eye4style Interview - Agata Maskiewics, Costume Designer for The Starter Wife

The Starter Wife quickly became one of my guilty television pleasures last season - in part due to lovable Debra Messing and in part due to the fab style showcased on the show. Costume Designer Agata Maskiewics was gracious enough to give eye4style readers some insider scoop on her glam job, so read on:

Being a costume designer must be a fun job! How did you get your start?

I started working in the film & TV industry after graduating from the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising where I studied fashion design. I started as an intern on a feature film and worked my way up holding various positions in the costume department.  

How is styling a celebrity different from styling a character in film or television?

While I don’t particularly style celebrities, I feel that the main difference is that when designing a character the job is to transform an actor into the character they are portraying. Often times the costumes can really help an actor make the transition into the character they are set to play. Also, sometimes the costumes are not meant to be flattering; depending on the character, the goal isn’t always to make them look beautiful. But when styling a celebrity, it’s all about having them look amazing.  

What role does fashion play in The Starter Wife?

Fashion is almost like another character in The Starter Wife. So much of the personality of the actors comes through in the clothing they wear. Our goal is to have the audience as excited about the fashions as they are the characters. We want the people at home to feel as though they can hear the ruffle of Molly’s Zac Posen silk dress and smell the exquisite leather of her Manolos. We want them to daydream about getting into Molly’s closet and have the opportunity to dress from it everyday as she does. And yes, the closet is huge, since as a Hollywood woman, she never repeats an outfit!

Molly's a Hollywood woman. How do you think West Coast style differs from East Coast style?

Molly is definitely a Hollywood woman, and it shows in her fashion choices. I think that West coast style is more relaxed due to the beach influence. Although it’s relaxed, it does take a lot of effort to create that “at ease” look. Woman on the West Coast tend to throw out the rulebook and create their own sense of style with a sense of humor while East Coast fashion is taken very seriously and seems to be polished to perfection. Woman on the East Coast are impeccably dressed without a hair misplaced; which is hard to do in a convertible in California!  

What fall trends can viewers take away from the new season of The Starter Wife?

We were very lucky to be shopping for the new season of The Starter Wife just when all the fabulous fall fashions were hitting the stores. On the top of my “must have” list is any of the wonderful lace pieces from Prada. As always, fall is all about layering and I love to add to that by layering jewelry as well. You can spruce up any piece in your closet by adding phenomenal jewelry. The reflective nature of gold is always a woman’s best friend. Another trend we explored on The Starter Wife is the strapless dress; it’s perennially in style and back again this fall. And if you are going to splurge on only one piece this fall, then go for the stellar black and gold zipper clutch from YSL.  

As a shopping expert, can you give us the skinny on a few of your favorite stores?

In Los Angeles, my daily three stops are always Barney’s, Neiman Marcus and Saks. Their selection is vast and their Studio Service staff caters to the film industry. Plus all of the majors have websites, and that is incredibly helpful with our after hours shopping.

On Rodeo, you can’t go wrong at Gucci, Dolce & Gabbana, YSL and Etro; I spent a lot of time at these stores for Debra’s costumes on The Starter Wife. On a boutique level, I really enjoy Diavolina and Curve on Robertson, Inago andSatine on 3rd, Opening Ceremony on La Cienega and Dari on Ventura. And my favorite place for jewelry is the hidden little gem, Arp on 3rd Street. It’s a small jewelry boutique that always has the most amazing and unique handpicked pieces.

For more info on The Starter Wife, check out USANetwork.com. And don't forget to tune in on October 10 at 9pm EST for the second season premiere!