Date of Degree


Document Type


Degree Name



Liberal Studies


Shifra Sharlin

Subject Categories

Art and Design | Film and Media Studies | Graphic Design | Theatre and Performance Studies


cinematic, costume, designer, Hepburn, le Maire, Roth


The contemporary cinematic costume designer is a visual storyteller. Through the dressing, or undressing of the actor's body, the costume designer narrates the cinematic character's physical and psychological journey from the first frame to the final credits. The costume designer creates the character's image by selecting specific garments and accessories that will inform the audience about the character's relationship with his cinematic environment.

The focus of this thesis is to examine how the contemporary cinematic costume designer unifies contemporary clothing with the actor's body to narrate a cinematic character's story. In order to understand how the costume designer creates a visual narrative, I will examine two films, Desk Set (1957) with costumes designed by Charles le Maire and Working Girl (1988) with costumes designed by Ann Roth that offer an entrée into two different time periods; however, both films were released as contemporary films.