Each character's clothes on The Closer are carefully contrived to complement or contrast with Brenda’s outfits. Photo courtesy of Turner

“The Closer”

July 6, 2012

“The subjective actress thinks of clothes only as they apply to her. . .the objective actress thinks of them only as they affect others. . .as a tool for the job.”

– Academy Award-winning Costume Designer Edith Head

Costume Designer Greg LaVoi has the above quote taped to the back of his fitting room door, and it has served as a guiding principle throughout The Closer’s run on TNT, which concludes this summer after its final season. The final six episodes will begin airing on Monday, July 9th.

From The Closer’s inception, actress Kyra Sedgwick (who plays powerhouse Deputy Chief, Brenda Johnson), along with the show’s creator James Duff, worked with LaVoi to capture the heart and soul of her character—a southern belle entering the LA police department—and through her costumes, visually translate her relationships with both her colleagues and adversaries.

“We set Brenda’s clothes first, then we work around those colors for her squad,” LaVoi says. “We’ll do complementary colors for her outfit. Maybe it’s a tie; maybe it’s a flower on a tie.”

The same attention is paid to the clothes worn by the extras, suspects and criminals—their palettes are carefully contrived to complement or contrast with Brenda’s outfit in each scene. Those that wear complementary colors are “on her side” and tend to be helpful to the investigation, while those that wear colors in stark contrast to Brenda’s outfit signify opposition and may even be the guilty party. From print skirts and cashmere twin sets to gorgeous vintage jackets and Irene suits, Brenda’s look has definitely evolved throughout the years, though the use of color on the show remains a constant.

Although he would not divulge any specifics, LaVoi says to look out for a special surprise in the final scene of the final episode. We will definitely be watching!


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