TV costume designers are the future rock stars of the fashion world. Or, so predicts The New York Times, who dedicated a lengthy feature to the work and influence of the creatives who determine the style of today's most prominent TV and film characters, luminaries like Janie Bryant, who helms costume design for Mad Men — arguably the one show that has impacted modern runway style more than any other.
Typically, costume designers maintain a low profile, like most involved behind-the-scenes on a production. Not Bryant. She already has a book and reality-TV show (working title: “Janie Bryant’s Hollywood") in development, and has done design collaborations with Maidenform, Brooks Brothers, and Banana Republic. Her manager, Linda Kearns, who also works with other major TV designers, like Mandi Line (Pretty Little Liars) and Jenn Rogien (Girls, Orange Is The New Black) makes her clients' goals clear: "We want the public to recognize them as people, not just behind the scenes." Line, for one, is all for it, describing herself as "destined for something," being six-feet tall and a vegan — not to mention a Leo. All these women are already helping create televised and copied looks that reach more people than any runway collection, but they're just getting started.
Though most costume designers aren't famous to the mainstream, a few lucky ones like Patricia Field (who styled Sex and the City) have emerged as front-and-center heroines of their craft. Arguably, Field is the ultimate example. Nameplate necklaces! Manolo Blahniks! Lingerie as outerwear! “The buzz started towards the end of the first season, and by the beginning of the second, it just exploded,” Field recalled. “It was like sitting at the bottom of an atom bomb.”
Field has gone on to complete capsule collections for HSN, and is regarded as a New York City iconoclast. One imagines that Bryant, Line, and Rogien may pave similar legacies for themselves. Then there's the designers like Lynn Paolo (of Shameless and Scandal fame), who want to become mentors to hopeful fans. “People send me images of themselves, saying, ‘I have a job interview and would this work?’” she told the Times. “I respond and tell them the truth. I try not to hurt their feelings.” [NYTIMES]