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For the budding costume designer, choosing the right school can be as daunting as constructing a period garment from scratch.
Besides focusing on a specialty — such as film, television, theater or themed entertainment — class size, tuition and other considerations come into play. If it’s on-the-job training that’s of utmost importance, select a school with an active campus theater program such as Carnegie Mellon, Yale or UNCSA. Networkers can meet with industry professionals through extracurricular programs at SCAD, FIDM or UCLA. For a well-rounded résumé, classes in costume animation (CalArts), millinery (UMKC) and corsetry (USC) are available. And if location, location, location is at the top of the list, aspiring designers can’t beat Tisch in the Big Apple or one of the L.A. area’s four schools that benefit from Hollywood right in their backyard.
THR consulted with educators and industry pros for its annual list of the top 10 costume design schools, uncovering that elusive “it” factor marketers call USP (unique selling point). However, one common thread (no pun intended) remains constant: These ten schools in the United States — plus a bonus international school, Wimbledon — continue the race to adapt to shifting industry trends and technological advancements.
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