The 705 Spotlight: John Van Hout, Women’s Custom Made Pattern Maker/Fitter

Women’s Custom Made Pattern Maker/Fitter John Van Hout has been in the business of costuming for over two decades. Originally starting his career in the world of theatre, he moved into work for TV, film, and commercials and has worked on a huge variety of different projects. A proud union member, he believes a costumer’s education is never finished.

His most memorable experience: joining MPC 705.

How he got into costuming: the world of theatre.

What he has worked on: Over fifty movies, TV series, pilots, and commercials.

What do you do as a costume professional?

I am a Pattern Maker/Fitter in Women’s Custom Made.

What are some of the shows and movies you’ve worked on?

While at work this week, I jotted down some of the things I remember working on and between movies, TV, pilots and commercials I came up with more than fifty projects in the last twenty years.

How or why did you get into costuming? 

I came to TV and film work through theatre.

What is your most memorable experience working in the business? It could be something really meaningful where you saw how your work made a difference, or maybe it’s the craziest thing that ever happened on set or behind the scenes (costume-related). 

The most memorable part of working in the business for me has been joining the Union. I spent years doing theatre. Much of it was very good, some of it even art. It had the potential to make a difference. But when I was in theatre, I worked long hours for a meager wage with thin health benefits and no retirement. Union work changed all that. It truly is “Live Better, Work Union.”

How did you educate yourself or get enough experience to get into the union?

No one in Custom Made educated themselves. In fact, those of us in Custom Made never consider our education finished. There is always a new technique or insight to learn in the pursuit of perfecting our craft.

What do you love most about your job?

I am a craftsman. This job allows me to practice my craft while being well compensated financially.