Shawn Dudley

WARDROBE: SHAWN DUDLEY

How do you coordinate all these outfits?
"A good question. I spend a lot of time on it. We're also very organized. A chaotic organization. I just know the show so well, and characters so well. Itís almost second nature for me."

How long have you been on the show?
"Iíve been on the show for 3 years, but I literally grew up watching the show. So, I know it like the back of my hand. So coming here was so natural, like I knew these people (the characters) I know their personalities, but I also then wanted to move it forward."

How often do you shop?
"We shop daily!"

Where do you shop? New York city or malls?
"Weíre everywhere. Youíd be amazed. We catalogue shop, I go to boutiques."

Do you go online to research?
"Havenít explored it yet. We just went online, so weíre still learning. Sooner or later. Thereís one bridal site that all women should know about thatís so incredibly helpful. It has pictures."

How do you plan for all the shows?
"I read the scripts, and then I think mentally about the scenes. So, this is the mood for this scene, so Iím going to shop here for it. Itís a big question - how do you do it all. Iím also creating a lot of it on my own. Sometimes the scripts come in, and theyíre not very defined and I have to create a back story for a character in many cases, especially new characters that comes in. I have to take what little bit I read in the script, and say where is this person from, who is this person. And, I get a mental picture before I meet the actor or actress."

Do you ever re-use clothing from a few seasons ago?
"I try not to, especially now because styles change so frequently each season. Sometimes we go through 2 styles a season. Youíve got your pre-season and your season."

What do you with old clothing?
"It all goes in stock first. As I weed out, is this a very definitive piece? Is this a very Vicky piece? I can never use this again, because the viewers know --they can spot something from 2 years ago. So, I will pull that aside. The rest of it goes in stock so that we can use it on extras for the future, or date players. The rest of it, we send to a re-sell shop called 'Itís a Wrap.' They just got all the 'Seinfeld' stuff. And they sell it for us and they keep a percentage, and we get some money back. We send them boxes and boxes. Some of the actors have favorite pieces, and Iíll sell a piece at a discounted piece to them. We can take out shoulder pads. Cut up a dress. Re-dye it.

Do you have favorite stores?
"Stores have special services. I really like shopping the small stores. Each character has their own look. Where would Sophia shop? Where would Vicky shop? Where would Felicia shop? Uptown. I have a really great cast, in that they have defined characters."

Will you get into summer trends?
"Weíre still in spring. Summer will be rolling around soon. I donít know what will happen in the summer. Pedal pushers are the things. Only a few people can wear them. We kind of lose the effect because you donít really show feet." Shawn Dudley

Do you design any of the wedding dress?
"I literally made Judiís (Paulinaís) dress that she wore to Vicky and Jakeís wedding overnight. We did not find anything in the colors that we liked. So we ended buying a brown dress that fit her really well. We ran to a fabric store that afternoon - bought fabric, and took the original dress apart, cut the new one, sewed the new one, stayed up all night doing it, came in the next day and finished it, and she wore it that afternoon.

"I had been away for a few months doing an episodic and then I came back to the show, they said, "By the way, in about 2 weeks we have a really huge wedding. And we have no clothes for it." So, it took me a few days to re-orient myself. We did an afternoon wedding. A woman did Vickyís wedding dress. She and I were finishing the hand stitching the night before the wedding. I came from her apartment where we stayed up all night finishing the dress, I went home showered, then got into a car and went to the location shoot. Threw the dress on her, which only had one fitting. Judi Evans-Luciano

"And it wasnít even a full dress - it was just a mock-up of the bodice and the skirt. All the lace had to be hand stitched. And it had never been fit on her. I went to the location sweating and praying please fit --thatís all I ask. It went on her, and it fit like a glove. So, we were very, very lucky. Usually, a wedding like that takes a month or two to organize and set up.

Do you have a favorite character to dress?
"Not all the time. There are some characters that Iím not really interested in. But, one of my favorite characters is Etta Mae. She was the first new character I did coming into the show. We hit it on the nail right away. She has such a spirit about her. The look that I originally wanted, which nobody understood at first, worked so well on her. I just think sheís incredible. But of course I love them all, but sheís definitely the one that I love to dress. Sheís so unique. Sheís not hit or miss, we always nail it right on. Jensen Buchanan

"Some of the other characters, they have a great outfit, and the next day we try something and it doesnít work. We suck up to that, and we say OK, letís move on to the next day. We know our mistakes - we see them; the viewers know our mistakes - they see them and they say what is that? We watch and do the same thing. Not every day is going to be perfect. We know that."

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