Theaterkunst Talk

Alexander Beck

Munich-based costume designer Alexander Beck came to the costume business with a different professional background. Following an apprenticeship as a tailor, he worked for several years at the Bavarian State Opera in Munich, where he learned dyeing and jewelry making techniques. He also gained valuable experience as a wardrobe attendant for the opera house’s male soloists. A costume designer friend eventually brought him into the film business, where has been working ever since.

In recent years he has designed costumes for such films as “Sapphire Blue”, “Emerald Green”, “Laible und Frisch” and “Hagen Benz“. His current project “Public Affairs” is an eight-part series that will be broadcast on ARD on June 14th, 2024, and which is also available on the ARD Mediathek. The series tells of the battle for power and prestige that is waged between the main characters, played by Nilam Farooq and Helgi Schmid.

Copyright: ARD Degeto; Concorde – Portrait: Alexander Beck


Alexander Beck

What was your approach to the costume design for “Wo wir sind, ist oben”? What were the particularities for the costume design of this series that is set in the world of lobbyists?

To start off with, I created various mood boards in order to find the respective character roles. A color concept was developed together with the director, camera and set design team. And of course I gained a huge inspiration by taking a closer look at our politicians as well as the associated lobbyists.

The cast list is pretty long. Do you have an overview as to how many costumes you used for the duration of the shooting period?

It certainly is a long list! Since we also dressed the extras, I would put the estimate at 3,000 costumes. Such an enormous number of costumes can only be managed with a big team, and my team was not only big, but fantastic too. I couldn’t have done it without them. I would like to give a big thank you in particular to my assistant Katia Rigali.

Your recently completed murder mystery “Hagen Benz“, starring Julia Koschitz and Heiner Lauterbach, also has a very contemporary costume design. What’s the appeal of modern costumes for you?

”Hagen Benz” was an exciting project. I get a lot of enjoyment out of developing a contemporary costume design. With all the different styles and designers, I also see it as a real challenge to create a character role that the actor is satisfied with, one where the costume is a good fit to his or her body and role. The best compliment is when I hear an actor say: This costume makes it much easier for me to access my role.

What would you say is so special about costume collections?

Of course, the practical aspect is what makes a costume collection so special. You can find anything your heart desires in one place, you can try everything out and let yourself be inspired. And what’s more, the creative exchange with the staff is fantastic – and that’s especially true here at Theaterkunst. You have such a creative team that I always have so much appreciation for.

What piece of advice might you have for costume designers who are just starting out in their career?

Have respect for the work, but don’t be intimidated by it, and don’t hesitate to ask experienced colleagues for advice or assistance.

Thank you for the interview!

Thank you! It was a great pleasure and an honor for me.