Go Inside Revenge's Wardrobe Department With Costume Designer, Jill Ohanneson
An all-new season of Revenge starts Sunday on ABC and InStyle.com got an exclusive look at the show’s on-set wardrobe department in Manhattan Beach, Calif. Jill Ohanneson, the costume designer who perfects the characters’ Hamptons look every week, showed us around the various closets in the department, from the racks of men’s suits to the rows of colorful gowns that we’ve seen on Emily VanCamp’s Emily Thorne, Madeleine Stowe’s Victoria Grayson, Ashley Madekwe’s Ashley Davenport, and Christa B. Allen’s Charlotte Grayson. “It’s really fun for me to create this fantasy, aspirational world that most people dream of being a part of,” Ohanneson told us. “I work really hard to make sure that it didn’t look like New York, Los Angeles, or Chicago. I really wanted it to be the Hamptons.” Click through the gallery for a behind-the-scenes look at the Revenge costume department -- including a sneak peek of Emily’s wedding dress from this season! Then, tune in to watch new episodes on Sundays at 9/8c on ABC and follow Ohanneson on twitter at @JillOhanneson for the latest wardrobe scoop.
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The Designer’s Main Goal
“My main goal is to help tell the story of the script with the actors’ costumes,” Ohanneson told InStyle.com. “Also, it’s about helping the actor be able to feel the character and what the character is going through emotionally and physically.”
The On-Set Wardrobe Studio
“We know that we always have this basic stock,” she said, guiding us through the different archive rooms. “There’s a closet for each actor that’s completely separate, in different styles and different color palettes.” Ohanneson also uses a traveling wardrobe trailer for shooting on location. She likes to keep the mood light while doing fittings with the actors, especially since they can take 10 to 15 minutes. “I’ve learned to make it fun over the years,” she explained. “All of our actors are really great. They stand there and we laugh and we tell jokes.”
The Tailoring Process
“Almost everything that goes on our principal actors gets altered, from head to toe,” she said. “Men’s suits are altered up one sleeve and down the other and up the back and sides. All the dresses are brought in to within an inch, actually a fraction, of their body.” Each actor has their own mannequin to match their figure!
Emily’s Wedding Dress
This season, we’ll see Emily tie the knot, but what’s a Grayson wedding without a little drama? Ohanneson designed the dress with some specifics in mind. “In the teaser, we see Emily fall into the water and they wanted fabric what would float around her,” she said. “I designed the dress from scratch because of all the different elements that we needed it to be able to do. Really, tulle was the one thing that could work the most, so that even though you have some volume, it feels weightless.”
The Designers They Love
“On Emily, we use a lot more American designers and with Victoria we use a lot more European designers,” explained Ohanneson. “I think that has to do with body type and the character. Emily is very clean, American, elegant girl-next-door, and then I have Victoria, who’s lush and sensual.” As for her go-to designers? Michael Kors, Roland Mouret, L’Wren Scott, and Burberry.
Where the Clothes Come From
Ohanneson shops for wardrobe items both in store and online, but prefers the selection that e-commerce offers. “I can go online and find stuff that we don’t have in Los Angeles,” she said. “The other really great thing is our winter is so short that coats come in and they’re out, whereas I can find coats online a lot longer.”
Who Has The Largest Closet?
Blame her multiple personalities, Emily Thorne has the biggest wardrobe. “She has a couple different sides to her,” explained Ohanneson. “She’s got the Emily Thorne who she presents to the Hamptons. We have Emily, the ninja revenger, so we have all those outfits like black hoodies, jeans, and boots. Then we have the real Amanda, who we get to see every once in awhile and she’s more in comfortable sweaters and jeans.” As for who has the most shoes, that’s Nolan (Gabriel Mann)!
The Accessories Closet
“I shop a lot at Bloomingdale’s and Macy’s because they have wonderful statement pieces that aren’t a thousand dollars,” she told us about the accessories closet. “I think they do a really great job of finding designers and brands that kind of rework the really expensive stuff and do a beautiful job at it.” Her other favorite shops to grab jewelry and handbags? BCBG, Nordstrom, and Henri Bendel.
Antonio Berardi Dress: From Closet to Show
“I love Antonio Berardi, we have done really well with him,” she said. “It all starts with the fabric and the details. You can take the simplest dress but if it’s made out of an amazing fabric, that’s what it’s all about.”
The Designer’s Inspiration
“I was in Europe over the summer and went to different museums and different countries and found that it really inspired me as far as textures and colors for this season,” explained Ohanneson. “Traveling really made me want that whole world -the fashion and style world of the Hamptons-to be those beautiful popping jewel tones and bright colors.”
A Custom-Made Wardrobe
“If we found a dress silhouette that we really love, I’ll get some fabric and I might do it in a couple of other colors,” she explained, even though they work on a tight filming schedule. “We make as much as we can.”
What To Expect in Season Three
This season, the rivalry between Emily and Victoria heats back up. “You’ll see a little bit more of Emily trying to keep everything together, and that will show in her costumes,” she said. “Victoria is up to her manipulative, mischievous ways and we’ve looked for ways to give her a little bit of a different silhouette.”