Designing costumes with Marianne Agertoft

Costume designer Marianne Agertoft took time out of series two of Utopia to give us an insight into her role and shares some tips for any aspiring designers out there…


Why a costume designer?

Initially I wanted to do fashion but found myself more drawn to the world of costumes. After my degree at Central Saint Martins I began working in films and I've never looked back.

Your fondest memory?

The strongest impression was as an assistant when I was on set because that is where you really get to understand what filming is about. The excitement and the dynamic of the team you're working with is so amazing and you are there to see it all coming together in front of the camera.

Tips for any aspiring costumer designers?

Once you design you rarely have the opportunity to observe how the costumes work on set. In my opinion there is no shortcut to designing costumes, you really need to spend time on set as an assistant to understand the importance of what is required of you as a designer.

Your favourite job?

It is impossible to choose one job as a favourite because different jobs bring different experiences. I have found myself in the most stunning surroundings not believing my own luck … And I have found myself somewhere in the middle of the night in the freezing cold and wet, wondering what on earth I was doing there… That was on the very same job.

What is it like working on Utopia?

Designing costumes is a collaborative process where you as a designer offer up ideas and then develop the feel and look of the character with the director and the actor.

With the diverse range of characters which inhabited the world of Utopia this was especially important. We worked very closely together in creating the journey they went on, and how that was to be reflected in their look.

Best part of the job?

The great aspect of this job is the diversity of the challenges you face - no project is ever the same. You meet some great people and you get to work closely with some amazing talent. Brilliant!

The Knowledge would like to thank Marianne for her insight and industry expertise. For further details about her work, please visit her Knowledge profile.

Looking to start a career in costume design? Then click here for more advice.