Club Stories

Serena Abel Shares Her Experience Designing Costumes for High School Production of Anne Frank

This year at my high school I was given the chance to become the head costume designer for the drama department.

Knowing that costume design is a career I will pursue when I go to college, of course I said yes! We just finished our fall play, “Anne Frank.”

In September, I sketched out all the costumes. I did research on the characters to find out what type of clothing they would wear. I then made itemized lists of the clothing needed for each character. Then, in October, I started working on the costumes.

First I went through the costume closet we have at our school; then I gathered things from Goodwill. After that, I styled the outfits for each act and plotted out the costume changes. I dressed the characters and got the outfits approved.

I got inspiration for the costumes from traditional clothing from that time and how they actually dressed. We had a low budget so I didn't have a lot to work with.

I learned that costuming is a big part of the whole feel of the play and that you really need to match the clothing with the character type. I learned to really exaggerate the personality of the character through the clothing. This helps when people may not know who the character is. This way, they don't even have to think twice about their personality.

My favorite part of the experience was implementing my creative input into the feel of the characters. I loved getting inspired by the characters and using my imagination for their different looks.

I had a great experience being the costume designer! It was very fun and interesting to be behind the scenes of the production. I very much enjoyed doing it and I can't wait to be able to have this be my career!

Serena Abel is the FIDM Fashion Club President at Lake Country Lutheran High School in Hartland, Wisconsin. She recently interviewed FIDM Theatre Costume Design Grad Erica Williams, who is now a costume designer at Disney. Read her interview to find out how to prep now for a career in costume design.

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What It’s Like To Be The Head Costume Designer in High School

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