Nothing is as it seems... certainly not stage with The Illusionists when they perform at the Palace Theatre on Broadway. This is the theatre where Houdini performed in the early half of the 20th century, and his descendants are still making him proud. There is magic in the costumes too. Not only do they have to look the period, they also have play the part. Who knows what a magician has up his sleeve? Nothing, if the designer doesnt have plenty of tricks up her own sleeve!
Photographer Jose Pepe Leon
It’s always the dream to get involved in something big while it’s still just an idea. Circus 1903 is being performed all over the world, but it started out as a concept shoot where the only boundaries were our imagination. An original location, period props, great performers all help costumes come alive.
Creating costumes for a period circus was a dream I had never even imagined could come true...and so much work I thought I would never get a night’s sleep again! It was a year from concept to construction to creation and completion. It was a process of historical research, mood boards, fabric testing and world wide fabric sourcing, overseeing custom built costumes in many states and several countries followed by fittings and rehearsals. More than 60 unique costumes were created and I cannot more proud to be a part of such a beautiful show.
This was originally supposed to be a simple two day styling job in Las Vegas, and it turned into an odyssey that has appeared in front of thousands all around the world. The Illusionists was the first show to bring grand theatrical magic back to Broadway, London’s West End and the Sydney Opera House in Australia. A big show requires big costumes, for the principals, their assistants, the dancers and even the band. Each cast member has a totally unique look and a bespoke costume to match their individual talents, and as the cast has changed, so have their costumes.
The show has been playing to packed houses for more than seven years now and I’m still supporting and creating for every iteration of this highly successful show.
Experience shows that circus can be the greatest challenge to a costume designer. Not only do you have to make costumes that are beautiful on stage, they have to be beautiful all the way to the back rows, they have to be beautiful in every spectrum of lights, they have to be able to move with the performers and they have to last for thousands of shows. Thankfully six years on, the sequins are still on, and Le Noir is still on stage pleasing audiences everywhere it goes.
Directed by Jesse Dylan
Jason Schwartzman celebrates John Baldesarri for Art Week LA. This assignment was a great experience all around. It was a fun enviornment to work in and the talent kept us in stitches all night.
A short film directed by Albert Uria
A charming short film about realizing that in this life it's Now or Never. With more than 50 festival selections and 5 awards, one going out to Zebedee Row, this project lives up to its promise.
Working in New York is always intense but a lot of fun, especially when limited in time and budget. Many of the cast were senior citizens acting professionals and unusually, we were invited into their homes for the fittings. It made me realize how every day and every person is different in styling and nothing should be taken for granted. It also left me with a tip for all my fellow professionals: No matter how great the giant, unwieldy hot dog costume is...don’t drag it from LA to New York on the plane, send it UPS.
Directed by Stephen Stickler
A Fox Searchlab project inspired by true-life events shot throughout East Los Angeles. The most special thing for me about this project is that I was brought into the circle and educated by cholos in the styling hallmarks of Latino street style in LA. In a lesson for all stylists, they too know it’s not just what you wear, but how you wear it. For them it's all in the nuances of how things fit, how things are pressed, and how items are paired together that set the style. Working on Chuco was definitely a project to remember and even more so now that director Stephen Stickler is no longer with us.
Directed by John X Carey
Some projects are about transforming talent into larger than life characters with hair, make-up and costumes; with Brighter Yesterday it was the opposite. The assignment was to create an intimacy between the subject and the observer by working to make everything else disappear. Wardrobe that doesn't pull focus is an art form in and of itself.