Meet the Costume Designer Who Brought Daisy Jones & the Six to Life
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Costume designer Denise Wingate knew she wanted to work on the television adaptation of Daisy Jones & the Six from the minute she got a call about the project.
Wingate was shooting a movie in New Orleans when she got a call from Mike Nelson, one of the producers working on bringing Taylor Jenkins Reid's best-selling novel to life.
While Wingate was stuck inside her hotel room during Hurricane Barry, she read the book in one sitting. "I couldn't put it down. I literally called him the same day and I said, 'I need to do this. I have to do this.'"
To land the job, Wingate prepared a visual history of the book that blew everyone away. "I think everybody was blown away that I had just done so much research, " Wingate said. "I had never wanted a job so badly in my life."
She landed the job and began the process of bringing Jenkins Reid's '70s rock band saga to life on-screen. In the latest episode of Who What Wear With Hillary Kerr, Wingate shared what her research process was like, where she sources those vintage pieces, and more.
For excepts from their conversation, scroll below, and for the full conversation, be sure to tune in to this week's episode.
I'm just so excited that we get to talk about all things Daisy Jones & the Six. Tell me a little bit about how it all came together?
I got a call from Mike Nelson, one of the producers who I'd worked with previously. He said, "Hey, I think there's a book you should read."
I read it, and I didn't leave my hotel. I read it in one sitting, and I couldn't put it down. I literally called him the same day, and I said, "I need to do this. I have to do this."
I had never worked with Amazon before. I had never worked with Hello Sunshine. I was coming in completely cold.
I knew that it was going to be a hot property for any designer that anybody would want to do it. I just wanted to get the interview. I said, "Just get me in the room," I told Mike [Nelson]. "Just get me in the room."
While I was in New Orleans, I did a complete visual history of the book. I made my own book in images. It started from the whole history—from the '60s to the '70s. I made a book, and I brought that book into my first meeting.
I think everybody was blown away that I had just done so much research. I had never wanted a job so badly in my life. When I went to Amazon, they were like, "Okay, well, this pretty much looks like the show we want to do." I had pulled tons of images from the period. I think that's what nailed it for me.
When you're putting together research like this, where do you turn? Because I know you're not going to say Pinterest. I'm so curious about that source material.
That's what I love about what I do is just being able to research different periods and different lives.
We're so lucky we have the internet, and don't knock Pinterest! I've used Pinterest many times. It's a good resource.
The internet itself is a good resource, but not just that. I got magazines from the '70s. I watched so many documentaries because I wanted it to be realistic. I was freeze-framing everything.
My poor husband. Every time I would pause it, and then go up to the to the TV and take a picture, and and that was part of my my research as well.
Every time I saw an image, I would pull it, print it out. My walls in my office were covered from floor to ceiling with boards of different images. Every character had a board, and then I had a board of just bands from the period. Everything. It was insane. My printer ink budget was huge.
The band [in Daisy Jones & the Six] is often compared to Fleetwood Mac. I'm interested about any relationship you had with that band when creating these looks?
[Taylor Jenkins Reid] was inspired by Fleetwood Mac and listened to it over and over. You couldn't not be inspired by them as a band. They were a huge band. They had such interesting looks to them individually.
I drew from all of them. Early Christine McVie for Karen. Obviously, Stevie Nicks had such great fashion sense for Daisy. Mick Fleetwood for Warren. Lindsey Buckingham for Graham.
I was constantly pulling from them for each character, so there was always a Fleetwood Mac image, but along with many, many, many others.
You talk about how you thrifted all over the country for this show. What was that process like?
When I say I thrifted all over the country, a lot of it was online. That being said, a lot of it was from other countries.
I don't know if you remember the long tapestry coat Daisy wears in episode 10 before the last show. That was from Paris. I bought it online. I was like, "I have to have."
Thank god for the internet because I got stuff from all over: eBay, Poshmark, Etsy. There are so many good vintage shops online now that it's a wealth of options.
The thrift stores here all the way up from San Francisco down to Palm Springs—anywhere I could go that was in my area. Every single weekend—as you know, you live in L.A.—it would be Rose Bowl or Long Beach or Santa Monica Airport. Every single weekend. Every Saturday, I would go to the Los Feliz flea market.
I had certain vendors that would know me. They would send me pictures ahead of time and say, "I have this, this, this." They knew that I was looking for certain things. I didn't tell a lot of people what I was doing. I don't even think it would be on anybody's radar anyway, but they just knew I was looking for things.
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity. Next up, check out our previous episode featuring Enrique Melendez.
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