Television’s secret weapons

 The costume designer Janie Bryant, of "Mad Men," with ads for her line for Hearts on Fire Diamonds and from Banana Republic's "Mad Men" spring 2013 campaign.

The costume designer Janie Bryant, of “Mad Men,” with ads for her line for Hearts on Fire Diamonds and from Banana Republic’s “Mad Men” spring 2013 campaign.                                       Photo Credit: Casey Kelbaugh for The New York Times

It seems that television’s costume designers are the new black. Well, the new influencers, that is. I was a huge Sex and The City fan, where costume designer Patricia Field’s bold fashion choices for the main characters, Carrie, Miranda, Samantha and Charlotte awakened my senses. And although I couldn’t see myself wearing everything, I was inspired to wear many things. I went through the big flower pin stage, thanks to Carrie. And I never owned a pair of Manolo Blahnik’s but I often thought of buying them! It’s hard to believe that the show ended almost ten years ago when its fashion influence is still felt around the world. Times are changing, television is moving forward and the role of the television costume designer is growing as well.

Thursday’s Style Section of The New York Times ran an interesting piece: “Costume Designers for TV Have a Big Impact on Fashion,” written by Marisa Meltzer. In it, she describes how the role of the television costume designer is now what was once designated strictly for the movies. Famed designer Edith Head was well known because of her work in movies while television costume designers were an unknown entity. As television has gained more respect and popularity as a medium the role of the costume designer has garnered more influence on our society as a major part of the storytelling, working very closely with the script, writer, director, producer and the actors of the show. And costume designers’ own personal brands are growing as well. Janie Bryant, costume designer for AMC’s Mad Men, is a Brand Ambassador for Hearts of Fire Diamonds. The storytellers are starting to tell their own stories.


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