8 Questions With The Mindy Project's Costume Designer, Salvador Perez

8 Questions With <em>The Mindy Project's</em> Costume Designer, Salvador Perez
Jordin Althaus/FOX; Greg Gayne/FOX

We’ve been waiting months to say this: The Mindy Project is back tonight! The hilarious comedy has been a favorite of ours for quite awhile, and not just for the well-timed jokes. Over the course of the past two seasons, we’ve become obsessed with Dr. Mindy Lahiri’s (Mindy Kaling) colorful ensembles. With the new episode airing, we had to get all the scoop on what’s next in the wardrobe department from the show’s costume designer, Salvador Perez. Scroll down for eight questions with Perez, and be sure to tune into FOX tonight at 9/8c.

How do you go about choosing the looks for each show? Every three weeks we get a break from shooting, and we have a week of massive fittings for three or four hours a day where we go through 30 or 40 outfits. Then we pick our favorites. We try and put our favorites and the most striking in longer scenes. Also, we try and dress the scene according to what’s happening and whether she’s in a good mood versus a bad mood.

What have been some of her most popular looks from season 2? The audience responds to the coats the most. I make the coats because it’s rare that you find a tailored lightweight coat, and since we’re filming in Los Angeles I try to bring that New York City sensibility in, so there’s always a coat and a scarf. So I go with lighter weight coats so she doesn’t boil to death.

How does Mindy Kaling’s style influence the on-screen Mindy? I think it’s goes both ways. I have exposed her to so much that it has refined her personal taste. Mindy had a very specific fashion style when we started, and working together we’ve expanded the possibilities over the years through the thousands of fittings. For example, she came in at five in the morning in the most fabulous outfit, and I asked her, "Did you go some place first?" It no longer takes her any effort to look great and put together at 5 am.

Off-screen Mindy also wears a lot of color. She’s always loved color, and she’s gone bold with it. It’s a powerful accessory. The [orange] Trina Turk outfit she wore to SXSW was all Mindy. She’s gotten much more bold and confident with her choices, and when you’re constantly exposed to fashion it’s just going to rub and off.

Mindy Kaling
Richard Mcblane/Getty Images for SXSW; Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic
She also just wore a killer crop top outfit from Topshop at Paley Fest. We just we found that sweet spot on her waistline. It was most the flattering spot and it worked.

It was fab! Are there trends she won't try? Mindy is very open to trends, and one of the things we’re doing in the season finale is that we’re tweaking her style and adding in menswear-inspired elements like ties, which is very in right now.

What are some of the designers you love to put her in? We love Trina Turk, Kate Spade, C. Wonder, and Tory Burch, and we mix in J.Crew and Lela Rose. Mindy loves Ferragamo shoes because they’re comfortable.

What are a few style tips for the modern day working woman? Mindy wears very basic pieces, but what makes the pieces interesting is the color.  She doesn’t choose the white or blue top, she goes for one in bright color. It’s the prints, colors, and textures that make her outfits. It’s still ladylike in the silhouettes, but the color makes her outfits stand out.

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