The winter weather in Vancouver is the biggest challenge for costume designer Cynthia Summers in working on “Fairly Legal,” the USA Network series that airs Friday, March 23, at 9 p.m. (ET), on USA Network.
“Our main character, Kate (Sarah Shahi), winds up being out on the street a lot and going to different locations to meet clients and investigate different scenarios,” she tells Zap2it. “We’ve had to cover her up a lot, which is sad because she’s so beautiful and we want to show her.”
That means lots of colorful coats and scarves and not as many dresses and skirts as Summers would like.
“Dealing with bad weather like snow means pants, and if she’s wearing a dress, she unfortunately has to wear tights,” she says. “She wears Spanx tights because they are pretty durable and Sarah is a little hard on her clothes. She’s an action girl, so we have to make sure what she is wearing is not too delicate or we have to have doubles.”
Summers shops primarily in Los Angeles and Vancouver. In L.A., she shops for all of the characters at Barneys and Neiman Marcus. In Vancouver, Summers finds the same labels but sometimes different stock at Holt Renfrew, the Canadian version of those high-end department stores. Favorite designers for Kate include Burberry, Paul Smith, The Row, Stella McCartney, Marc Jacob, L’Wren Scott and Dolce & Gabbana. Bags also play a big role in Kate’s wardrobe, which includes three different Proenza Schouler PS1 bags in the smaller size (purple, black and a caramel one that was originally orange) and a Marni black messenger bag.
“Sarah’s favorite bag is a camel Rebecca Minkoff with gold accessories,” Summer says. “Sarah personally likes tchotchkes and stuff dangling and loves to add little pieces and we have to kind of pull her back a little bit.”
Less is definitely more when it comes to jewelry for Kate, and that precedent was set in the first season, before Summers joined the show.
“Kate has one set basically: two gold chains, one longer than the other, and one has a pendant with her father’s initial on it and the other is gold disc with a little diamond in the middle,” she says. “And she wears a lot of rings I picked up from everywhere, and organic, leather or beaded bracelets she stacks.”
Summers describes some memorable looks from the show’s second season:
“This red coat is Moschino. The scarf is Paul Smith, and
that’s the Minkoff bag. Red is a great color for her and it’s also iconic for
the show. Red is featured in a lot of the publicity materials we shot.”
“That’s a Burberry coat with a black patent leather belt
that wraps twice. We use almost exclusively Burberry for coats because there
are great ones for all seasons and it suits her character. The bag is one of
the PS1 bags, the caramel one. You can see that she has gloves and boots on –
the weather is so hard for us. The boots are Prada and they’re a little ankle
boot. Underneath is an Isabel Marant blouse and Dolce & Gabbana black
“This is an Erdem sheath dress and the print is kind of like
a modernistic painting. Kate has been wearing a lot of Erdem because the
network is not really keen on a lot of prints or big checks and Erdem has got
really beautiful patterns. It’s beautiful fabric, and they do such a great job.
I love this line. The jacket is The Row, and it’s black with three-quarter
length sleeves. She’s carrying the black PS1 bag.”
“The very bright orange knit sweater is Marc Jacobs, and the pants are Sandro. They are super cute wool plaid and I bought them at the Bay in Vancouver.”