James Acheson (born 13 March 1946) is a British costume designer. Born in Leicester, England, he was educated at Colchester Royal Grammar School and studied at Wimbledon School of Art.

James Acheson
Born1946 (age 72–73)
Leicester, England
Occupationcostume designer
Years active1973–present

He has designed costumes and sets for television, theatre, opera, ballet and film, working in more than 14 different countries. For BBC Television, he designed the costumes and monsters for 36 episodes of Doctor Who, including establishing the costume for the 4th incarnation of the Doctor, played by Tom Baker.

He is a 3 time Academy Award winner for Costume Design for his work on the films The Last Emperor, directed by Bernardo Bertolucci, Dangerous Liaisons, directed by Stephen Frears and Restoration, directed by Michael Hoffman.

His other film work includes, Time Bandits and Brazil both directed by Terry Gilliam, Monty Python's The Meaning of Life and The Wind in the Willows directed by Terry Jones, Highlander, directed by Russel Mulcahy, The Sheltering Sky and Little Buddha directed by Bertolucci, The Man in the Iron Mask, directed by Randall Wallace and the first three Spiderman movies, directed by Sam Raimi.

His theatre work includes, Hamlet in London and on Broadway starring Ralph Fiennes and directed by Jonathan Kent and The Marriage of Figaro in both Vienna and at The Metropolitan Opera, directed by Sir Jonathan Miller.

For the Royal New Zealand Ballet he designed both sets and costumes for a new production of Prokofiev’s, Romeo and Juliet

choreographed by Francesco Ventriglia.



  • Susan Langenhennig (2008-05-20). "James Acheson, the Oscar-winning designer of Spider-Man's signature threads, shares his secrets at a costumers convention in New Orleans". The Times-Picayune. Retrieved 2008-05-22.

External linksEdit

James Acheson on IMDb