Movie) Dress-Up: A Wardrobe Supervisor Story
As a film student, I was lucky enough to experience many jobs in the industry. Among them was Wardrobe Supervisor, who is basically charged with dressing the entire cast.
Although I’m not super into fashion, I do enjoy getting clothes—who doesn't though?—and putting outfits together, so I was excited to perform this task for our student short film. This job proved to be so much more than just dressing someone that wasn’t me though and I’m here to tell you all about it.
The most important thing (as I’m sure most of you would have guessed) is to really know the story. This involves plot, when and where it takes place and who the characters are. I had it easy since our story took place in the present, so I only had to deal with modern clothing. Finding outfits for a historical piece would’ve been far more challenging.
I had four actors to worry about and, luckily for me, two of them only needed one outfit. The tricky part were our leads, because they needed several. So, first thing I found myself doing was coming up with outfits for a picnic, movie night at home, a birthday party, an outdoor fight and prom; for a male and female around my age. Putting these together was probably my favorite part of the whole process.
After I got the sizes from the cast, it was time to do budgeting (my least favorite part). No creativity involved whatsoever and I had to deal with math? No thanks! But it had to be done.
I built my budget based on Kohl’s prices since their items are very affordable, which is just what we needed. After this, I had a portfolio with each outfit broken down into character, individual items and prices. Safe to say, this experience definitely helped me develop my organizational skills!
Actually buying the clothes was really fun too. My friend (who was the Production Designer) and I pretty much took a day off to roam through Target and The Dollar Store while trying to find whatever looked closest to the items I had picked from the Kohl’s website. And it was actually easier than I thought it would be! We found our prom dress at Target, a simple but gorgeous short, white dress (which I may or may not have kept, shh!)
Speaking of which, our lead actress and I were basically the same size, so the clothes that we weren’t able to find, I was able to provide. I lent her my dark purple floral dress for the picnic scene. She also wore a blue-green shirt of mine. It was strangely nice to see my own clothes on screen!
We all felt really proud of ourselves when we saw the end result. Not everyone knows just how many people work towards making a movie. And while some jobs might be more important than others, I felt really good about my contribution. After all, the characters had to be wearing something, right? My job was reflected on the screen for everyone to see and you know what? They all looked pretty great, if I do say so myself.
Okay, now I will be jumping back into beauty talk!