Magali Guidasci Q&A: ‘The Magicians’ costume designer
“Everybody is there to explore and realize their full potential and [discover] who they really are,” costume designer Magali Guidasci says about the central characters of “The Magicians” at Brakebills University. With the Syfy drama currently airing its second season, Guidasci reflects in her interview with Gold Derby (watch above) on the aesthetics that her team established last year for the fictional university for magic, as well as the more fantastical looks that they introduced this year as the plot shifted to the fantasy world of Fillory.
“We had established a variety of types of students,” Guidasci explains, noting that students were dressed according to their studied discipline and that “everybody had a distinctive look to help tell the story.” Psychics wear edgier clothes; those in the Knowledge discipline are drawn to pastel colors; those in the Natural discipline dress like hippies; the Physical Kids dress like hipsters.
“Most of the season — of season two — was in Fillory, so we had to establish the world right away,” Guidasci reveals about the fictional universe. Its creatures and royalty are easily distinguishable from people out of the “real world” from a technical perspective. She adds, “These people are not using anything remotely close to a petroleum product, so everything is woven — it’s natural fibers.”
“The Magicians” is an adaptation of a trilogy of novels by Lev Grossman, but Guidasci did not draw on them for her designs. “I just actually started to read the books,” she admits, further explaining, “I didn’t want to read the books because I just wanted to concentrate on the material that [the showrunners] wrote.”
Guidasci did not submit to be on the Emmy ballot for Best Series Period/Fantasy Costumes for the first season, but Guidasci feels that she has support from their studio Universal Cable Productions to do so this year and notes that “it would be a good opportunity for the show and for [her] team.” Regarding her episode submission, she muses, “I think any episode of the season is interesting because, on average, every episode, everything was built — eighty percent if not more, with an average of two, three or four changes each character per episode, so I think there is a lot to choose from.”