A Season of Stranger Style
The Netflix original series created by the Duffer Brothers has taken the world by storm, but the fashion industry has been particularly smitten. The Spielberg inspired series could not have been more timely. If we were already in the midst of a 1980s redux, Strangers Things really pushed us over the edge. From pie-crust collars to corduroy on corduroy, transfer tees and plaid shirts, everyone is embracing the era.
Molly Goddard was channelling Eleven for spring/summer 2017
In the past six months the lead character played by 13 year-old Millie Bobby Brown has appeared on the front cover of Dazed & Confused, visited Nicolas Ghesquière at Louis Vuitton, been photographed in Raf Simon’s highly anticipated Calvin Klein campaign and in the front row at the Coach 1941 show at New York Fashion Week. And Coach weren’t the only label to pay homage to the show. Monse’s models walked out to the synth-sounding theme song for their spring/summer 2017 show and Marta Jakubowski rewrote her logo in its trademark neon-lights typeface for Instagram.
The women partially responsible for these addictive aesthetics are the costume designers Malgosia Turzanska and Kimberley Adams. Both are nominated for ‘Outstanding Television Period Series’ at the Costume Designers Guild Award on the 21st February. We caught up with Turzanska, one half of the designing duo, to find out how those iconic outfits were thought up, and to see what she is up to next.
Chalayan has some Hopper inspired looks for spring/summer 2017
How do you feel about potentially kick starting a world obsession with the 1980s?!
Haha, I do think the 1980s nostalgia has been around for a while! It's a good, seemingly simpler time to look back on. It brings some comfort in an era of surveillance and ever-present technology invading our lives. It seems cosy and uncomplicated, but of course that is just a “grass is always greener" type of illusion.
Did you find your inspiration for costumes on the catwalk, from the script, or other sources?
I looked for inspiration in street photography, candid family images from the era, mail order catalogues like Sears, by flipping through numerous magazines – I've amassed quite a collection of Seventeen magazines specifically – and by looking at and touching actual period clothes.
Nancy Wheeler would definitely be wearing MSGM this season
Do you create costumes from scratch, source them or a mix of both?
It's always a mix of building, sourcing, and then dyeing and embellishing purchased pieces. I sketch most of the characters so I quickly find out if something exists in real life or whether it needs to be created from scratch.
How do you really get into character? What goes into your research behind certain eras?
It's basically the same process no matter what the era. I read the script enough times to know the scenes inside and out, break it down, and create some sort of an emotional response to the text that will help me find the characters later. Then I start the research. This part differs slightly depending on the era, but it is books, magazines and catalogues, museums, random photos... I always learn so many new things! It's one of my favourite parts of the job.
Would cynical Lucas jump on the Vetements hype?
You have done lots of period films, (Aint Them Bodies Saints in 2013, Hell or High Water in 2016) Are they your favourite?
I love a good story, so it doesn't really matter to me what era it takes place in. But of course, with period films there is a ton of fun to be had. The project I just finished in New Mexico took place in 1868 and we were pretty ecstatic about some of the pieces! I had amazing people working with me and we really ended up with something special.
What have been your favourite films to work on?
I've been pretty fortunate and have worked with some amazing people, so I enjoyed most of the projects. Ain't Them Bodies Saints was amazing, Maggie's Plan (2015) just a blast, Hell or High Water was incredible. I'm so proud of it and really grateful for all the nominations it's garnering. Fingers crossed for the Oscars!
Poor old Barb wasn’t around for long, but at least her pie-crust collars certainly made an imprint – very Gucci spring/summer 2017
How did you get the job for Stranger Things?
My lovely friend Sarah Hindsgaul got me on it. She's the hairstylist responsible for cutting Millie's hair off!
Are you working on the Stranger Things series 2? What is up next for you?
I'm not, I'm currently designing Casey Affleck's film Light of my Life (2018) in Vancouver. But I'll definitely watch season 2 with a pinging heart!
Interview & text by Abigail Southan