I love designing costumes that I can actually construct, working to create an environment that people want to be in.
My work space is so visually crammed. It’s like an insane candy store. The number of textiles I’m surrounded with is mind boggling. It’s a treat to come home to a nice negative space.
In Chicago, I walked in knowing what the dancers were going to need.
It’s fun conjuring what people will be wearing in the future. We exist in this world today, and yet there are people walking around who still look like they’re in the ’60s.
It’s true that I’m not cozy. I’m more reserved.
Chicago is partly a fairy tale because it’s inside one person’s head, so that part of it’s made up and the rest of it is reality.
I think a lot of young girls go through that period in their life of finding who they are, and at that point, looking good matters the most.
On Planet of the Apes, I had a very knowledgeable team who knew good materials, but I had one main source person who worked online and on the street continually looking for the proper materials.
In real life, a lot of people at that level will have their kimonos made especially for them.
Knowing who the actors were as you were designing them helped, with Catherine’s beauty and Renee’s frailty, they directed me visually just by who they were.
My own style is pretty classic; I much prefer to design for others.
I really like the original Apes costumes. The colors were great, and the use of heavy materials was something that influenced me for this film.
It’s often said that costume designers are a faceless group of people. But we can contribute to fashion in a way that might be new and different.
One thing about costume design – and I think design in general – but especially costume design, is people have a misconception that it’s very glamorous work.
Inspiration comes from everywhere: books, art, people on the street. It is an interior process for me.
One of the challenges with period costumes is, on a technical level, making the scale of different periods work on contemporary bodies. We’re much bigger than what people were in older times.
The costumes had to serve the choreography.
I’ve been lucky in the things I’ve got to work on. I’ve been able to keep it fresh, always getting to do different kinds of things.
Some of the kimonos took as long as four to five months to make, with all the layers that go into it.
Planet of the Apes was a gigantic challenge, making the clothes work so people could do stunts and action in the clothes. I really learned a lot about that in that movie.
The reward is that you can actually create a world separate from reality with a story, actors, music, and camera design. When it works it can entertain, move people and teach us all.
People like to stir up the fashion vs. costume world, and I think what they mean by ‘too costumey’ is that it’s too much, or not real enough for everyday wear. You couldn’t say that...
The thing that’s great about being a costume designer is you never know what’s going to be next; you never what world you are going to enter.
The first Chicago was definitely a product of its time, and Chicago the musical is definitely a contemporary look at another time.
Costume design allows you to do a different type of research and create characters, whereas in fashion, you create an image and clothing for the masses.
I can create clothes for so many different time periods. I’ve always tried to avoid being pigeonholed. Plus, everything I learn about design and costume from one movie somehow works its way into something else.
I always loved clothes, just not clothes that were appropriate to the place I grew up in.
The designs were based on quite a lot of research of what a movie musical is, filtered through the eyes of today. If we’d gone strictly with the ’20s, the movement would have been impaired.
Costume, hair and makeup can tell you instantly, or at least give you a larger perception of who a character is. It’s the first impression that you have of the character before they open their...
As a designer, you have to solve a lot of problems. Even though people are wearing clothes that are supposed to look beautiful, they’ll have to do all kinds of things.
While researching design, I was inspired globally, from Peru to Turkey to Africa to Japan-from the 5th century through to today.
If you want someone to feel warm, you dress them in a warm color and put a warm light on them and you get the picture. Sometimes, all that needs pushing a little bit to...
I grew up in a small town in Washington State, so I wasn’t really aware of costume design as a career growing up, but I loved clothes. I remember I saved all my money, and...
I don’t design my own clothes. It’s so not what I think about.
When I do period work, I really like to read about the period as much as I like to look at pictures because sometimes the written word is much better at conveying what their lives...
Costumes are the first impression that you have of the character before they open their mouth-it really does establish who they are.
As for futuristic costumes, I loved doing ‘Gattaca’ because I’m a minimalist at heart, and it’s a very minimal film. Plus, with Uma Thurman, Ethan Hawke and Jude Law, how could you go wrong?
Sometimes a contemporary film like Silence of the Lambs is difficult. To make it look real but interesting is always a challenge.
It’s great fun that my grandkids get to see the costumes in ‘Alice in Wonderland’ or a doll with grandma’s dress, but then they also let me know they’re bummed I didn’t do any of...
I grew up in the age of polyester. When I got to touch real silk, cotton and velvet, the feel of nonsynthetic fabrics blew me away. I know it’s important how clothing looks, but it’s...
I get more distracted by hair or a really bad wig than I do costumes any day of the week.
For contemporary fashion, I’m a huge fan of so many of the people out there. I think Azzedine Alaia holds up through three generations of very specific, beautiful design. I think Jean Paul Gaultier also...
I like the architecture of lingerie.
Each simian had a much different body suit, so besides trying to define class across species, there was a definite attempt to dress each group in different styles.
The exposure I have had to beautiful materials across the world, from Japan to Italy, enables me to pull design ideas together. This, combined with years of historical research, has created a great fountain of...
I have watched ‘Project Runway,’ but I’m not a devout watcher of it. But I think it’s a great show, what I’ve seen of it, and I think Tim Gunn is a very positive, amazing...
I had to work out that it was something that could move, without having everybody in spray painted leotards.
I worked in fashion, but I worked more in the sales side of fashion than in design. I was an assistant buyer for a department store back in the ’70s and the early years of...
The right costume determines the character, helps the actor feel who he is, and serves the story.
I always have a moment when I know I’m designing the last costume that gets made for a movie, and it’s always been floating up there, but it’s kind of the last one. That’s always...
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