By Cassy Salyer – August 13, 2013
Costume Designer Genevieve Tyrrell’s career in costume design began as many do, by being in the right place at the right time, and in the company of the right people. While working in specialty retail in Seattle, she met one of the owners of Fred Segal and eventually ended up in Los Angeles working at the Melrose location. There, she started meeting Costume Designers and stylists every day and it didn’t take long for her to get the “itch.” She began letting everyone she met at the store know that she could make herself available to assist when needed. A few took her up on the offer and the rest, as they say, is history.
Her first project was “Swingers” at the age of 24, and since then her work experience has run the gamut from TV series such as “Entourage” and “Mr. Sunshine,” to the big screen with films such as “Freaky Friday” and “Dukes of Hazzard.”
Most recently, Tyrrell has boldly gone where few Costume Designers have gone before—that is, going to work designing for a film funded by Kickstarter, the world’s largest crowd funding platform for creative projects. And while Kickstarter has become a hugely successful tool for indie film producers hoping to bring their dreams to life, no project – film or otherwise – has made as much noise as the “Veronica Mars” movie.
The most widely supported project in Kickstarter history, “Veronica Mars” was born completely out of love from its passionate, adoring fans – also known as “Marshmallows” – of the former TV series of the same name. Having now acquired pledges from 91,585 fans in 21 countries, the film blew past its initial $2,000,000 goal within the first 10 hours, and eventually raised $5,702,153.
Tyrrell landed the gig based on the recommendation of Salvador Perez, who served as Costume Designer on the “Veronica Mars” TV series. Perez was unable to work on the movie due to prior commitments, so he recommended Tyrrell and, according to her, it was “love at first meet” upon being introduced to Director (and show creator) Rob Thomas and the rest of the gang.
Perez downloaded Tyrrell on the characters and their respective looks as they were in the series, which initially premiered nine years ago, and left the rest in Tyrrell’s capable hands, fast-forwarding nearly a decade to bring the same characters to life in similar – but evolved – ways.
Aside from the expected, general changes in fashion, Tyrrell says much of the original flavor remains the same. “It’s like home cooking. You don’t go changing a good recipe.”
As a result, protagonist Veronica Mars (played by Kristen Bell) has a style that is very much on par with what a “real-life” Veronica Mars would wear: not too trendy, and nothing that appears outlandishly expensive.
As a hot shot New York City lawyer, Veronica’s grown-up look is “tough, but feminine and edgy” according to Tyrrell, and has graduated from Neptune, California to big city style with a color palette made mostly of olive, black and a cerulean blue. For example, she wears a Helmut Lang coat that has leather sleeves, paired with Veronica Mars’ signature black leather oversized bag that she was never seen without in the TV series. Tyrrell teases that in the movie: Veronica discovers the old bag (which is in fact the exact one purchased by Perez for the show) in the Mars’ home when she returns for her high school reunion (and, of course, to solve another mystery).
In terms of shoes, Rag & Bone’s Classic Newbury boots were a staple in Veronica’s wardrobe and Tyrrell also used a lot of Jimmy Choo boots paired with good denim, such as J Brand (her “go to”) and Paige Denim.
“This is the second time I’ve worked with Kristen, and everything was very collaborative and family-like,” says Tyrrell, who says her favorite part about being a Costume Designer is the team effort involved in virtually every phase of the process.
“Veronica Mars,” however, is a fan-funded film and a true passion project for all involved. To those on the inside, it may have seemed like collaboration on steroids. “Veronica Mars is easily the most fun movie I’ve done. The spirit of doing a movie funded by Kickstarter and having the actual fans of the show there made for a really unique experience,” says Tyrrell.
The fans (and funders) were an integral part of the film, and many of them can be spotted in the background of key scenes. Depending on the level of their monetary contribution to the project, fans were granted various perks in regards to their participation (one fan who contributed $10,000 even earned a small, on-camera speaking role for the movie).
Tyrrell was also responsible for dressing each of the fans who were on camera, and in between fittings and shooting, she and other crew members would give tours of the set and trailers, offering fans a truly up close and personal look at the movie that they helped bring to life.
To view the trailer for the Veronica Mars movie, which is due in theaters in 2014, click here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LVJhjV3EOY4