Mindy Kaling once told me that her relationship with “The Mindy Project” costume designer Salvador Perez is the longest relationship she’s ever had. After one look at his curated exhibition at The Paley Center’s Beverly Hills location, you’ll understand why. For six seasons, Perez, who is also the President of the Costume Designers Guild, created a closet enviable of anyone with a pulse. 32 of Kaling’s looks, along with seven other cast looks, will be open to the public until October 1st totally gratis.
Curvy women in particular can learn a few things from Perez, whose select pieces show how unafraid he is of putting Kaling in patterns, mixed and repeated prints and mini skirts. With fall just around the corner, Perez encourages women to be more brave when selecting key pieces to expand their closets.
“The reason Mindy looks so good is because it’s all about alterations and fit,” Perez told HipLatina at The Paley Center exhibit launch. “I think clothes should be fitted and not tight. With fitted you can look elegant, but if it’s too tight you look like a sausage. Also knits, they’re your friend because it stretches. That way if you gain or lose five pounds, your clothes still fit. I would recommend women buy a few key pieces and have them altered to perfection rather than have a lot of pieces that you’re not going to use.”
For ladies who may have just found out they are expecting, like Kaling in real life, Perez has suggestions on how alterations can help your outfits last nine months and beyond – especially since maternity lines still leave a lot to be desired.
“I remember when Mindy got pregnant [on the show] and I went to look at all the maternity lines,” he said. “I hated everything! You can still be chic and fabulous, so you’ll need to find pieces that have some stretch so you have more versatility in your wardrobe. Even with Mindy now, she’s been buying clothes and I tell her, ‘Let’s taper this now so that you can wear it longer, then after the baby we can take it in. You want to have more time with your quality pieces.”
Perez was charged with a unique challenge since the series shoots in Los Angeles but takes place in New York City. This gave him the opportunity to work his magic on coats and other fall and winter ensembles for 117 episodes. So what should ladies do when shopping for colder months?
“Instead of buying winter clothes, buy layers to build up to winter clothes,” he said. “So when it’s not cold, you still have the pieces to use again. If you buy a big, heavy coat you might use it twice. But if you buy a sweater, a shirt and a scarf, you can wear all those pieces individually.”
“If you find a colorful coat, buy it because there aren’t that many out there,” he added. “I remember for season two, I went shopping in New York and there was this sea of black and grey coats. There was only one in royal blue and I got it because I want Mindy to standout in New York. So if you want to blend into the crowd, buy a black or grey coat. But if you want to stand out, wear a little color.”
Fortunately for all of us, we may be able to purchase Perez’s brilliant designs, as he hinted there’s a retail line “in the works.” The sixth and final season of “The Mindy Project” will be available for streaming via Hulu on September 12.