We are huge fans of the TV show Ghost Whisperer(we are a bit Dark …), so we were thrilled to meet costume designer Dorothy Amos and to dedicate to her this episode of ”Making the Costumes” docu-series.
Dorothy told us about the love for textiles and colors and shapes and forms that she has always had and how natural it was for her to become a costume designer.
She also told us everything about the costumes she designed for Ghost Whispererand the evolution of the character of Melinda Gordon, played by Jennifer Love Hewitt: the production wanted to change her as the show went on, they wanted her to be more fashion, more glamorous.
So they approached Dorothy Amos, and she just answered “OK, how fun that would be?”
But the most fun was working on ghosts, because she loves distressing a lot.
This episode was filmed at the United American Costume House in Los Angeles, a costume house founded in 1977 by Luster Bayless, the legendary costume designer and John Wayne’s personal costumer.
And we were lucky enough to meet him during the shooting.
In this episode of ”Making the Costumes” docu-series we met Ami Goodheart in her colorful home in Downtown Los Angeles, a house that perfectly reflects Amy’s personality and style: she is known for her powerful use of color, surrealism and innovation.
Characteristics that have attracted the attention of Koichi Iguchi, the director of Momotaro, the fantasy Pepsi Japan commercial starring Jude Law, the most awarded commercial campaign in Japan’s history.
The costumes designed by Ami were awarded in 2017 with the Costume Designers Guild award for “Excellence in Costume Design: Short Form”.
In this episode Ami tells us that she has always been an artist, at 4 she made her own doll with thread and needle.
She talks about her love for fashion – born and raised on the pages of Vogue Italy – and for vintage clothes, which led her to open a successful Vintage Clothing store in Manhattan’s East Village at the age of 18.
And how then she moved into costume design, kicking off a career full of successes and major collaborations, such as the one with Lady Gaga and Justine Timberlake.
The best thing about her job?
Not knowing what’s coming next it’s an adventure.
She is behind the precious textiles of costumes-art works such as those visionary of The Cell, or the blaze of gold and colors of The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor‘s costumes. We are talking about Francine Lecoultre, multimedia textile artist who works miracles.
Everything is possible in Hollywood.
And Francine Lecoultre knows it very well. Because Hollywood ask her for “miracles”. That she works without blinking an eye.
And we saw and touched with our hands those “miracles” in her beautiful studio in The Brewery Artist Lofts complex in Los Angeles, one of the oldest and largest artist colonies in the world.
Francine Lecoultre is a costume designer. But not only. She is also a textile artist, creating exclusive specialty fabrics for movie and theatrical productions around the world. And with her visionary eye and her deep knowledge of multimedia techniques (as the 3D printing), she is one of the most requested in Hollywood.
She worked alongside legendary costume designers: with Eiko Ishioka in The Cell, with Sanja Hays in The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor, with Mona May in The HuntedMansion, with Beatriz Aruna Pasztor in Aeon Flux, with Marlene Stewart in Night at theMuseum: Secret of the Tomb, with Jany Temime in Passengers, just to name a few.
Her fabrics are in the most popular TV shows: Westworld, American Horror Story, Shameless, Blackish.
Right now she is committed to creating her “miracles” for the highly anticipated sequel of Coming to America, working alongside another legendary costume designer: the Oscar winner Ruth Carter.
THE ROLE OF A COSTUME DESIGNER IS TO TRANSPORT THE CHARACTERS FROM THE SCRIPT INTO REALITY THROUGH A SOCIO-PSYCOLOGICAL STUDY; WHO THEY ARE? WHERE THEY COME FROM? WHAT DO THEY DO?
BUT WHAT HAPPENS WHEN THE CHARACTERS ARE… ZOMBIES?
JO KATSARAS, COSTUME DESIGNER OF “FEAR THE WALKING DEAD”, IN THIS EPISODE OF “MAKING THE COSTUMES” DOCU-SERIES EXPLAINS US HOW SHE MANAGED TO WORK WITH THE WALKING DEADS… AND NOT ONLY.
Jo Katsaras was creative from a very young age: as a child, she would put all her friends down on a piece of fabric and cut around them.
Her natural talent and her travel-bug lead her to study fashion at the Leggatts Fashion Academy and, after getting her certificate, to work in fashion as fashion designer and personal stylist.
A call changed everything, as she says: “A teacher from the high school called me and told “would you like to do a commercial?”. I absolutely loved it and I’ve never looked back”.
Jo created the costumes for many tv shows, movies, commercial and music videos. Her credits include “Country of My Skull” (2004), starring Samuel L. Jackson and Juliette Binoche; “Racing Stripes” (2005) with Snoop Dogg e Hayden Panettiere; “The Borrowers” (2011) with Stephen Fry; “Mary & Martha” (2013) with Hilary Swank and Sam Claflin; “Half a Yellow Sun” (2013) starring Chiwetel Eijifor and Thandie Newton.
In 2007 Jo Katsaras worked with the Oscar winner director Anthony Minghella on the HBO and BBC tv series “The N. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency” starring David Oyelowa and Idris Elba: for the pilot, she was nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Costumes for a Series at the 61st Emmys and for the Costume Designer’s Guild of America for Outstanding Contemporary Costumes.
In 2015 she created the costumes for HBO’s “The Leftovers” starring Liv Tyler and Justin Theroux, directed by Mimi Leder and, at present, she’s on the seto of AMC’s “Fear The Walking Dead”.
This time we peeked in the wardrobe trailer of Transparent, where we met the costume designer Marie Schley: she told us how she created the costumes for this Amazon Prime tv series, thanks to which she won an Emmy for the Best Contemporary Custom Design in 2015.
Marie began her career in television collaborating with Debra McGuire for Friends; then she teamed up with Jill Soloway designing the costumes for the indie movie AfternoonDelight (which won best director at Sundance 2013) and for the seasons 1 and 2 of Transparent. Her most recent works are with Larry Charles for The Comedians (an FX comedy series with Billy Crystal and Josh Gad) and for the new Amazon Prime production, I Love Dick, with Kevin Bacon.
The first episode of “MAKING THE COSTUMES” DOCU-SERIES is dedicated to Salvador Perez, known for his work in popular TV series like Veronica Mars and The Mindy Project and in big movie productions like Men of Honor and the Pitch Perfect franchise. He is the president of the Costume Designers Guild, the worldwide professional association based in Los Angeles. We had a chat with Salvador Perez in his beautiful LA home: he talked to us about his work, his inspirations, his love for fashion and how he created unforgettable characters like Mindy Kaling and the Bellas.
The second episode of “MAKING THE COSTUMES” DOCU-SERIES is dedicated to Chrisi Karvonides, known for her work in popular TV series like American Horror Story.