The reward is that you can actually create a world separate from reality with a story, actors, music, and camera design. When it works it can entertain, move people and teach us all.
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I design for the movie and the character as well as the person wearing the costume. I show the ideas to the actor, then do fittings for shape and technical things such as movement in the costume. Once the costume in this form is on the actor, you have a sense of their connection with it. I then take it to the next level with the final fit.
I grew up in a small town in Washington State, so I wasn't really aware of costume design as a career growing up, but I loved clothes. I remember I saved all my money, and the first thing that I bought was a white blazer, which was to the horror to my parents. But I have always had a strange connection with clothing.