First Lady Michelle Obama speaks at the first-ever White House Careers in Film Symposium, with Costume Designers Colleen Atwood and Ruth Carter as participants.

Costume Designers Participate in Historic White House Film Symposium for Students

Nov. 8, 2013

On November 8, the White House invited Costume Designers Colleen Atwood and Ruth Carter to participate in the first-ever White House Careers in Film Symposium. The designers brought behind-the scenes-Hollywood know-how and copious enthusiasm to the invited groups of high school students from Washington D.C., New York and Boston. Producer Harvey Weinstein invited Atwood and Carter and initiated the historic educational seminar in tandem with the White House.

Carter, who earned Oscar nominations for Malcolm X and Amistad, created a hands-on seminar that showed costumes from concept to completion. She showed sketches and costumes she designed for “Lee Daniels’ The Butler,” and had the Western Costume Company ship costumes that were inspired by the design of Judianna Makovsky for “The Hunger Games,” and a slate of vampires and zombies. “I personally felt like I was honored, but also wanted to extend that honor to other Costume Designers by bringing costumes that I felt kids would relate to, and enjoy seeing and touching,” said Carter, who just wrapped Old Boy with Josh Brolin.

Atwood, who has ten Oscar nominations and three wins, flew in from the United Kingdom to present a complementary seminar that had students drawing sketches and selecting fabric swatches to create a character.

“I was honored to be part of the symposium encouraging and informing young adults about the opportunities and process of costume design,” Atwood said.

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