Last night, The Grove invited Racked LA to interview Entourage's go-to costume designer Olivia Miles in front of a live audience before Citi's private screening of the highly-anticipated film. (Was a little scary, but good thing we've done it before!)
Stepping up in a pair of badass Valentino studded heels, Miles gave us the exclusive scoop on her wardrobe process, inspirations, and local shopping haunts, while revealing what it's like to dress a top-secret, star-studded cast. See below and catch the film in theaters now.
Can you tell us about your road to becoming a costume designer?
I started as an intern at a film production company in Portland. After helping with various departments, it seemed like the stylists always needed an extra hand, so I became a wardrobe PA, then assistant, then eventually one of my mentions left the styling business and handed me a lot of clients. I moved to Los Angeles and had to start over as a non-union costumer, then got into the union and became a set costumer, then assistant designer, then finally was given the opportunity to design my first feature. I have never looked back!
What is your earliest film fashion memory?
Scarlett O'Hara in Gone With the Wind.
What's your process for building a film's wardrobe?
First I read the script and met with the director and producers. I have to read it a few times to get into the characters' heads. Then comes research; the more I have time for, the better. Next is usually a presentation and then any adjustments can be made. Lastly, the casting can inform a lot. Ideas for one actor won't necessarily work on another. They often have strong opinions as well. It's a big collaboration!
How did you approach starting a big Hollywood show like Entourage?
I came in hot! We didn't have a lot of prep and luckily, it was returning to a familiar group of people and reintroducing characters we knew well.
Was it hard keeping the film top-secret?
It was so hard. The crew isn't supposed to post much social media or reveal plot points. We had scores of cameos and occasionally, on the show, we added a celebrity as a cameo if we ran into them while shooting in the street. It is cool to meet so many different people, from Warren Buffet to Tom Brady to Mike Tyson.
Where did you get your inspirations?
People-watching and visiting street style blogs like The Sartorialist and Advanced Style are my favorite. It's like being a private eye sometimes. You go and study the people and places that your project is about. Luckily, for this film I spent a lot of time in Beverly Hills and Hollywood shopping.
What were some of your favorite parts about designing Entourage the movie?
Doug Ellin, the director, trusts us and give department heads a lot of creative license. The Ibiza scenes, dressing the cast for the real-time scenes at The Golden Globes, and Lloyd's wedding were highlights. Also, the "Hyde" movie in the clips we see, since it was a dark and moody world with a massive number of background actors.
Were there any challenges or last-minute hurdles that you had to overcome during filming?
The constraint of never having enough time. I had a lot of custom suits made, so it was stressful meeting those deadlines with fabrics being ordered from Scotland and Italy. The "Hyde" unit was going at the same time as the main unit, which tuckered me out. Legal clearances for every single logo, graphic, and team insignia...that stuff doesn't happen overnight. You'll see how many of those things we have on the clothes in the movie.
How did LA specifically inspire the film's wardrobe?
Some of our characters are inspired by real people, and some people play themselves. I like using bright colors on Entourage. There is something about that filtered sunlight lighting up colors. We have every kind of character here, so there is always someone to use as inspiration!
What are some of your favorite local stores to pull looks from?
American Rag, Satine, Fred Segal, Madison, Tags, Resurrection, and Planet Blue, to name a few.
What are some of the top brands that you pulled looks from?
Gucci, Saint Laurent, Tom Ford, Dolce & Gabbana, Roberto Cavalli, Hugo Boss, Paul Smith, Christian Louboutin, John Varvato, and much more.
Who was the easiest person to dress in the cast? Who was the pickiest?
All I can say is that Kevin Dillon holds a special place in my heart.
What are some lifesaving items in your styling kit?
Topstick, needles and thread...it really depends on the job. Sometimes it's sandpaper or a dirt stick, though!
What's your best advice for someone looking to break into costume design?
Find someone you aspire to work for and reach out to them. We all need mentors and role models, no matter where we are on our paths. You'd be surprised at what opportunities are out there. Don't hesitate. Be who you are. That's why costume design is so interested. We all have a unique "voice."
What's next for you?
I have Ride Along 2 with Ice Cube and Kevin Hart, and When the Bough Breaks with Morris Chestnut and Regina Hall. I always continue to style commercials and private clients. There are a few projects in the hopper, so I can't wait to see what shoots first!