|Jonathan Nichols and Cassie Beck.|
“Everyone has a view about what clothing today says about a person,” he says, whereas historical costuming is often dictated by tradition.
Mickelsen designed the costumes for Elemeno Pea, in which the lifestyles of two sisters—one preppy and one Plain Jane—collide against the wealthy backdrop of modern-day Martha’s Vineyard. To help home in on each character’s personal style, Mickelsen asked the actors for their input.
|Cassie Beck and Katrina Lenk.|
But it was Michaela, played by Katrina Lenk, who proved to be the biggest challenge. Mickelsen originally envisioned the trophy wife in simple neutrals, symbolizing her need to fit in to this wealthy world. But the neutral basics fell flat on Lenk, so Mickelsen kept searching until her found her bronze metallic, off-the-shoulder top just days before the show began previews.
“We realized that Michaela needed to be mega-sexy, but not in a skin-tight way. A monied-sexy way,” says Mickelsen of his last-minute find. “Clothing characters like this is based on all of us observing people every day. You just have to keep your eyes open.”