Cynthia Ann Summers Interview: ‘A Series of Unfortunate Events’ costume designer
“It’s a bit of a seesaw effect with the colors in season two,” reveals “A Series of Unfortunate Events” costume designer Cynthia Ann Summers. “Every character’s got a story arc, so within that story arc there’s usually a color palette, and then you have to marry them all together so everybody compliments each other, or stands apart from each other.” Based on the book series by Lemony Snicket (a.k.a. Daniel Handler), this Netflix comedy centers on the three Baudelaire siblings: Violet (Malina Weissman), Klaus (Louis Hynes), and Sunny (Presley Smith). After their parents die in a mysterious fire, they face trials and tribulations trying to uncover dark family secrets. Watch our exclusive video interview with Summers above.
Summers joined the show in its second season, when the Baudelaire children venture out of their world to find out more about their parents. The kids wore “soft colors in season one,” but in season two “they start to get a little brighter because the adults are starting to get darker. We wanted to keep the kids happier and brighter, even though their situations are getting more dire, so that they stand out.”
Neil Patrick Harris costars as Count Olaf, who is determined to claim the Baudelaire fortune for his own. He follows the children around in a series of disguises, but is always given away by his distinct appearance. “Every town he winds up in is an influence as to what his disguise is going to be,” Summers reveals. With every costume, “his primary concern is covering his unibrow because he thinks that’s the only thing that will ever give him away.” But even though the villainous Olaf thinks he fits in, “he never does.”
Summers has lent her talents to a diverse array of TV shows, including “UnReal,” “Bones,” “The L Word” and “The Dead Zone.” She has worked on several films as well, including “Apollo 18,” “War,” and “Hard Evidence.”