Jeriana San Juan Interview: ‘The Plot Against America’ costume designer

“I identified with this story so much because when I read about a first-generation American family, it’s exactly my story, but instead of being Jewish — actually, I’m half Jewish — my family is Cuban,” costume designer Jeriana San Juan reveals in her exclusive interview with Gold Derby about “The Plot Against America” (watch the video above). She continues, “Not having the road paved for me in this industry has really made me toughen my skin and made me a little bit more savvy and tough. I got my first job in costumes by looking up the word ‘costume’ in the yellow pages way back when.”

Her first credit for HBO, San Juan joined “The Plot Against America” after meeting director Minkie Spiro and executive producer Nina K. Noble. San Juan recounts, “They specifically were interested because in ‘The Get Down,’ I took a period show and gave it such an esthetic point of view and really a life that was not so historical. I really enjoy, in approaching period work, to still tell truth to the story, but also be an active designer in the process.”

The early 1940s wardrobe of this alternate history miniseries contends at the Emmys in the Best Period Costumes category. San Juan explains about submitting the first of the six episodes for consideration, “It really is at that moment in its story where before the characters say anything, the clothes have to speak for themselves and the clothes have to really tell you so much story behind each one of these characters.” She reveals about how the costumes evolve in later episodes, “Desaturating the palette as we move through the story and as the pulse quickens and the tension grows, it was a way for us to navigate the story and create an unconscious mood to support this story.”

San Juan’s next project is the “Halston” miniseries on Netflix starring Ewan McGregor as fashion designer Roy Halston Frowick, whom she studied during her education at the Fashion Institute of Technology. She teases, “It’s going to be definitely a spectacle of fashion and will take us through Halston’s entire life, from the late 50s/early 60s up until the end of his life.”

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UPLOADED Apr 20, 2020 12:25 pm