If you’ve never sewn an item for someone else, you may not understand the sheer terror that bubbles up in your belly from wanting to make sure that they love it. If like me, you’ve never sewn anything up that’s going to be worn by so many characters beloved by millions of people who will be judging how close you came to the book, you’ll DEFINITELY understand the passion and partial terror that Paco Delgado, costume designer for A Wrinkle In Time shared with us during our interview of him. He was visibly excited about dressing the likes of Oprah, who he was admittedly mortified about designing for, until he started thinking of her as a co-worker.
5 Facts About A Wrinkle In Time’s Costume Designer
- He was so nervous about how his creations would look on screen. His process starts with looking at the script and finding all of the tiny details in it that he will be able to work with. From Meg waking up in the morning to her and Charles Wallace walking through their neighborhood. He pulls from those types of things and then creates according to the character. Creating the costumes for the celestial beings that the Mrs. are, he had to think of them in a way that was NOT human and then create their costumes from that. The hardest person he created costumes for was Mrs. Which, played by Oprah Winfrey, because she wasn’t human sized as her being transcended time and space. She had to evoke energy and a warrior from viewing her, and I know that while they were in the cave of the Happy Medium, she looked like a warrior ready for battle. He used a lot of plastic and reflective metal fabrics in her pieces, so that she could reflect her age and wisdom. He created Mindy’s character, Mrs. Who as a supernatural librarian. Her costumes are gorgeous too! Lots of words printed on the fabrics and just a general air of knowledge of words.
- He got it wrong a couple of times. In speaking with Ava, and showing her his renderings of what the Mrs. should look like, he had to go back to the drawing board, and think even bigger! He and Ava came up with his designs being an extension of conversations from the movie to the viewing audience, and that’s where they found their sweet spot for these designs. He created a costume from neoprene that looked wonderful when it was finished, and they left it on a table for a couple hours only to come back to it flat and lifeless. Knowing the feeling of something looking SO GOOD when you finish it, only to collapse after a couple of hours after you’ve sewn it, I know the disappointment personally.
- The process to create the costumes for the Mrs. was intense. He had to source pieces that would work well on the physical bodies of the Mrs. AND the screen. Fiber-optics were used and lots of glass beads, so that energy could be reflected from the clothing they were wearing. Most of the costumes took a little over a month to create, but they were all being made simultaneously to maintain a tight timeline.
- Mindy’s costumes are all layered like books to extend that feeling of her being the super librarian of the world. One of my favorite costumes is the pieces that she wears when the get to the planet Ixchel. It’s so colorful and heavily layered, and it’s a masterpiece of fabric and other medium. They look like book pages extending out of her body, and it’s genius.
- Things like skin tone, height, shoe choice and hair color all go into costume making. Oprah’s costumes had to play well with her platinum blond hair, as did Reese’s costumes with her bright red. He took all of these things into account while creating for them and he took those things seriously.
I was enthralled the entire time we had him for interview. I want to be seen as someone who creates with a passion as deep as his. It can be so scary extending yourself in a way of sewing fabric together and giving it to someone else to show off. You know that YOU like it, but you’re not always sure that the recipient will feel the same way. To see Paco be this vulnerable with his craft and his process let me know that I’m on the right track with Houseful of Stitches even if I never get to work on a movie or television show. As long as I love what I’m creating, and people love carrying what I create – I’m doing well.
And maybe one of these days, I might run into Paco again!
A Wrinkle In Time is in theaters now! Go check out those beautiful costumes that Paco designed.