Mayes C. Rubeo (‘WandaVision’ costume designer): Inspired by her favorite sitcoms of all time

“I’m a visual person, so all of these costumes and designs got into my head,” reveals Oscar-nominated costume designer Mayes C. Rubeo (“Jojo Rabbit”) about the ambitious scope and sheer volume of genres, periods, looks and styles that she designed on Marvel’s Disney+ limited series phenomenon “WandaVision.” Watch our exclusive video interview above.

SEE Exclusive Video Interview: Christophe Beck (‘WandaVision’ composer)

“WandaVision” is Marvel’s first foray into limited series storytelling on the Disney+ streaming platform, created by screenwriter Jac Schaeffer, with all nine of its episodes directed by Emmy nominee Matt Shakman (“The Great”). It stars Elizabeth Olsen, reprising her role as Wanda Maximoff (a.k.a. Scarlet Witch), with Paul Bettany reprising his role as Vision and Emmy-nominee Kathryn Hahn co-starring as nosy neighbor Agnes (spoiler alert – who is later revealed as centuries-old witch Agatha Harkness), alongside Debra Jo Rupp, Fred Melamed, Teyonah Parris, Randall Park, Kat Dennings and Evan Peters. The series is set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), taking place after the events of 2019 blockbuster “Avengers: Endgame.”

“WandaVision” pays homage to iconic sitcoms from the 1950s to the 2010s, as each episode explores an era of popular sitcom classics like “The Dick Van Dyke Show,” “Bewitched,” “The Brady Bunch,” “Full House,” “Malcolm in the Middle” and “Modern Family.” The series is also heavily influenced by its MCU origins, building on the lore and canon established by the numerous films that came before it, while also setting up these characters for future outings in new films and series in the franchise for years to come.

SEE It was Kathryn Hahn all along: Emmy predictions by Experts say ‘WandaVision’ witch will win

“What I brought to the table was my knowledge,” Rubeo declares about her personal affinity for American sitcoms of yesteryear. “It was based on American sitcoms, the same ones I grew up watching, just like Wanda. I grew up watching ‘Bewitched’ and ‘I Love Lucy’ and the Munster family. I was part of that, except that it was in Spanish!” she laughs. “We had high expectations when we started working on this show. We thought it was a very smart and new television project, and when we had the opportunity to read all of the scripts, it was like ‘oh boy!'”

Rubeo is familiar with working in the MCU, having worked on “Thor: Ragnarok” (2017) and finishing up production on its sequel “Thor: Love and Thunder,” both with Oscar winner Taika Waititi, who wrote and directed “Jojo Rabbit,” the film for which she was Oscar-nominated for Best Costume Design a couple of years ago.

That experience was crucial to designing for the fantasy elements in the series, particularly as the characters transition out of the nostalgic sitcom-inspired world depicted on the show and into the present-day MCU world of the last few episodes of the series. Of all the Marvel-inspired looks created for the series, including the highly anticipated Scarlet Witch reveal at the show’s end, it was perhaps the intricate gown worn when Hahn’s character’s true identity is revealed that has garnered the most attention. “It was all based in mystery. She is a character that you want to trust but you also want to be very cautious of. There’s something about her,” Rubeo explains of Hahn’s larger than life costume. “I wanted to portray layers in her costume. I knew she was going to do wire work and that gave me an opportunity to really show many layers. I did maybe 10 layers of fabric where each one has a mission. One of them was like going into a dark forest,” she explains, “and pleated, incredible fabrics that reacted with the movement almost like a Medusa kind of way.”

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