Since the beginning of FX What we do in the shadows series, Laura Montgomery was part of the costume department creating the adornment that helps define the Staten Island vampire brood. “The Trial Chamber.”
SYFY WIRE reached out to Montgomery, who is currently working on Season 4, which is filming in Toronto, and asked him to explain some of the costume highlights so far.
Guillermo’s Glam Up
“With Guillermo (Harvey Guillén), we knew he was going to take on more responsibility as a bodyguard. And he was really discovering his Van Helsing roots. We were able to use his Van Helsing trench coat from season 2 and really build on it. That. We introduced his vest this season to be a bit beefier. One is done in leather, and he has this removable harness on the back that has his stakes in it. “
Nandor: International Man of Mystery
“With Nandor (Kayvan Novak) in particular, I wanted to bring a little more cultural influence to his character and really seek out the silhouette and the different textiles of Persia from the 1400s, the region of Iran where his fictional country is located. , Al Quolanudar. I tried to change some of his silhouettes while keeping him true to his character, just move him a bit more into the Persian realm. “
Colin Robinson’s world of neutrals
“It’s so funny because Mark (Proksch) is a very good looking man. The beige is not a nice color on him, but it suits the character. This season I have really tried to refine the cut. It helped me know his age because the vanity is that vampires are all stuck in the era they were human. With Colin, you never really knew, but knowing he was 100 years old [meant] I could really focus on the 1940s and early 1950s as their good days. When he was young, that’s when he would have paid attention to fashion and clothing. I went to a specialist tailor in the city and made him some nice suits and sports coats with really nice stitching. It had a little vintage air even though it looks contemporary when you mix it with contemporary pieces. It was a way of bringing a little more refinement.
Nadja and Lazlo: a fashion power couple
“[Their synergy] was a thing of Jemaine (Clement) early on that he always wanted them to match. We were able to relax a bit with that. We went out of our way to do it, and sometimes people didn’t even notice it. It’s always a challenge because usually I find an incredible Nadja (Natasia Demetriou) fabric, and then it will be a fight, like with Nadja’s peacock outfit for episode 3. How do you make male peacock for Laszlo ( Matt Berry)? We use the same wool that we used for his coat, but we dyed the color a little deeper. And then this season, it’s the same thing, especially with the talking heads. I will always try to match them as much as possible because I want to honor Jemaine’s initial request and vision. But you know, I have to say it’s fun when they have scenes when they’re not together and we can get a little crazier on each of them. “
“The mantle of duplication”
“[For the Cloak], I think we used no less than six, maybe seven layers of fabric. We wanted the lace overlay to make it look very old-fashioned, but it’s supposed to be magical, so I wanted it to feel like it was like glowing from the inside out without actually being lit up on the inside. . It was just finding the right combination of iridescent organza and chiffon and things that would make it light. But there’s a super shiny silk layer underneath and then we layer something else on top that doesn’t kill the shine. And then our jeweler, who makes a lot of beautiful tailor-made jewelry for the salon and who since the first season, has made the brooch. Director Yana (Gorskaya) was working on this idea of ”how do you help audiences know when it’s not Nandor?” I don’t know how noticeable it was when you look at him, but there is a clasp at the collar of the cape, so when he is wearing the cape and he’s someone else, the cape disappears but the pin remains. It’s that heart-shaped thing on his tie. When he’s himself, you can’t see him. But when he’s Laszlo as Nandor, or basically when he’s wearing the cloak, the brooch is there. “
“We built the red velvet coat that Nandor wears in episode 3. We found a beautiful velvet. And then I researched the embroidery design and asked the art department to help us create it. a repeatable pattern that we could embroider on the jacket. And for the rest of the episode, knowing that they were going to be playing kickball outside, there were a lot of practical considerations. We didn’t know he was going. snowing as hard, but I knew it would be cold. That was another part This is the reason why I wanted to put Nandor in a jacket instead of a cape. The capes are awesome, but it’s hard to keeping someone warm in a cape fully open in the front. We knew this would be an all night shoot so there are a lot of extra layers underneath and we built a lot of warm layers into the coats. Even the Lazlo coat, I built It’s just extra layers and extra liners.
And then for Nadia, we care about everything, but a big part of the TV is from the waist up. If there is a detail that we put in the bottom of a garment, it gets lost. But for the kickball it was written that Nadia was going to pull up her skirt and sabotage the ball. So I thought this was a great opportunity to get really crazy with her skirt on. She has a pleated skirt and she has a big bustle on her back. We made a petticoat that we dyed so that when she lifted her skirt you only saw layers of this peacock confection. There was a line that was actually cut, but I thought it was so funny it was a callback to the appearance of the werewolves in the first season, where one of the werewolves insulted them saying: “It is these Pride and Prejudice motherf ***** s, “so we really wanted to make them look over the top to contrast with modern werewolves and because they are made fun of for their clothes.”
We were able to shoot in the [closed Niagra Falls] casino. For the casting, I had a lot of fun using gold on Matt and Natasha. We found this jacket which looks like a denim jacket but is covered in rhinestones. He weighed about five or 10 pounds. It’s so heavy. It’s so blingy and so much fun. It’s great to be able to flex a completely different muscle with the contemporary friends we’ve seen. We’ve seen them before, dressed casually at Sean’s. We know that Charmaine always wears leopard. But then, was it really fun to think what her vow renewal dress would look like? Well, obviously it’s leopard, but it’s actually white zebra and glittery. And then to get a feel for friends, what they look like when they’re all dolled up in their prettiest Atlantic City, I did a lot of shopping for that. I found a really good shipment for one of the friends who is stuck in a white Cavalli dress, but it’s a Cavalli dress from 15 years ago so it’s dated. We did a lot of high end consignment like that because the look of this show is walking the fine line of tacky. All humans and vampires are cheesy, but they don’t come cheap. And there is a fine line. “
“The Chamber of Judgment”
“Small Claims Court was as boring as it gets. And then for the Council Chamber, the really fun build was that this was the first time we had seen their version of the Council’s white robe. I didn’t want to reuse those. that we’d seen before. And because they’re custom-made by our specters now in the script, what would Nadja’s dream version of a council dress be? What would Nandor’s be? It was really fun to pull references for that. For Nadja, we used beautiful beaded lace and tassels. I was looking at printed images of Chinese cloud necklaces to try to make it very opulent and beautiful. My textile artist, Madeline Bryan, does embroidered reticles by hand, so she is very proficient at embroidery and beading. We hand embroidered all the crystals and beads on Nandor’s shoulder. There was a lot of work involved. “
New episodes of What we do in the shadows airs Thursday evenings on FX and are available the next day on FX on Hulu.