'This Is Us,' 'Westworld' & More Series' Costume Designers Share Wardrobe Secrets From the Sets (Exclusive)

Costume Designers Secrets

ET spoke with the creative minds behind some of best costumes on television at the Costume Designers Guild Awards.

There's a lot that goes into making TV's characters and worlds come to life.

The most talented and creative costume designers in Hollywood reunited at the 21st Costume Designers Guild Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on Tuesday night to celebrate their colleagues' outstanding craftsmanship and impactful creations from the last year.  

ET spoke with some of the most skilled and admired television costume designers, where they shared hidden details in their costumes, their most challenging looks to create, as well as their most rewarding – with some designers even teasing what fans can expect from the new seasons of their hit shows.

Cynthia Summers -- A Series of Unfortunate Events' costume designer shares one of her favorite characters to dress and the hidden detail in their wardrobe.

Eike Schroter/Netflix

"Anything that Esme (Lucy Punch) wears because she is the fashion plate of this season and in season three, which we are recognizing next year, it's even more so," Summers shares. "And Count Olaf (Neil Patrick Harris), as his character is diminishing, so is his look and all his disguises and Esme is taking the forefront on that. She, of course, is all about tongue-in-cheek fashion that kids think is hideous."

As far as a hidden and telling detail, "For Esme, as she becomes more and more evil, and her character becomes more larger than life, her shoulder pads get larger and pointier and pointier," she revealed. "And then Carmelita (Kitana Turnbull), they kind of coupled, she's kind of adopted her as her own, and they started twinning and mirroring each other."

Gersha Phillips -- Star Trek Discovery's costume designer talks the pressure of making fans happy and the most challenging look to create.

Ben Mark Holzberg/CBS

"On one side, we have a lot of freedom because we are developing new characters, new species and new aliens that no one has seen before. On the other side, we are bringing back some of the old things like this season brought back the Enterprise looks. It's a lot of fun but it's interesting and challenging because you have to be aware of the fans," she expressed. "[The most challenging] was the Georgiou (Michelle Yeoh) costume for mirror universe, this long cape with the press plate with printed elements with it."

Donna Zakowska -- The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel's costume designer shares how Miriam Maisel's life blossoms like her wardrobe. 

Courtesy of Amazon Studios

"Season two shows Midge's (Rachel Brosnahan) progression as a character. [It] is really about her being in the middle of this whole new life and development," Zakowska details. "Every costume is a series of special details, in terms of choosing the fabrics and the color palette is a big thing for me. As a painter, I love working with a color. So the details are like a flower that blossoms and that is how the color and the clothes grow as we go into the season."

As for what fans will get in terms of wardrobe for season three: "Even more, even better!"

Hala Bahmet -- This Is Us' costume designer shares how she created Nicky's three generations looks, as well as how she styled adult Kevin. 


"Nicky is played by three different actors. We have the child Nicky, Michael Angarano who plays the 20-year-old Nicky and Griffin Dunne, who was a nice surprise guest for us," she explained. "We get to stretch our wings and get to explore all these different sides of these people and where they are in different times of their lives. The costumes are all different decades so the research is important and we create a lot of costumes."


For Kevin, "we shopped a lot from John Varvatos, who has been an incredible source for us and the quality and style is there," Bahmet continued. "I liked for Kevin to be simple and not distracting, but just perfectly polished and put together. We use Rag & Bone, we use some All Saints. We modify things, we build things. We have done some period, flashback things with him as an adult when he's in the films. It's great."

Allyson B. Fanger -- Grace and Frankie's costume designer explains how as June Diane Raphael's character, Brianna, gets more powerful, so do her outfits.


"The first season of the show, June had just had a baby and she felt huge [after giving birth]. We did a lot of black and every season she has become so powerful in her character," Fanger explained. "I dress her towards her power. [June] was funny, she was like, 'People comment so much on my clothes that sometimes I wonder if I am a good actress anymore.' It's ridiculous. Nobody else could pull off the clothes in the way that she does. I could put another actress in those clothes and it wouldn't have the same impact it does when it's June as Brianna."

When asked by fans how they can get the "Brianna style," she replies, "Be fierce. Be confident. Put it on and own it!"

Ali Goldstein / Netflix

One of her biggest challenges in season two was creating the aesthetic for the wedding. "I drove my crew so crazy with that wedding because I was like, 'It's not in the color palette," she revealed. "A lot of times in TV, the showrunners, if they come from comedy, they want to have every color be different, and I was like, 'I really want to make this a cohesive mood for the wedding. I want all the people at the wedding, every guest to go with the palette.' I was a little nervous about how it would come out, and it came out so well! I was taking a little style note from Wes Anderson because he keeps his shows, sets, costumes within one palette and it worked!"

Sharen Davis -- Westworld's costume designer shares her most challenging look to create and a hidden detail in the men's wardrobe.

John P. Johnson/HBO

"[Thandie Newton's] kimono [was one of the most challenging]. We were trying to recreate a kimono that people would believe that it was Japanese and from that period, and at the same time match Maeve's western dress, the same print. It's like a bigger, floral print of her Westworld dress," she explained. "They wanted everyone in Shogun World to mirror Westworld."

As for a hidden detail, "On some of the men's lapels, I had these little pins. They were only the men that you didn't really know why they were still alive or why they would be at a certain situation. I don't even know why they were really there, maybe you will find out in season three. But the lapels just had a thin line in it and it meant nothing. I just put it on them because I have no idea why they are there, and they usually don't wear a suit."

For more costume designer secrets, watch below.