Chat with Trayce Gigi Field Dead to Me Costume Designer

When I first heard about the Netflix show Dead to Me it was about the amazing performances of stars Christina Applegate and Linda Cardellini. When I watched the show, I knew I had to be a part of the costume design, which led me to the costume designer for the series, Trayce Gigi Field. Trayce's diverse experience, from Two Broke Girls to AJ and the Queen show her depth of experience and eye for contemporary style. She also makes herself available to fans on social media and during the Covid shutdown has been so generous with her time, including sending in answers to my questions and sharing some behind-the-scenes photos from her work on Dead to Me! I'm super thrilled to share her insights on working on that TV show. If you have any wardrobe questions for Trayce, you are welcome to reach out to her on her Instagram @traycegigifield. Let the fashion  inspiration begin!

1) How did working on Dead to Me come to be?
I was hired to work on Dead to Me by Liz Feldman, the creator of the show. I’ve worked with her in the past and she trusts me to carry out her vision visually. 
Trayce and Liz Feldman
Trayce with Dead to Me creator Liz Feldman and her wife, Rachel.
2) When designing a contemporary show, how do you approach it? Is your design driven more by the story or by current fashion trends or perhaps a mix of both?
Every project is different. Some looks are story driven, some are emotionally driven, and some looks are for visual appeal. , I create mood boards for each character. The boards are usually a collection of images that I sourced from the internet, books, and vintage fashion campaigns. These boards convey a visual map for how the characters look and feel.  I love mixing contemporary with vintage. 

3) When building a wardrobe for a character, how much is built by you versus purchased off the rack? 
Building a characters’ closet is a process. The closet usually requires a mix of shopping and building. The looks are dependent on the storyline, body type, time constraints, and budget.

4) How do accessories fit into your character design? I’d love to know more about that process!
I like to source accessories from everywhere.  Online, stores, vintage, and local designers. I am always on the quest of finding the perfect accessory for the character. For me, accessories are what gives the characters individuality. Not only do accessories complete a look, but they take the look to another level of depth into the character. 
Dead to Me costume department
The Dead to Me Costume Department

5) How would you describe Jen’s style? Judy’s?
Jen and Judy are such different people. I wanted to help convey their differences visually through their clothing.  Jen has a tough, badass type of personality. Jen is a super strong woman, so her clothes are an extension of that.  She wears darker tones, strong silhouettes  and her clothes are almost like armor. Structured suits, with bold striped or solid shirts, dark jeans, and chunky booties all shout out - stay out of my way. Jen is our effortless tough girl, who doesn’t overthink her clothing choices, almost like a uniform, she always looks good, you don’t want to mess with her. Judy on the other hand is all soft vibes, flowy, and blooming personality. She is floral prints, boho chic, and vintage girl all wrapped in one. Judy’s clothes represent her life.  A mixture of high and low. Expensive and economical. Judy comes from having to make do, so she became a master thrift shopper. Pairing those finds with her more expensive pieces that she was able to mindfully purchase while being in a relationship with wealthy Steve. Judy attire conveys approachability. Her clothes help you understand that Judy is super sweet. Almost like a hug. 

6) I love Judy’s mix of vintage and contemporary pieces. What is the key to incorporating vintage into one’s wardrobe? Any tips for shopping for vintage pieces (do you have some favorite places to shop)?
My process for shopping vintage is an elaborate plan, as it takes time.  That’s the key. Take your time.  First, I dedicate a day or two to just vintage shop.  I map out what stores I will visit.  Secondly, I peruse the entire store.  Yep, that’s right.  I look at every piece in the store.  I find such gems this way!!  Third, know your look, so when you are shopping and finding pieces you can envision exactly what outfit or other pieces it would pair with. Envision what that vintage piece could be and don’t be afraid to have the piece altered.  Lemon Frog, Topknot, Jet Rag, and Worship LA are some of my favorite Vintage shops in Los Angeles. 

7) How does working on a TV show differ from working on a feature film?
The biggest difference between working on TV versus Film   Usually on a film you have more time to prep and develop the characters.  I enjoy both mediums.  I am so passionate about the art of Costume Design and I am thankful to have a career I love.
Trayce hanging out with a Dead to Me friend!
Trayce hanging out with a Dead to Me friend!

8) What kind of project would you like to work on next?
Next up is hopefully Dead to Me season 3! I just want to say thank you to everyone out there who is loving the Dead to Me Costumes! I would love to do more films.  I recently wrapped a film titled Barb and Star go to Vista del Mar (Lionsgate)  starring Kristen Wiig, Annie Mumolo, and Jamie Dordan. The film will be in theaters in 2021.  There is such creativite costume design in the film, I hope everyone loves it as much as I do!

9) When it comes to jewelry…
    1. Gold or silver? Gold 
    2. Diamonds or pearls? Diamonds
    3. Bold or dainty? BOTH!

Huge thanks again to Trayce for sharing with me and for using my jewelry on Dead to Me season 2. It's been amazing!

xoxo peggy

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