Salvador Perez is the head costume designer for The Mindy Project, president of the Costume Designer Guild, and he’s worked with everyone’s favorite modern lady, Sofia Vergara.
We caught up with Perez to chat spring fashion trends, building the perfect wardrobe, and style icons—see what he had to say below!
What’s the #1 thing you love about your job?
I love being able to help visualize the character through their costumes. You should be able to tell exactly who the character is and how they think by what the are wearing. Essentially judge a book by its cover—a costume designer’s job it to bring the scripted character to life.
Mindy [Kaling] is known for loving fashion and trends; what else will we be seeing this season?
We have really taken her love of mixed prints and colors to the extreme. Mindy loves fashion and enjoys the process of dressing her character with me. Her personal closet has also grown drastically this year. Not because she takes clothes from the show, but because she loves so much of what I bring in, she goes out and gets them for herself!
Mindy also wears a lot of great coats—which styles are you loving right now?
Most of Mindy’s coats this season have been my original designs. I love light-weight coats in exotic colors and lavish fabrics because you can shape them better. This is fantasy, so why not have a coat designed to go with each outfit?
What's the best coat to choose for different body types?
If you are not rail thin, it's best to go with a coat in a light-weight fabric that you can shape to your body, so you are not shapeless in a boxy coat. Have the waist and sleeves taken in to accentuate your body. We are not one size fits all, no matter what shape you are, clothes should be altered to your shape. Avoid parkas unless they have some shape to them.
Which designers are you using on the show this season?
We have go-to favorites like Lela Rose, Tory Burch, Alice + Olivia, C Wonder, LK Bennett and Kate Spade, but I like to mix it up and do the unexpected. For me it's about the aesthetic, not the brand.
What are your style tips for Latinas?
Growing up in a Latino family with sisters, aunts and cousins, I am always telling them to buy clothes that are the proper size. Clothes should be fitted, not tight—there is a huge difference. It's better to go up a size and take it in, then to buy it too small and squeeze in to it. Also, don’t be afraid of color—be bold, but not garish. A belt to accentuate your waist line can really complete an outfit as well.
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