The official costume designer of Netflix's The OA Part II shares her interests, inspiration and what makes her the unique person she is. She talks about the complexity of the main character (played by Megan Gray) and shares interesting details about the fashion side of the series.
Cover image credit: Netflix; Olivia Bee
Who are you, what do you do and how long have you been in the industry?
I am a Costume Designer and I have been in the TV and film industry for 14 years.
What is your creative process?
First I start with the story to figure out how can I develop the characters in a way that helps tell the story and the creative vision of the director. I read the script a couple of times and then quickly write down ideas general ideas I have for the main characters. I research the time period, the city/state the story takes place in, the people from that town and what the characters do for a living, etc. This is all before I talk with the director. Once I've spoken with the director about his/her vision, I can dive back in and continue my research. After I get an idea of the characters I can then proceed with designing their look.
How has your aesthetic developed over your career path?
I started my career in fashion PR and transitioned into the film industry. In my first three years in the film industry, I worked with Patricia Field and was surrounded by fashion and street style. Pat is queen of the high and low moments in fashion, and I was putting together unique looks under her umbrella. As I transitioned from working with Pat to working with other designers, I learned about fabrics, period films, etc.
As my career has developed over the years, so has my love for the characters and really being a part of the storytelling. I love the research process and putting my design aesthetic to use in developing the characters. In recent years, I have designed more made-to-order costumes and I like to challenge myself with using unconventional fabrics for a unique design.
What is your inspiration behind the costumes for The OA Part II?
Part II of The OA takes place in San Francisco so I dove into the world, the societies, the nightlife, and various groups in San Francisco and pulled from the city. Researching the city helped build the characters and tell their stories throughout the season. Tech companies, money, common daily life, street style and the San Francisco Bridge all played a part in the inspiration and development of the costumes, so I tried to incorporate those elements into the story of Part II. For Prairie/OA, I looked at a couple of specific high-society women and took cues from their upbringing, clean aesthetic and how they presented themselves not only to society but also to their peers. In complete contrast to Prairie/OA, I needed to build the everyday person in San Francisco, but like the people of San Francisco I wanted unique personal style to come through in each character. This season is a very exciting transition!
What interesting elements or details can we expect to see inThe OA Part II?
The audience will be blown away by Prairie’s transition. Without giving too many details away Prairie/OA transforms into a character who loves and knows fashion, luxe fabrics and high society. Developing the OA for Part II brought me back to my fashion days and I loved every minute of it.
The OA Part II launches on Netflix on 22 March 2019