Behind ‘90210’s’ SoCal style: Costume designer Frank Helmer reveals the secrets of his trade


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This season, “90210” decided to celebrate its Southern California locale by making over everything from the sets to the stars.

“Our manifesto was to make our show the representation of Southern California style,” explains Frank Helmer, “90210’s” costume designer.


“It’s not just pulling whatever the latest fashion page is and putting it on the screen, although that’s part of it. It’s also interpreting it for each of the characters, which is the main thing I do as a costume designer.”

Click on the photo (above) to see a gallery of Helmer’s most winning looks this season.

Before joining “90210,” Helmer made a name for himself styling popular teen films like “Epic Movie,” “D.E.B.S.,” and “Herbie Fully Loaded,” starring Lindsay Lohan. When he was presented with the challenge of applying his talents to TV and amping up the look of West Bev’s most popular students (especially in the face of comparisons to “Gossip Girl’s” edgy NYC style), Helmer jumped at it.

“We don’t want to be copying anybody else,” says Helmer. “It’s so great to have that freedom to actually build these characters, both aesthetically and story-wise. I go out there. I’m out and about. I live on the Eastside. I work on the Westside. I base my looks on real girls, and that’s what’s really exciting about it. It is translating Southern California to the screen for the world to see. It’s super exciting.”

-- Jethro Nededog


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