The “collaboration between the actors and the costume designer is where the magic happens,” costume designer Dana Covarrubias told POPSUGAR of her work, outfitting Steve Martin, Martin Short and Selena Gomez in the new comedy. Hulu’s murder mystery, Only the murders in the building. “There’s always a point in the fitting where you can see how your costumes help transform the actor into the character he becomes.” This is the role we see play on screen as we watch Selena as Mabel Mora, Steve Martin as Charles Haden-Savage, Martin Short as Oliver Putnam, wrapped up in looks carefully crafted by Dana – and rooted in the script. How she started dressing Selena as Mabel was guided by the clues there, she told us, âMy first influence is always the script. Mabel, Selena’s character, is scripted as a tough, pragmatic single woman alive. in New York, but that’s kinda all you know about her. ” This still leaves a lot of room to play with the looks of the characters and to build each of their respective identities with visual cues. âI thought about how I could reflect this mysterious element in each of the main character’s looks. What are these characters hiding or trying to project and how do they use their clothes to do it? Charles (Steve Martin) uses clothes as comfort, Oliver (Martin Short) uses the clothes as a performance, and Mabel, Selena’s character, uses her clothes as armor. “
With that in mind, Dana then moved on to the real world to flesh out the look: âAfter I glean all the information I can from the scripts, I take it to the streets. I go where Mabel, Selena’s character, would hang out ( in my mind it was Brooklyn and Downtown Manhattan) and I watch people. I try to look for unique combinations that I have never seen before. I try to find real people who are “Mabels” and recreate these looks with my shopping and shopping. âIn this way, Dana used both the written and carefully crafted identities of each of the characters to guide her while allowing those identities to grow and take shape, both in from what inspired her in the street and the inspiration that each actor brought. . In the case of Martin Short, the inspiration was quite specific: “[Martin Short’s] the character had to be flamboyant – a performer at heart – but also grounded and not too over the top. We decided that Oliver was obsessed with TimothÃ©e Chalamet – it’s something no one would ever notice or think about while watching the show, but just something that Marty and I came up with that we thought was hilarious and appropriate for his. character. We would hold each piece to the fitting and say ‘Hmmm. . . do you think Timothy would wear that? ‘”Now I can’t help but watch the show and ask myself the same question. In fact, as Dana shared the ideas behind the costumes and her craft, the show and her wardrobe takes on new meanings – like Mabel’s cultural connection to her collection of colorful coats.
Inside, Dana talks more about the importance of creating each of these onscreen identities, and the details of how she did it. Read on for our full interview.