MR: Yes I would say Rachel was a real trooper with those shoes! We now use dance shoes or sneakers for most musical numbers.
I find the most difficult part of any number is to find the right tone and to figure out the transition from reality to fantasy. Since we don't do parodies, I try to extract meaning from our inspiration, and then mash it up into our own singular style. "I Give Good Parent" was challenging because I designed that prim blue dress with pearls and sensible heels to appeal to Josh's parents' sense of propriety - Rebecca presenting herself as a Harvard educated "good girl" - but what was the fantastical counterpoint? So I asked Rachel "what would someone like Nicki Minaj do?" and that's how we ending up with her in a turkey bra and panties, sexy dancing Puritans and Josh's mom a wearing fur coat and a gold grille.
Melina, you’ve described Rebecca Bunch’s look as a little “off” –she has the money to dress well, but she doesn’t know her own style. How do you translate this onscreen? Do we see her fashion sense change at all in Season Two?
RB: Just want to say that the second I met Melina and she showed me her ideas for Rebecca's wardrobe I knew it was meant to be.
MR: Rebecca Bunch was a great student and a very successful lawyer- other than that she is a work in progress. Hopefully her clothes reflect that she's all over the place. We originally discussed that she worked with a personal shopper in a high end department store who just picked out appropriate lawyer clothes. Her West Covina/SoCal look is a blend of those clothes with random mall shopping, and looks borrowed from Heather or Valencia. Her sartorial journey continues in the 2nd season...and she will keep cycling through fashion trends - both in reality and fantasy - until she's comfortable in her own skin and her clothes don't wear her.
Your team is turning out elaborate, large-scale musical numbers on a weekly basis. How do you both handle the pace of the show? Does the costuming process begin before production starts?
RB: On my end, I use up every piece of free time I have to work on the show, be it songwriting, editing or working on outlines.
MR: I have an amazing team and very supportive producers, and of course, Rachel - who's fearless! So even though it's exhausting, it's really creatively rewarding. We are always shooting an episode and prepping another, so even though I try to complete one before we start the next - we're always backed up - it's costumes, one hour at a time.
Which character is the most fun to dress?
MR: Rebecca - she's the chameleon.
Do you have a favorite costume or musical number from Season One?
RB: I just love what Melina did with the number "I Give Good Parent." That turkey bra, the pilgrim costumes, the feather shoes= brilliant.
MR: "Settle For Me" - I just love the song, the dancing, the dark romance.
Rachel, do you take costumes into account while you’re writing the show? Do you have a vision of what a scene will look like that you communicate to Melina?
RB: Absolutely! Every music number is so specific and the costumes are no exception. Sometimes the costume should just be true to the genre, as in the case of something like "Settle for Me," but other times, the costume itself is a way to heighten the joke, as is the case of the turkey bra in "I Give Good Parent."
Melina, you've already made so many fantastic, comedic, outlandish costumes for the show...but is there a look or costume you're still dying to make for Rebecca Bunch?
MR: Well, I'd like to do Big Historical Gowns on Rachel so an entire episode set in the 18th century works for me. Or Judy Garland' s look in "Get Happy." Or anything surrealistic relating to food, plants and animals.
Can you give fans any hints on crazy costumes to come in Season Two?
RB: One word: Beyoncé.
MR: I'm sworn to secrecy, but the sequins and rhinestones have been ordered.
Thank you to Rachel and Melina for taking the time to speak with us - you can see the costumes from Crazy Ex-Girlfriend on display until October 15!