CDG - The Costume Designer

Summer 2019

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36 The Costume Designer Summer 2019 By Gary V. Foss Swarovski Presents: Salvador Perez L ike Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, Costume Design and Swarovski have been effortless partners. They graced Dorothy's ruby slippers and the diamonds that were Marilyn Monroe's best friends were, in fact, Swarovski crystal. Few companies evoke glamour as succinctly. CDG President Salvador Perez discusses how Swarovski has influ- enced his work and the ongoing appeal of their products for him as a Costume Designer. "As a young designer, I always liked sparkle—from costume jewelry to embellishment, when anything that catches light. I think it's fun to wear. I think it's fun to watch. I think it's fun to work with. When I discovered Swarovski, it took my idea of sparkle to a new level. It's been just great to work with them over the years." Perez's relationship with Swarovski began even before he became a Costume Designer while touring with Perri "Pebbles" Reid. "At first, she wanted the clothes to be more street, but we realized in the middle of the tour that they didn't come to life on stage. She asked, 'How do we add sparkle?' and I said, 'Well, crystals.' I put them on everything she wore, the bra, tee shirts, shoes, everything. It just brought everything to life." Perez continued to use Swarovski crystals in projects when- ever a particular costume needed that extra impact. The Mindy Project would sparkle when Kaling wore outfits that were high- lighted with that extra bit of light and flare, and he used crystal to add flash to all three Pitch Perfect movies. They even became something of a personal signature on the red carpet when Perez attended the Emmys in a crystal trimmed tuxedo. For the adaptation of Four Weddings and a Funeral, Perez used Swarovski to embellish a wedding gown so breathtaking and grand, it would do a royal wedding justice. "We only had 10 days to make double dresses, so I called up Swarovski and said, 'Help. What can we do?' They sent me over the AB crystals. The AB on a white dress just comes to life like a rainbow. We took the white wedding dress and just covered it in crystals. The bustle of the ball gown also had crystals all over it, as did the veil. It was just a layer of crystal on top of crystal on crys- tal. Of course, it was all last minute, so the night before the shoot, we still had up to five people applying crystals to the dresses." Creating a memorable look also meant addressing the prac- ticalities of shooting on location and dealing with a wedding dress train as long as a boxcar. When fitting the actress on the smooth, cement floor of his workspace, the train slid well along Costume Designer Salvador Perez created this unique wedding gown for Four Weddings and a Funeral character Zara played by Sophia La Porta utilizing thousands of Swarovski crystals. Photo: MGM Television.

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