2021 Emmys Roundtable – Outstanding Contemporary Costumes

Spencer: Hey Team! Thank you so much for being here. There is SO much excellent costume design in the Outstanding Contemporary Costumes category this year. I honestly have no idea which way the award will go; everyone here is so deserving! Before I start blabbing on, let’s go around and talk about your favorites and why! Let’s start with Jada!

Jada: Hi everybody! I’m so excited to be here. I agree; despite the obstacles faced this past year, contemporary costume design has flourished! I’m not sure who’s going to win either, but there were so many that caught my eye. 

One of my favorites would be bBlack-ish! I love this show and have always resonated with the costumes because they are so colorful and lively, similar to my personal style. I’m also a huge pop culture fan, and costume designer Michelle Cole does a great job portraying those references in her work!  

I also adored Analucia McGorty’s work on Pose. Similar to black-ish, the costumes are exuberant. They tell a story and are full of character and personality. From angel wings and roses to fringes and feathers, it’s impossible not to love them! 

Euphoria is excellent as always. Heidi Bivens captures Gen Z perfectly and manages to stay on top of trends and set new ones simultaneously. 

And lastly, The Politician stood out to me because of its unique take on business-wear. Business attire in the political climate can be monotonous, but Claire Parkinson introduced pastels, neons, and bold patterns.   

Spencer: Jada, you and I tend to favorite the same shows and today was no exception. Now I would love to hear from Candice. You are quite a fan of contemporary costuming! What were some of your favorites this year?

Candice: I am excited about this category because they are all great and different. Michelle Cole is brilliant, and I still stand by what I said last year; I wish I were as cool as her and the characters she designs. I  also loved The Politician and how their costumes and the evolution from season 1 to 2.  

Hacks was also great. I loved the patterns, sparkle, and Kathleen Felix-Hager’s take on luxury leisure. The costumes throughout could have easily stolen the scenes, but instead, they added additional layers to the character Deborah, played by Jean Smart

I would say, though, that I am particularly excited about Meghan Kasperlik’s costumes in Mare of Easttown (which also stars Jean Smart). I think costumes in shows like Mare of Easttown are often overlooked when it comes to awards for costumes.

Spencer: All brilliant choices!  I have to say, this is such a strong category. I have so many favorites. Quite difficult, really! However, I am a big fan of Analucia McGorty and her work on Pose. Pose was such a monumental, groundbreaking show and Analucia understood the assignment. Every costume was so detailed and fully realized. She brought the 80’s/90s ballroom scene to life, giving this story such color and vibrancy – while also delivering on a very important message that ever human on Earth should hear.

At the same time, I just love Michelle Cole. Her work on black-ish has been remarkable, and the episode “Our Wedding Dre” was just so beautiful. I would love to see her take the Emmy! It’s long overdue!

A surprise to me was Mare of Easttown. At first sight, the costumes might seem a bit drab. But once I started to watch the show, I realized how brilliant a storyteller costume designer Meghan Kasperlik was. She brought such a feeling of authenticity to these characters and this setting. I was so impressed and it reminded how much power contemporary costume design really has in terms of storytelling. Brilliant work!

Spencer: Thank you both for joining me. Before you leave, any tv show recommendations?

Jada: Thank you for having us. I enjoyed this discussion! On top of these brilliant shows, there are a few I’d love to share. If you’re into drama, I’d recommend watching A Million Little Things, This Is Us, and Rebel. A Million Little Things is incredibly heartwarming as it follows a group of friends while they deal with life after losing their friend. This Is Us is beautifully written and it centers around the Pearson family as they deal with the loss of their father.  And Rebel, even though it was unfortunately canceled, served as a symbol of women’s empowerment and inspired so many people, including me, to stand up for others and fight for justice. 

Of course, if you like romance and/or reality television, I highly suggest watching the Bachelor Franchise, including The Bachelor, The Bachelorette, and the Bachelor in Paradise. They’re all filled with drama, never-ending surprises, and unforgettable moments. And you can join Bachelor Nation on Twitter as we share memes and tweet all night long when the episodes air!

Candice: I agree with Jada; I loved the Rebel. I watched too much TV and could probably talk for hours about recommendations, but Cruel Summer was a stand out. Costume Designer Taneia Lednicky’s 90s costumes were terrific. The story covers three different summers and how the characters changed from 93, 94, and 95. Those transitions appear effortless in every episode. 

While I am still upset that The Bold Type completed its final season, I recommend it for anyone who hasn’t watched. However, I couldn’t imagine a more perfect Costume Designer, Mandi Line, to complete the final season. I am also a huge fan of Salvador Perez, so season 2 of Never Have I Ever is also on my recommendation list. 

Spencer: Well Ill be honest, my favorite show right now is Naked and Afraid XL… so I guess there aren’t a lot of costumes. Thank you all for joining me!

Vote For Your Favorite Contemporary Costumes Below!

Interview with Mare of Easttown Costume Designer Meghan Kasperlik

When it comes to contemporary costume design, people quickly think of a business consisting of nothing but shopping and pulling together rolling racks of clothes from everyday stores. While these elements are, of course, a part of the process, contemporary costume design has every motive to be a strong proponent of storytelling. The HBO limited series Mare of Easttown with costumes designed by 2021 Emmy-Nominee Meghan Kasperlik is proof of the vast potential of storytelling through contemporary costume design. I had the chance to dive into the process of costuming Easttown in a interview with Mare of Easttown costume designer Meghan Kasperlik – now live on The Art of Costume Blogcast.

Featured Image: Kate Winslet as Detective Mare Sheehan – Photo Credit: Michele K. Short /HBO

“This one is extra special to me because I am really excited that people are seeing the storytelling of costume, and it’s not just about having a fashion moment in a contemporary costume. It’s actually the authenticity of the characters and costumes that really elevated the storytelling. It’s really exciting that people recognize that!”

Meghan Kasperlik – The Art of Costume Blogcast
Kate Winslet and Jean Smart in Mare of Easttown – Photo Credit: Sarah Shatz / HBO

The costumes seen in Mare of Easttown are rightfully gaining a lot of praise for their authenticity and loyalty to the genuine natures of small-town Pennsylvania. While these costumes are nominated within the Outstanding Contemporary Costumes, they still have the transportive energy of any period or fantasy costume. Any lover of costume and fashion would see the dedication and thought costume designer Meghan Kasperlik put into each costume. It was evident Meghan took many traits of these characters into consideration, such as who these characters are, their jobs, and their roles in this town each day.

“It was very important that all of the costumes really looked authentic, and that they looked lived in, and that maybe this person picked it off the floor and smelled it and thought, “Oh, it’s fine today, I can wear it one more time!” Meghan continues to say, “This specific show was really meant to be, who are these characters, what happens in a day to these people, and they don’t change their clothes. It was really about how lived in we can make these characters.”

Meghan Kasperlik – The Art of Costume Blogcast

Part of Meghan Kasperlik’s research process included visiting a Wawa, a convenience store and gas station commonly located along the East Coast of the United States. She observed locals and noted what they were wearing, what they brought with them, what they bought, and how they bought it.

Julianne Nicholson as Lori Ross – Photo Credit: Michele K. Short / HBO

Then, of course, it came down to the ultimate task, costuming the main character of the series, Mare Sheehan. The brilliant Kate Winslet played Mare. One might ask, how can you go about transforming one of the most famous, well-loved actresses on the planet, known for their beauty and charismatic energy.  Fortunately for Meghan, Kate was all in when it came to the transformation, accepting the wig, laying in eyebrows, and of course, Mare’s wardrobe. 

Everything about Mare’s wardrobe was intentional, from the muted colors to the layers of clothes Mare hid under. It was imperative to Meghan that Mare’s wardrobe portrayed “a woman who would maybe buy new clothes when she felt it was necessary, but otherwise it would be a jeans and a t-shirt situation.” Mare often wore a Filson jacket, which Meghan referred to as Mare’s “suit of armor.” Adamant that Mare would never be seen with a handbag, Meghan designed Mare’s wardrobe to be about layering. 

Kate Winslet as Detective Mare Sheehan – Photo Credit: Michele K. Short /HBO

The attention to detail by Meghan Kasperlik and her crew was beyond impressive. I loved the color palettes, aging and dying, the layering, and of course, the use of graphic tees and local band t-shirts. We talked about the authenticity of the costuming, designing Mare’s wardrobe, and the costumes for some of our favorite characters such as  Detective Colin Zabel, Siobhan Sheehan, and of course Helen Fahey, played by Jean Smart! What is not to love? I could talk about Meghan Kasperlik and costuming Easttown forever, but why listen to me when you could just hear from the designer herself? Fortunately, Meghan joined me on a special bonus episode of The Art of Costume Blogcast.

For the full interview with Mare of Easttown costume designer Meghan Kasperlik – Listen below or head to Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you like to listen!

The 2021 Emmy Nominations – Outstanding Costumes

I am so beyond excited to share with you all the complete 2021 Emmy Nominations – Outstanding Costumes list. There is so much talent within this list, including many great friends of The Art of Costume! Congratulations to all of the talented costume designers, assistant costume designers, costume supervisors, and the countless crewmembers worldwide that helped bring these brilliant projects come to life.

Tune in Sunday, September 19 for the 73rd Emmy Awards hosted by Cedric the Entertainer on CBS and Paramount+.


2021 Emmy Nominations – Outstanding Costumes

Outstanding Fantasy/Sci-Fi Costumes

The Handmaid’s Tale • Nightshade • Hulu • Hulu, MGM, Daniel Wilson Productions, The Littlefield Company, White Oak
Pictures

Debra Hanson, Costume Designer
Jane Flanders, Costume Supervisor
Darci Cheyne, Assistant Costume Designer

Lovecraft Country • I Am. • HBO • HBO in association with afemme, Monkeypaw, Bad Robot, and Warner Bros. Television

Dayna Pink, Costume Designer
Zachary Sheets, Costume Supervisor
Terry Anderson, Assistant Costume Designer

The Mandalorian • Chapter 13: The Jedi • Disney+ • Lucasfilm Ltd.

Shawna Trpcic, Costume Designer
Julie Robar, Costume Supervisor
Sara Fox, Assistant Costume Designer

The Umbrella Academy • The Frankel Footage • Netflix • UCP for Netflix

Christopher Hargadon, Costume Designer
Heather Crepp, Assistant Costume Designer William Ng, Assistant Costume Designer
Jane Fieber, Costume Supervisor

WandaVision • Filmed Before A Live Studio Audience • Disney+ • Marvel Studios

Mayes C. Rubeo, Costume Designer
Joseph Feltus, Assistant Costume Designer
Daniel Selon, Assistant Costume Designer
Virginia Burton, Costume Supervisor

Outstanding Contemporary Costumes

black-ish • Our Wedding Dre • ABC • ABC Signature

Michelle R. Cole, Costume Designer
Juliann M. Smith DeVito, Costume Supervisor

Euphoria • F**k Anyone Who’s Not A Sea Blob • HBO • HBO in association with Reasonable Bunch, A24, Little Lamb, Dreamcrew, ADD Content Agency | HOT | Tedy Productions

Heidi Bivens, Costume Designer
Devon Patterson, Costume Supervisor
Angelina Vitto, Assistant Costume Designer

Hacks • There Is No Line (Pilot) • HBO Max • Universal Television in association with Paulilu, First Thought Productions,
Fremulon Productions, 3 Arts Entertainment

Kathleen Felix-Hager, Costume Designer
Karen Bellamy, Costume Supervisor

I May Destroy You • Social Media Is A Great Way To Connect • HBO • HBO in association with BBC, Various Artists Limited, FALKNA

Lynsey Moore, Costume Designer
Rosie Lack, Assistant Costume Designer
Debbie Roberts, Costume Supervisor

Mare Of Easttown • Miss Lady Hawk Herself • HBO • HBO in association with wiip Studios, The Low Dweller Productions,
Juggle Productions, Mayhem and Zobot Projects

Meghan Kasperlik, Costume Designer
Francisco Stoll, Costume Supervisor
Taylor Smith, Costume Supervisor
Laura Downing, Costume Supervisor
Jennifer Hryniw, Assistant Costume Designer

The Politician • New York State Of Mind • Netflix • A Fox21 Television Studios Production for Netflix

Claire Parkinson, Costume Designer
Lily Parkinson, Assistant Costume Designer
James Hammer, Assistant Costume Designer
Laura Steinmann, Costume Supervisor

Pose • Series Finale • FX Networks • FX Productions in association with 20th Century Television

Analucia McGorty, Costume Designer
Michelle Roy, Assistant Costume Designer
Linda Giammarese, Costume Supervisor

Bridgerton • Diamond Of The First Water • Netflix • A Netflix Original Series in association with shondalandmedia

Ellen Mirojnick, Costume Designer
John W. Glaser III, Costume Designer
Sanaz Missaghian, Costume Supervisor
Kenny Crouch, Costume Supervisor

The Crown • Terra Nullius • Netflix • Left Bank Pictures in association with Sony Pictures Television for Netflix

Amy Roberts, Costume Designer
Sidonie Roberts, Assistant Costume Designer
Giles Gale, Costume Supervisor

Halston • Versailles • Netflix • A Netflix Original Series

Jeriana San Juan, Costume Designer
Catherine Crabtree, Assistant Costume Designer
Cailey Breneman, Assistant Costume Designer
Anne Newton-Harding, Costume Supervisor


The Queen’s Gambit • End Game • Netflix • Netflix

Gabriele Binder, Costume Designer
Gina Krauss, Assistant Costume Designer
Katrin Hoffmann, Assistant Costume Designer
Nanrose Buchmann, Assistant Costume Designer
Sparka Lee Hall, Costume Supervisor

Ratched • Pilot • Netflix • A Fox21 Television Studios Production for Netflix

Lou Eyrich, Costume Designer
Rebecca Guzzi, Costume Designer
Allison Agler, Assistant Costume Designer
Betsy Glick, Costume Supervisor