Master of None Costume Designer on the style of Lena Waithe

The third season of Master of None opens with Lena Waithe’s Air Jordan 1s prominently displayed, and her shoes remain in the foreground for the duration of the story. In addition to her extensive sneaker collection, the Emmy-winning actress, who plays lesbian author Denise in the hit Netflix series, sports Gucci slides and the Yeezy Foam Runners, nicknamed Yeezy “Crocs” for their odd resemblance. ubiquitous rubber clog – throughout all five episodes.

Denise and her partner, Alicia (Naomi Ackie) are the stars of the show This Go Around, which takes place in a bucolic country house in upstate New York. Although miles from city life, each character has their own distinct and carefully curated style: Denise channels classic hip-hop, while Alicia is more eclectic and experimental.

Here, Master of None Costume designer Kate Forbes discusses working with Lena Waithe, finding LGBTQ + designers, and the Yeezys.

POPSUGAR: Denise and Alicia have very different aesthetics. Was it intentional?

Kate Forbes: Denise has a classic hip-hop style – she relies on comfort, simplicity and seriousness, but her look is always very thoughtful and thoughtful: the colors, the textures, the combinations. . . there is attention to detail in her look which is truly subtle but never overlooked. Alicia has an eclectic and bohemian style – knowing her love of antiques and how connected she is with her cultural heritage has allowed her to combine so many elements from so many eras and sources. She is a character who loves clothes and expresses herself through the way she dresses – she is passionate about finding unique pieces and putting them together!

PS To what extent has Lena and Naomi’s personal style impacted the respective looks of their characters?

KF: Lena has a strong personal style, and I loved how her hip-hop influences contrasted so strongly with Denise and Alicia’s country pad filled with antiques and character. I played more with the colors, textures and subtle styling choices to build her character progression over the season. Naomi was totally open to my ideas and really excited to find an original style for Alicia that embraces all the traits and culture of her character; his sense of fun, his loyalty and his love of the arts and antiques. It was also important to incorporate part of her African heritage, as Naomi wears scarves in her personal life. We adopted that and worked a lot with scarves and turbans, both vintage and in great African prints.

PS: Lena’s sock and sandal look is very appropriate for COVID times. Did the pandemic bandage influence the wardrobe?

KF: Obviously this affects your daily life on set and in fittings, and given the series of blockages it limited how we could buy, but as far as Lena’s socks and slides go, it was really part of her. buddy look and an element with which I really liked finishing his outfits!

“Lena has used her personal wardrobe on occasions where she felt it suited the outfit.”

PS: Which creators did you think of?

KF: Lena suggested several younger brands she was keen to promote, many of which cater to the LGBTQ + community, like Stuzo, Pyer Moss, Melody Ehsani and TomboyX. Nike and Gucci also supplied us with products for Denise’s wardrobe. The rest was a real mix of high street and boutiques: Wax London, Reiss, Stüssy, Dickies and Carhartt. We have used a lot of Zara men’s clothing for [Denise’s] staples and repeated his looks several times too. For Naomi, I started with vintage pieces – many of which came from a London rental company called Contemporary Wardrobe – and others picked up from London shops and markets. Then I added stunning African-designed pieces from Ace Hackney and Samson Soboye, street essentials, stylish printed pajamas from Desmond & Dempsey, and a luxe silk ensemble from Liberty London for the final episode.

PS: Do you have a favorite look of the season?

KF: This has to be Alicia’s “bad bitch” look in the scene with Dr. Perkins – the Samson Soboye African print jumpsuit. I’m sad you can’t see more. It’s super comfortable, effortless and megastyle at the same time. She felt like a bad bitch wearing it and everyone who saw it on her loved it!

PS: Were there any pieces from Lena’s or Naomi’s own closets?

KF: Lena has used her personal wardrobe on occasions where she felt it suited the outfit. Yeezy sneakers wouldn’t have been my first choice, but she put them in there! Naomi’s sequined bodysuit used in the failed flirt scene was a piece she owned – she was super happy wearing it because she had never done it before, and it was just perfect for the moment. . Naomi actually kept most of her costumes after our packaging. She had really fallen in love with a lot of rooms and didn’t want to say goodbye.

Keep scrolling to see some remarkable images of Master of None season 3, now streaming on Netflix.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

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