Costume Technology (BFA/MFA)

costume technology
Costume Technology students through a variety of courses will acquire the essential skills needed to pursue a professional career. The curriculum is designed to have a strong base in history in addition to the technical course load. During the 3.5 year program you will take a carefully integrated series of classes in:
  • Costume History: Obtaining a basic knowledge of historical costumes and clothing from western dress of ancient times up through modern dress, you will learn basic terminology and visual identification of periods using a variety of research tools.
  • Seminar in Costume History: First semester course reviews the periods from 1867 through contemporaryused by many regional theaters each season. The second has a Global perspectiveexploring contemporary clothing used by ethnic cultures.
  • Costume Design and Rendering: A series of design projects plussketching period clothes on a live model & master illustrators at the Zimmerli Morse Center, marker and watercolor rendering.
  • Advanced Costume Construction: This hands-on course will build upon basic construction skills and terminology used in costumes. Throughout the semester you will learn advanced hand and machine sewing techniques used to stitch historical and modern costumes.
  • Draping I: Basic knowledge of pattern drafting based on draping on a dress form to fit an individual will teach you pattern making, pattern manipulation and fit techniques of garments post-1920.
  • Studio Drawing: You will develop good skills in general drawing composition and media, with figure drawing and other techniques.
  • Draping II: This course will focus on more complex patterning techniques exploring flat-patterning, bias construction, and working with stretch. You will also continue to learn how to fit clothing and costumes to individuals.
  • Draping III: Historical pattern making and construction is the focus for this course in which you will learn how to replicate a period gown prior tot the 1920’s by draping and flat-patterning.
  • Tailoring: In this course, you will obtain a basic knowledge of tailoring techniques by constructing a men’s suit. This will include patterning, fitting to an individual, and constructing a men’s suit jacket or a full suit.
  • Fabric Dyeing: Learn the basics of fabric dyeing through projects that include color matching, ombré, and shibori using union dyes and fiber specific dyes. Safety issues and concerns will also be addressed.
  • Costume Crafts: By introducing you to the areas of costume crafts you will be able to explore how to use a variety of materials including thermoplastics, foam, buckram, felts and wire. Basic millinery techniques will be covered.
  • Design Electives: Many electives are offered for specialized training in computer illustration, scene painting, properties and courses in other areas (costumes, lighting design, and others) if you wish to pursue them.
You will have opportunities starting the first semester to drape on department shows to see your projects realized on stage in performance and help to build your portfolio. An edited, finished portfolio and resume is required before graduation. You will be presented to our friends in the professional design world at a showcase in New York City at the conclusion of your studies.

Visiting professional costume shops and designers provide you with additional opportunities to learn and create a network for after graduation.
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