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Posts Tagged ‘television costuming’

10-Arjun-Bhasin-IndiaInk-articleInlineSarah Jessica Parker is obviously one of the most stylish people alive. But starting the show was tricky. We tried to ignore her other show entirely and create a new character with a new life. It was exciting for her to reinvent herself into a new person.

Arjun Bhasin, Indian stylist/costume designer.

In this quote (from an article in the San Francisco Chronicle) Mr. Bhasin is referring to his work with SJP on the new HBO series, Divorce.

In addition to the HBO project, the accomplished designer (Life of Pi, Love is Strange, Begin Again) recently costumed Berkeley Repertory’s production of Monsoon Wedding, which by the way has been extended twice and is now running through July 16.

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Sarah Jessica Parker as Frances in Divorce. Opaque tights worn with pumps was not uncommon in the the 1970s.

Back to costuming SJP. What a challenge!There’s a lot of high-stylin’ baggage from that other show – Sex and the City – with the use of big designer labels and major product placement. Bhasin’s approach to this new show was to shift away from all that and go vintage.

Inspired by 1970s divorce films, An Unmarried Woman and Kramer vs. Kramer he hit Etsy and vintage fairs looking for classic silhouettes and soft color palettes. Much of what Bhasin found were in larger sizes. But since he was drawn to the fabric patterns, he and his staff did a lot of altering and playing around with the original pieces to make them fit SJP in size and her character, Frances in mood.

Given that Frances works,  has two children, and is going thorough a (nasty) divorce, Bhasin thought “comfort clothes.” The look he’s created is one of simple elegance; Frances cares about her appearance but she’s not a clotheshorse. Her style is her own and she’s not inclined to follow trends. The hemlines are at the knee, the skirts are full, the dresses are feminine but not frilly. There’s not a lot of fuss – no hats (unless it’s cold), not much jewelry or multiple handbags. Bhasin says that he and SJP want to keep the accessories to a minimum. Frances is a woman who puts on a turquoise silver bracelet and leaves it on.

100716-sjp-divorcedI really like what Bhasin has done with Frances. He’s managed to costume a character with interest while NOT making it all about the clothes. I also appreciate that he reuses pieces, like the two coats Frances wears. Since the costumes are so interesting it’s great to see them more than once.

SJP is such a fashion draw that I imagine women will check out Divorce for the costumes, if nothing else. What I’m curious to see is if these vintage styles will influence street-syle and perhaps even future runways.

 

 

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