Fashion

How were Mrs. America’s costumes designed?

We speak with renowned costume designer Bina Daigeler about capturing the feminist movement through clothing

Named one of the best television shows of 2020 by the American Film Institute, Mrs. America is a historical drama chronicling the movement to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment.

Applauded for the performances of actresses like Cate Blanchett, Uzo Aduba, Margo Martindale, and Tracey Ulman - who all received Primetime Emmy nominations for their work - the show also received a Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Period Costumes.

We spoke with renowned costume designer Bina Daigeler (@binadaigeler) about how she approached working on Mrs. America, and the important role costume design plays in bringing characters to life.

Based on the activism of real women who lobbied for and against the Equal Rights Amendment, Mrs. America highlights two sides of a political divide.

“It was very empowering for me to learn about all these iconic women,” says Daigeler, who researched the personal style of each woman and the statements that they made through their wardrobes.

 How were Mrs. America’s costumes designed? 3
A costume sketch of Rose Byrne playing Gloria Steinem

Using different colors, textures, and shapes to distinguish those who were pro- and anti-ERA, Daigeler’s costume designs helped bring each character to life, not just for viewers but for the actors as well.

“I think through the costumes the actors can often get a guideline to find the deeper inner aspects of their characters, and I think you can see that very clearly in the costume design of Mrs. America,” she explains.

If you want to learn more about how to develop attractive and compelling costume design concepts, check out Bina Daigeler and Pepo Ruiz Dorado's online course Costume Design for Film and TV.

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