“Mistresses,” revolving around four friends with individual styles, could revive memories of another ABC drama of past Sunday nights. Though the characters and looks are very different from “Desperate Housewives,” both shows do have a costume designer in common, Roemehl Hawkins.
Hawkins, also the costume designer for “Devious Maids,” tells Zap2it, “This is more good old-fashioned fashion.”
To build the “Mistresses” characters’ wardrobes, Hawkins draws from the women around Los Angeles. Characters that would be more formal elsewhere have the laid-back L.A. vibe.
For instance, most lawyers wear suits, or at the very least conservative dresses with conservative jackets. But Alyssa Milano’s character, Savi, has a unique approach to dressing for the office. “I can’t remember seeing a lawyer on TV that is not wearing traditional suits,” Hawkins says. “Alyssa and I worked very closely to create her character.”
Here she is wearing a Michael Kors dress with a draped neck. Hawkins tops Savi’s outfits with a vintage jacket to give a twist to dressing for a traditionally buttoned-up work environment.
Yunjin Kim plays Karen, a therapist, whom Hawkins describes as, “very modern. Even when you see the interior of her home and office, everything is very sleek and modern. I wanted her to have those lines but I wanted to have softer looks on top, or if a dress, pretty colors on it. And I wanted her to be relatable as a therapist and to not be as edgy as her environment but to still show her as a modern woman.”
Here, Karen wears a Roberto Cavalli skirt and a Ted Baker top. The high-waisted skirt is modern while the blouse is softer and makes her more approachable.
Rochelle Aytes’ character, April, is a mom and widow. April is wearing a maxi dress. Hawkins puts her in “long skirts, a little denim jacket.” April has a store, which reminds Hawkins of Anthropologie, so she outfits her in clothes that reflect that store. “I wanted to keep her really, really grounded with more of a casual vibe,” Hawkins says. “She is more of a true creative job.”
Jes Macallan’s character, Josslyn, “is fun and she is a risk taker,” Hawkins says. “It comes through in her clothes. She likes fashion. She blows her commission from her real estate checks on clothes or is given a lot of gifts from men in her life. She is the one who will go out and buy a $1,000 purse. Josslyn will have cuffs and crazy earrings. She makes bolder statements.”
As expected in any show where four women love fashion and one, Joss, is a true fashionista, there is a shoe scene.
“In the script it said her legs were crossed and up on a desk,” Hawkins says. “And I was, ‘Oh, the shoe moment! I am so excited. I live for shoes. I went to the director and said, ‘I am Roemehl, the costume designer. Are you really going to start with the shoes?’ ” The answer was yes, which led to the purchase of leopard print Louboutins with cutouts.