Lucifer revolves around the story of Lucifer Morningstar (Tom Ellis), the DC Universe’s version of the Devil, who abandons Hell for Los Angeles where he runs his own nightclub named Lux and becomes a consultant to the Los Angeles Police Department.
I was honored with the opportunity to speak with the costume designer who designed the last few seasons of the show, Agata Maszkiewicz. In this interview, we talk about Agata’s early beginnings, dressing Lucifer Morningstar, the iconic wedding scene from the final season, and some favorite costumes from the show!
Spencer: Thank you so much for joining me. I’ve been looking forward to talking to you. I love Lucifer, and I loved your work on it.
Agata: Thank you. It’s nice to be here. I’m always surprised how many people love that show from all walks of life.
Spencer: These costumes are super fun. I could ask you about every single costume if we had the time. For every first-time interview, I love to turn back time a little and ask about your journey to becoming a costume designer, the overall story of Agata.
Agata: Sure! I grew up in Poland towards the end of the communist times. So, I hadn’t an idea that costume design was even a job.
I always loved clothes, but it just seemed so abstract. So I went to high school for arts. I studied graphics and one of my teachers said I might have to have to find a different career. “You’re not going to make an artist.” *laughs* But I did learn a lot of things that became quite handy later on. It was a broad program. There was painting, drawing, sculpture, and photography. It gave me a good background.
In the meantime, my dad traveled a lot and ended up in New York for about four years and then moved to Los Angeles. He asked me, why don’t I study fashion in Los Angeles? I just thought… okay, you can do that? Turns out you can! I asked him to please send me the paperwork for FIDM (Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising) in Los Angeles.
Spencer: Wait! You went to FIDM?
Spencer: Oh, no way! I won’t include this in the article but I work with FIDM and also studied fashion design there. We are both alums!
Agata: Oh, no we have to talk about FIDM now!One of the things that FIDM does is their annual costume exhibits in the FIDM Museum. They showcase costumes from many films and television shows from throughout the year. For somebody who loves costumes, it’s just such a wonderful thing to see. Because you get to watch the movie, then you get to see it up close in real life.
It was a wonderful, learning process for me. I remember going to see costumes and thinking, “thats how they did it! ”. Sometimes you’re surprised because you think everything is done a certain way. You get to observe the costumes yourself and see that certain things read completely different in real life versus when they are on camera. So that was then a light bulb went off!
I liked this so much better than fashion design. I finished the regular fashion program and then went into the FIDM Debut program where you get to do a fashion show in the end. But by the end of that, I was completely changed and knew I wanted to try costumes.
FIDM has a placement program, helping students get internships and my first one was on on How Stella Got Her Groove Back. So I met Ruth Carter, who is amazing.
Spencer: Oh wow that’s amazing.
Agata: She was so kind and sweet and I was a kid, but she was so patient. She looked at my drawings and showed me how it’s done. Ruth was running, she was busy. But she gave me her time and I’ll never forget it. That was the kindest thing anyone had ever done for me in costume. I was hooked.
Spencer: Oh, I love this story so much. It’s funny, our stories almost run in same paths. I feel like so much of what I do now originated in the FIDM Museum. That museum sparked so much of that love for costume within me as it did for you.
Let’s fast forward now to Lucifer, today’s topic at hand. You took on Lucifer at a pivotal moment for the show as it was being taken over by Netflix. What was that experience like? Were you nervous? Were you excited? Those emotions must have been interesting?
Agata: I’d never done something like taking over a show that was so thoroughly developed. But as you said, it was a moment when change was happening. Moving to Netflix, changed the show a little. There was a slightly different format. The seasons are shorter, and you sort of had more freedom. It felt. So I feel like I used that freedom! *laughs*
Spencer: You were creating looks for angelic and demonic characters. What sort of inspirations were you taking in?
Agata: Yeah, they are sort of the celestial creatures. First thing, I looked at a lot of Medieval and Renaissance paintings. I feel we all have a collective idea of what an angel and demon is. That comes from a lot of paintings.
I wanted a specific look, not just of vague idea. From there, I looked at a lot of different armor from very different eras. There’s some samurai influences, some ancient armor. I had to figure out how to marry that all together.
Spencer: I certainly saw those influences, yet I find it funny because this all takes place in modern-day Los Angeles.
Lets talk about some specific characters. We have to start by talking about the main character of the show. Lucifer Morningstar, played by Tom Ellis. He knows how to wear a suit and tuxedo. Walk me through the process of dressing your lead actor if you would?
Agata: Yeah! His suits were made by a suit maker in Los Angeles called Di Stefano. They made his suits in Italy so we had them ordered at the beginning of the season. They would get shipped to us, and we picked the fabrics. Then we had some made in Los Angeles if we had a shorter timeline. I tailored here. Then on special occasion, we made him some tuxedos. I don’t know who doesn’t love him in a nice tuxedo.
Spencer: Right. He looks soooo good in a tuxedo.
Agata: Tom is so dreamy, and he’s the nicest person, very easy going. It was just such a pleasure. I loved it. Tom is usually game for anything. But Lucifer does have a look. Take the wedding for example, he wears this beautiful burgundy tuxedo jacket and that’s one we actually made. I was looking all over town around Christmas time. So I just kept thinking there had to be a perfect burgundy. I had such a hard time finding it. It had to have a certain weight. I finally went to this drapery fabric store… so Lucifer is basically wearing curtains and looking good doing it.
Spencer: *laughs* Brilliant. Did you and Tom have a strong collaboration? Did he have input on the costumes?
Agata: Yes, definitely. It was always such a pleasure. It was more like coming over for a chat! There’s that fairly short scene where he wears a fully white tuxedo. It was so fun when he’s God towards the end of the sixth season. He is wearing white Birkenstocks, which was his idea actually.
Spencer: I love that, so much. I love a comfortable Birkenstock.
Agata: If anybody looks closely, there’s Tom and his beautiful white tuxedo and white Birkenstocks.
Spencer: One thing we talk a lot about at The Art of Costume is the idea of storytelling through costume design. Did you feel like the costumes helped evolve the characters throughout your three seasons? Was there a particular journey felt like you were trying to convey through costuming?
Agata: Yes. Different characters have different journeys. I feel like the character who had the most change was Maze (played by Lesley-Ann Brandt). She went from being a soul-less demon to being someone deeply in love. love dressing that character. There were a lot of fun costumes there.
Spencer: So let’s talk about some favorite looks of mine, which really were worn by Maze since you brought her up. The first one came from the season five finale. This costume is so cool, but then there’s so much great costuming happening all around.
Agata: Maze’s costume was made from scratch. She stood there for quite a long time. I feel it was a couple of hours and I was just painting the leather on her. She was very patient and she’s very committed to her costumes. That’s not always the case. This is basically leather spandex on her and then a wonderful seamstress in the Warner Brothers tailor room put it together.
That was fun. This happened right when COVID was happening, we were supposed to shoot scene in February, but we ended up not doing it until September. There were originally way more people. We did fittings for weeks. Then it got scaled down quite a bit.
But Maze started pretty much wearing black all the time. Then in small doses, we were adding color, mostly red, representing that fiery warrior.
Spencer: For lack of a better word, it was pretty bad ass. Another episode I want to talk about, which also happens to be a Maze centered episode. I would love to talk about Maze and Eve’s wedding looks from episode seven of the final season. I’m obsessed. I couldn’t take my eyes off of it. That black gown that Mazes wears… sheesh!
Agata: When designing a wedding for a television show, it’s a completely different game. With wedding dresses, everybody knows you’re ordering months in advance and unfortunately, we didn’t have that much time.
But we were lucky. There’s this amazing designer, Gelerah, that Lesley-Ann and I were talking about for the wedding. We were throwing around some ideas and I was showing her some things. But we were just looking, and she’s like, “this is pretty great isn’t it?” My assistant reached out to them and they made the dress. We just added the arm pieces from Etsy, I believe somebody in Germany made them. It was the simplest thing, we just sent measurements and address. Perfect.
Spencer: Wow, it rarely works out that easily.
Agata: I got so lucky. Then when we were designing Eve’s dress, we wanted it to be the complete opposite to what Maze was going wear.
Spencer: Right. It couldn’t be more different.
Agata: Yeah, there’s this beautiful Renaissance painting, Spring by Botticelli. I remember sending it to Inbar Lavi and she’s like, “my God. Yes. I think that’s it.” So that’s what the dress is inspired by.
Spencer: I love that.
Agata: We bought a dress on Etsy and they sold us some extra fabric. So the bustier is from a dress from Etsy. Then we remade the skirt. It worked out well!
Spencer: Well, it came out looking like a dream. Quite the fairytale! I want to to talk about one more look. This look is a testament to the range and freedom you had. Let’s talk about Maze and this pink anime-inspired outfit. It was so startling to see Maze in pink! Walk me through the inspiration for this.
Agata: Well, that’s a funny moment because she gets called back on her wedding night to a emergency meeting. She runs over from whatever she was doing with Eve to the penthouse. So I was talking with Lesley-Ann and we were thinking about what would that be? You know, her wardrobe is pretty out there, she goes to Starbucks pretty much wearing chains.
Spencer: *laughs* Right.
Agata: We had to think where to go from the dark, chains side of Maze for her wedding night outfit. I think it was also Lesley-Ann’s idea to go completely opposite. We got some fabrics, and we started putting it together. The belt is a necklace with a little cat necklace. This lovely tailor from Warner Brothers made the big tutu. It took hours to make, there were so many layers. There was so much pink! It cracks me up every time I see it. I kept a belt, by the way. I still have it.
Spencer: Of course. How could you have not? My last question, was there a particular episode or design you created overtime on the show that might be one of your favorites? I know that’s kind of a tricky question.
Agata: Actually yes. Season 5, Episode 4, “It Never Ends Well For The Chicken”… the Noir episode. It’s all in black and white. That was so much fun. It’s so much work, but so much fun. My assistant and I, we were just putting things together, then photographed things in black and white. It was so fun to see how everything looked and creating this 1940’s Los Angeles.
Spencer: Wow. You, really got to do a lot of fun, different things with these final seasons!
Agata: Oh, yeah. I feel like it wasn’t just me. It was everybody on the show. There were less episodes but more freedom. I don’t know who told the writers that they can do whatever they want, but they did. It was really fun and I do miss it. I miss that show. There are certain projects, certain characters…
Spencer: Right. It was a special one. With that, what kind of exciting things might we see you working on in the future?
Agata: I’m starting a project pretty soon actually. It’s called National Treasure.
Spencer: Oh no big, just a little something called National Treasure!
Agata: Yeah. I feel like this will be pretty fun!
Spencer: That’s amazing. I’m excited about that and I can’t wait to hear all about it. It’s a new chapter. New inspirations. New research. I’m excited for you.
Agata: Yeah, me too. We will see how we see how it goes. I like studying new things. Sometimes I just think, is this even really work? Because I really love what I do. Ooh, there’s going to be a whole new room full of stuff.
Spencer: Agata, thank you so much for talking with me. I’m so excited for you. I loved talking about Lucifer, and I hope to have you back soon!
Agata: That would be fun! Let’s do it.