Photo credit: Patrick McElhenney/FOX.

“The Mindy Project”

October 10, 2014

Over three seasons, Costume Designer Salvador Perez has helped turn “The Mindy Project” and its creator and star, Mindy Kaling, into certified icons of fashion.

Celebrity glossies such as US Weekly and InStyle regularly feature item-by-item breakdowns of each ensemble. Kaling’s social media posts of her outfits help boost her Twitter following to 3.2 million and ignite sales and trends around her wardrobe.

For this week’s episode, Perez dressed Kaling in classic, tailored silhouettes, but gave each piece his trademark spin.

“It’s a quintessential Mindy outfit,” said Perez, who dressed her in a charcoal and gray herringbone-pattern blazer from Theory, a blue, white and gray paisley blouse by Equipment, a black, gray and white box-plaid skirt by Alice + Olivia and open-toe black suede and lace high-heel shoe boots from Karen Millen. Perez added a touch of sparkle with a necklace and ring by XIV Karats and earrings from BaubleBar.

“It’s about tone on tone. Tones of grays, white, blacks and subtle blues make everything work together,” Perez said. “One of my specialties is mixing prints in interesting ways. If you just described it, anyone would think, ‘You are crazy,’ but it’s a visually pleasing outfit on her. It’s not so distracting that it takes you out of the story.

“She walks on screen and you’re mesmerized by her.”

In Kaling, Perez has not just a style-loving star, but also an executive producer and writer who knows the value of a well-dressed character.

“She understands the nuances of fashion,” Perez said. “She’ll come in on a day off for a four-hour fitting. She’ll have an extra hour at lunch and want to do a fitting.” That investment of time makes the design process efficient because fittings also allow Kaling to immediately issue approvals or modifications. With a show that in a single episode can have 23 outfits–jacket, skirt, blouse, jewelry, purse, shoes and coats–Perez needs to be able to move at a moment’s notice.

Kaling also is an active participant in the idea-generation process. The star spotted the herringbone blazer on one of her favorite shopping destinations, The Outnet website.

“Mindy is an avid online shopper. She’ll say, ‘Look at this great jacket. Look at this great pair of earrings.’ It’s my job to work them into an outfit,” Perez said.

Perez frequently customizes everything from coats to jewelry to provide the right blend of color and proportion. He so frequently used off-the-shelf and customized jewelry from BaubleBar that the online retailer recently collaborated with him on a featured line called BaubleBar X Salvador Perez. The collection of drop earrings, gem-studded necklaces and sparkly bracelets includes 12 designs in vivid color combinations.

Several items from the collection will be appearing on screen in coming episodes, as will an evolved style for the star.

“We’re in episode nine right now,” said Perez, “and we haven’t used cardigans or sweater vests and it’s killing me–because I love them.”

“The Mindy Project” airs Tuesdays, 9:30 p.m./8:30 p.m. CT on FOX.

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