6 costume designers on the moment that inspired their careers

When “Batwoman” costume designer Maya Mani saw Alain Resnais’s 1961 film “The Last Year at Marienbad,” a movie that famously features dresses designed by Coco Chanel, she left wondering what all the fuss was about.

“What was I thinking?” Mani says during the Gold Derby Meet the Experts: Costume Designers panel. “And my friend said, ‘If you think you’re so good, why don’t you try it?’ Being young and not very smart in that case, I was like fine.” Mani soon began working on a low-budget movie for seven days a week and says she was never happier. So that’s how she began her costume design career. “That and I inflicted designs on my dog,” she jokes.

Mani was one of six talented costume designers to participate in the roundtable discussion, including Jennifer Moeller (“Dickinson”), Analucia McGorty (“Pose”), sisters Rita McGhee and Alita Bailey (“P-Valley”) and Jacqueline Demeterio (“Younger”).

Click on each name above to watch that person’s individual panel interview. Watch our full panel above to hear everyone’s answers and more.

“I was in a lot of punk rock bands. I always loved film and movies and I think there was a point where I was like, ‘Oh this is an actual career not just something you can admire,’” McGorty said of her early days in the profession. “You can have health insurance. I started as a PA and worked my way up for the last 15 years.”

For McGhee, she grew up overseas in Guam. “I was fascinated by the changing of clothes and the story it would tell,” she says. “When I went to college in the states, I saw Spike Lee’s ‘She’s Gotta Have It.’ And so I sent my resume to Ruth E. Carter, Oscar-winner, and I started as a PA working with her.” And the rest, as she says, was history.

They also discuss their careers and what kind of response they receive to their work from fans in the video above.

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UPLOADED May 27, 2021 7:37 pm