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“The Mindy Project” Runway Show Fetes Costume Designer Salvador Perez

A runway show featuring items curated by costume designer Salvador Perez presented designs inspired by “The Mindy Show.”
Photo credit: M. Galas

By: Marjorie Galas

Mindy Kaling loved writing for the comedy series “The Office” but was never enthusiastic about the drab apparel the characters in the Scranton, Pennsylvania- based paper company Dunder Mifflin wore.

“It was a wonderful but very un-glamorous show.  To do a show where they take the fashion so seriously is like a dream come true,” said Kaling.

Kaling funneled her love of fun fashion and fine clothing into her series “The Mindy Project.”  Portraying main character Mindy Lahiri, a smart, thirty-something gynecologist based in New York, Kaling has worn everything from sharp business attire to pinafores, from sexy mini skirts to traditional Indian saris.   Early in the development process she had her eye on costume designer and Costume Designers Guild President Salvador Perez. He joined the team in the first season and works closely with Kaling to help define her character’s emotional arc through color and fabric.

“Sal is such an A student, he’s reading every outline, every beat sheet, every draft, every change,” said Kaling.  “My character is so emotional which is very fun and she loves fashion.  A lot of times her situation is portrayed by what she wears.  He’s just got a razor sharp focus on that.”

The costumes on “The Mindy Project”, specifically those worn by Kaling, are a combination of sourced items, such as a Dolce and Gabbana dress featuring a lemon pattern, and custom made dresses and coats.  A highlight from last season’s finale was a custom made jacket with a color that was embellished with over 1,000 hand-sewn crystals.  For Perez, a favorite aspect of designing clothing for Kaling is both making costume clothing for the full figured actress – they will spend hours during the fitting process to ensure all tailoring is perfect – and using the bright, vivid colors the actress loves.

“I’ve always been a designer that adds too much color and I was always told to tone it down,” said Perez.  “Mindy says ‘Bring it up and add rhinestones.'”

Recognizing the admiration “The Mindy Project” fans have for Mindy’s fashion, Hulu, with generous support from Citi,  presented a “The Mindy Project” fashion show at The Grove Saturday, June 11th, 2016.  Perez curated the runway fashions, pulling styles from sponsor Nordstom that were inspired by the show.  Kaling and Perez, along with the series head makeup artist and hair stylist described their process in contributing to the look and fashions depicted in the show.  In addition to invited guests, a massive crowd of onlookers circled the stage and took part in a question and answer period with the star.  Perez was delighted to see the turn out.

“We get so much fan interaction on social media, but it’s anonymous.  It’s great to have the fans here in person,” said Perez.

Added Kaling, “The clothes are such a huge pillar of the show.  This is just such a great event.”