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The Mindy Project

Mindy Kaling as Mindy Lahiri on “The Mindy Project.” Costume design by Salvador Perez. Credit: Hulu.

The Mindy Project

“The Mindy Project”

September 18, 2015

Valli Herman

The debut of “The Mindy Project” season four on Hulu has been hailed as a success for the show, for the growing streaming service and for the future of television as the boundaries blur between network, cable and streaming content. Good TV is good TV, in other words.

It’s also an opportunity for Costume Designer Salvador Perez to give the loyal fans more of what they love about his work—the colorful, unexpected combinations of colors, silhouettes and patterns for star Mindy Kaling.

“As a costume designer, coming back to the show, I knew I had to pull out all the stops. I raised the bar very high for the season,” he said. “We will be continuing that episode after episode.”

Perez, whose Emmy nomination this year was the show’s only so far, displayed the finesse he’s acquired over the years dressing the star as her fictional character, Mindy Lahiri, and for her real-life turns on the red carpet.

“Her first outfit of the season is a spectacular blouse with black houndstooth printed with orange flowers,” Perez said. The Oscar de la Renta blouse with an asymmetrical hem is cinched at the waist with a BCBG black leather tie belt, topped with a cropped Elie Tahari leather jacket and paired with a slim St. John Knits orange skirt.

In a second scene, the simpatico partnership between Perez and Kaling is evident. She wears a short-sleeve, black dress with a plunging V-neckline.

“We call that neckline the Mindy,” said Perez, who first employed it for red-carpet gowns. “We’ve done three versions so far. Two for the red carpet and one for the show. It’s a signature look.” A built-in corset with 19 metal bones attaches to a V-shaped metal insert that anchors the dress and corset to Kaling’s figure.

“Every gown we make for Mindy has a built-in corset,” Perez said. Her clothes are also expertly tailored and fitted, partly because they are constructed on a dress form built to her size.

“My cutter-fitter, Sivorn Price, can make them perfect on the first fitting,” said Perez. The gown, like others she’s worn for celebrity appearances, was encrusted with Swarovski crystals by Roland Fuentes at Star Studded in Beverly Hills.

Perez also made a black-and-white hound’s tooth coat with a vivid lining to wear over the dress. She wears the ensemble to confront her boyfriend, Danny, who is on a date with Freida Pinto, who plays herself. Mindy and Danny (Chris Messina) fight, and take the action outdoors in the rain.

“I had to make three dresses and coats. Then we had to soak them,” he said. “That was sort of sad.”

“The Mindy Project” streams on Hulu; new episodes are released on Tuesdays.

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