How did you approach dressing the "Arrested Development" cast at the outset?
Mitch gave me pretty free range to explore things, which was really great. For the pilot, I remember him talking to me about the characters — which I like because my [costume] design is very character-driven. I like to ask: What kind of car would they drive? Where in L.A. would they live? What kind of people do they hang out with?
Were there any specific costume design requests?
When Mitch was talking about Michael Cera [who plays George Michael Bluth] for the pilot, he said, "I want him to wear Reyn Spooner shirts, the ones from the '70s" ... I did some research and ended up buying a ton of them from a vintage store. Mitch used to wear them when he was in high school, so there are parts of him in [each of] these characters.
Tell me about family matriarch Lucille Bluth. Is her look inspired by a real person?
I have a mother-in-law who is a real doll. She's a Southern belle who lives on Hilton Head Island in South Carolina. And when she comes to California, the thing she hates the most is that kids don't dress properly. First thing in the morning she's got her lipstick on, her jewelry — everything.
So it's a little bit her but more exaggerated and self-involved. I saw Lucille [played by
What was the biggest challenge in revisiting these characters and their wardrobes after so long?
Basically we had nothing. And since there are flashbacks to things like the final scene [of the final episode] on the boat, we had to duplicate some very specific pieces.
Were there any other specific pieces that had to be duplicated?
In the first couple of seasons, Gob Bluth [played by
Where did you shop — for both the original run and for the new episodes — to dress the dysfunctional family from Orange County?
Well, the stores have all changed.
What other changes have you noticed?
After I finished working on the second season ... I didn't set foot on another set until coming back to the same show seven years later. When I came back, everybody had their nose buried in an
The biggest difference for me is that it's easier now to get multiples of things. Before, I might have been able to get two shirts at Barneys and they could call a store in New York and maybe have one sent overnight, but now I can just order six at a time and they'll be here the next day. It's like Christmas! That was an amazing change.
The most iconic piece of apparel in the original series run has to be Tobias' "never nude" denim cutoffs. Where did you find those?
Mitch said, "Let's do some cutoffs for Tobias" [played by
So that's how he ended up wearing women's cutoff jeans from Neiman Marcus.