Afraid of being alone during the holidays? Never fear, The Art of Costume Blogcast is here! In this week’s episode, Elizabeth and Spencer watch the Netflix original starring Emma Roberts, Holidate. Listen along as our cohosts talk about the festive costume design by Helen Huang, Sloane’s holiday wardrobe, and least favorite gifts. And yes… a majority of this episode is dedicated to Kristin Chenoweth, as it rightfully should be!
The Office: Holiday Special with Carey Bennett – S1.E21
The holiday season is here, and what better way to get into the holiday spirit than hanging out with Michael Scott and the rest of the Dunder Mifflin gang! That’s right, in this week’s special episode, our co-hosts are watching The Office. Specifically, Season 2 Episode 10, Christmas Party, and Season 3 Episodes 10 and 11, A Benihana Christmas. Costume designer for the first four seasons of The Office, Carey Bennett, joins the podcast to talk about her experience on the show and creating these classic holiday wardrobes! Stay tuned until the very end of the episode, where you will learn about an opportunity to score one of the famous garments seen within these episodes.
Things are about to get ‘spicy’ on The Art of Costume Blogcast as Elizabeth and Spencer face their biggest challenge yet – a one-way trip to Arrakis. In this week’s episode, our co-hosts dive into the 2021 American epic science fiction film, Dune, directed by Denis Villeneuve with costume design by co-designers Jacqueline Westand Bob Morgan. Topics include the famous ‘Stillsuit,’ the world’s relationship with Timothée Chalamet, the impeccable fashion of the Bene Gesserit, Oscar Isaac’s wardrobe (or lack thereof), and Elizabeth gives a brief history lesson on the world of Dune adapted by the 1965 novel by Frank Herbert.
Yeah! She knows it’s a multi-pass! This week, our co-hosts are packing their bags and heading to Fhloston Paradise to watch Spencer’s favorite standalone movie, The Fifth Element! Listen along as Elizabeth and Spencer talk all about Milla Jovovich’s character Leeloo Dallas, Ruby Rhod, Diva Plavalaguna played by Maïwenn Le Besco, and the famed costumes of The Fifth Element by French haute couture designer Jean Paul Gaultier. Multi-pass?!
What We Do In The Shadows S3 with Laura Montgomery – S1.E18
Oh, how deliciously macabre! We are finishing out the spooky season with a very special episode, talking about one of Elizabeth and Spencer’s favorite shows, What We Do In The Shadows! Costume designer for season 3 of What We Do In The Shadows, Laura Montgomery, joins our co-hosts to talk about all things vampires. Topics include the research process behind Nandor, Nadja, and Laszlo, giving Colin Robinson a slight wardrobe upgrade, and turning Guillermo into a bodyguard. Laura even offers a few costume tips as Halloween approaches. You will NOT want to miss this one!
We have a highly anticipated episode this week as our co-hosts watch a hauntingly beautiful classic, Bram Stoker’s Dracula, directed by Francis Ford Coppola. Listen along as Elizabeth and Spencer discuss the Academy-Award-winning costumes designed by the legendary Eiko Ishioka, including Dracula’s creepy fits and fashions, Mina’s gowns, creepy Transylvanian taxis, and… well, a bunch of other things that are hard to describe!
When the opportunity came to me to interviewSpace Jam: A New Legacy costume designer, Melissa Bruning, I immediately said yes! Look, I grew up on the first Space Jam. I remember often camping out in the backyard as a kid. My father would always wheel out the tiniest tv with a VHS player, leaving it up to my brother and me on what movies we would watch. My choices were always The Fifth Element (one of the greatest films of all time) or the original SpaceJam with Michael Jordan! So obviously, when Space Jam: A New Legacy came out, I was stoked!
I get it; when you think of Space Jam, costume design probably wasn’t the first thing to cross your mind. Rabbit season, duck season, basketball, Martians, Tweety Bird… what role could costume design really play in this film? In this week’s episode of The Art of Costume Blogcast, Elizabeth Joy Glassand I sat down with costume designer Melissa Bruning to talk about her work on Space Jam: A New Legacy.
Melissa told us her immediate response to the initial outreach over being costume designer of Space Jam: A New Legacy was “hell yes!” Imagine the opportunity! While she was, of course, excited, there was a task ahead. This task would be pretty daunting for any costume designer, giving the “Toon Squad” basketball uniforms a modern redesign. I asked Melissa about this task and her relationship with the animators. “They were my best buddies,” says Melissa and continued to say the main concern was that “not only would the uniform [have to] look good on Lebron, it had to look good on the toons.”
Melissa had to take a lot of things into consideration when creating the concept. While “Daffy Duck could pretty much wear anything, same with Granny,” not all of the Looney Tunes look great in whites or orange. Remember, the Looney Tunes play basketball in the crazy, video-game-like world of the Serververse… so it is very dark with bright neon accents. With that being said, Melissa and the team settled on the blue color with a new, modern twist of the classic Warner Bros. circle. The new uniforms incorporate all of the same elements of the traditional uniforms while breathing a new modern life into them.
Images of Tune Squad uniforms.. Illustration by Christain Cordella. Photos Courtesy of Melissa Bruning
There were many fun costumes we saw on screen, such as Lebron James appearing in the crazy world of “Mad Max: Fury Road,” “The Matrix,” and the 1942 film “Casablanca.”
Costume Concept Illustrations for the various looks of LeBron James by artist, Christain Cordella
There were costumes made for so many other of our favorite movies and television shows. But one that got away still hurts my heart! Elizabeth and I thought to ourselves, wouldn’t it be cool if we saw Lebron James as a Game of Thrones character? Turns out, the costume was made, but it didn’t make it on screen. My heart! “It was a replica we had made of The Hound from Game of Thrones. It was amazing. We did three fittings in it, and it was heavy as hell,” said Melissa Bruning. Elizabeth and I both screamed, “OH MY GOD!”.
LeBron James in armor inspired by Game of Thrones. Illustration by Christain Cordella. Photo Courtesy of Melissa Bruning
Imagine reading on the script as a costume designer, ‘all of the Warner Bros. villains show up to watch the game’. Where do you even start? Melissa told us she “tried to clear about 250 different categories”. If you look closely, you’ll see Batman villains, Lord Voldemort, The Wicked Witch of The East, Baby Jane Hudson, and Pennywise the Clown from “It.” I could write an entire article on all of the characters seen in this film. “I had one separate costume shop and one separate assistant who, for about 15 weeks, was just making background,” said Melissa Bruning.
The wonderful Don Cheadle played Al-G, a rogue A.I. The costumes on Don’s character were some of the more fun costumes we saw; Elizabeth even mentioned they were her favorite! While you might think costuming Looney Tunes would be the more difficult part of the job, Melissa had a different idea. “I think that the Al-G clothes were the hardest of the movie. What does an algorithm wear?” Melissa decided to focus on things that would make Al-G “shiny,” concentrate on circuitry and sparkle, like the sparkly tracksuit. But also, Al-G adapted to the different personalities relevant to the situation, such as a studio head or a Hall of Fame coach. “He would do whatever was the most pleasing for whoever was looking at him,” said Melissa.
The costume design process behind Space Jam: A New Legacy was incredibly fascinating. For more behind-the-scenes details about the film, please enjoy our interview with costume designer Melissa Bruning. She goes into detail on her ideas behind the uniforms, working with Lebron James, and all of the crazy cameos that took place! That’s all folks!
In the premiere episode of The Art of Costume Blogcast, Elizabeth and Spencer break down the incredible costumes of Cruella by costume designer Jenny Beavan. They go scene by scene, recap the story, and discuss the majority of costumes seen on screen. Yes, even the dog-rat costume! We are just getting started, darling.