Midge Maisel Solely Wore a Bra

Midge Maisel

Midge Maisel Solely Wore a Bra in The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel that needed to be made in Paris

Donna Zakowska, the costume designer of the wonderful woman Maisel is extremely master of the colors. Zakowska is classically trained as a painter, which explains why the colors on the show are so phenomenal. She approaches the color like a musician of the composition – and lifts the award-winning show into a visually breathtaking harmony.

“I think clothing can be like words. Clothing has a kind of poetry,” Zakowska shared with POPSUGAR. “I always associate my own interests and love of poetry with color, and that has to do with clothing.”

When Zakowska designs a costume, she focuses on the story that is conveyed by the chosen colors. Midge Maisel’s (Rachel Brosnahan) costume at the end of season two, in which she wore a white, red, and green ensemble, is an excellent example. Zakowska said to her assistant, “I think this costume is about innocence.” Her assistant asked, “Oh God, what do you mean?” Zakowska explained that “the idea that green is heroic means that Midge is heroic. There is always a subtext.”

“I think clothing can be like words. Clothing has a kind of poetry.” – Donna Zakowska

A lively palette and rich subtext are an integral part of excellent costume design, but every creative decision by Zakowska must also reflect the authenticity of that time. In each season of  The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel Zakowska does intensive research to accurately reflect the style of the 1950s and 1960s. “I have many Vogue from that time,” said Zakowska. “Books, photographs, there is a lot of research. I refer to certain magazines like Bloom that deal with nature and flowers. And sometimes I could put that in a picture next to Vogue integrate and then something historical. ”

An impressive 95 percent of the show’s key clothing items were designed and manufactured specifically for the show. The remaining five percent were made up of costumes and some vintage pieces. Zakowska never redesigns a modern garment. “I don’t think I would get the fabric and color I want. This is so important to me because I don’t normally do that. But we really design and build all of their hats – so much of it is designed.”

Midge Maisel Solely Wore a Bra 1

The shape of Midges hats and outfits was critical to show a slight transition between the late 50s in season two and the early 60s in season three. “I think it’s really interesting to deal with the transition from ’59 to ’62 because I don’t think it’s done that often,” Zakowska says. “I think people always jump. Like in the 50s and then suddenly in the 60s, when there are a lot more transitions. The whole silhouette changes: It starts to cling to the body, although there is still one a little fullness in certain details. And then, of course, there are all these crazy bucket hats. So it’s about finding the fine line that makes it believable. ”

“You definitely have a lot of nice hats in London and you definitely have hat culture there,” said Zakowska, knowing that I was based in the city. “I supported a lot of people in London and I always love working in England.” She added that she really loves the hats on The Crown. “Maybe I will have to find this hatter at some point.”

“Musically, we create a rhythm with the color. So the challenge is to keep developing good melodies.” – Donna Zakowska

The crown especially the third season, is a source of inspiration for Zakowska. “I pretty much liked the third season,” she said. “There are some wonderful ensembles there. I really like the pieces of the era.” She also loved the costume design in Peaky Blinders. “I love Peaky Blinders the whole show. I think if it works, the whole thing works – if the scenery and the costumes and everything has a kind of vision.”

One of the biggest challenges for Zakowska was to get the underwear right so that the clothes lay on the body of the actor in an authentic way for the time. “I put a lot of effort into making her underwear,” she said. “[Midge’s] Bras are only made in Paris because that was the only place I could find the bra. I have a bra, she only likes it. After all, I thought we had to find someone to copy it So the challenge is always that the underwear is right and the actor is comfortable in it. ”

Zakowska also found it particularly challenging to “define things by color” because “she uses it as an emotional aspect of clothing”. The range of costume designs “determines the pace and rhythm” of the series, she explains. “It’s like a song – you can’t repeat the chorus over and over again. That’s why I always compare it a little bit with the musical. Musically, we create a rhythm with the color. So the challenge is to think of the good notes again and again. ”

Even though Zakowska was so skilled in the costume design of the 50s and 60s, he made it clear that “I am not a very 50s person”. If she could pick an era of fashion that she could wear for the rest of her life, it would be the all-black Japanese punk style of the early 80s. Who would have thought that? “Rei Kawakubo, Yohji Yamamoto, Issey Miyake, these are my favorite designers,” said Zakowska. “It was like the height of Japanese fashion.”

Follow us on Instagram

Leave a Comment