“The Bold Type” premiered in 2017 and has been one of the guilty pleasures of the fashion magazine world ever since. Is this somehow a realistic portrayal of what working in media is these days? Not at all. But that’s precisely what makes it such a fun watch, right down to the clothes. The show follows three best friends and colleagues at Scarlet magazine, based on Cosmopolitan magazine (former Cosmo editor-in-chief Joanna Coles was involved in the show’s development). Kat, Jane and Sutton each develop their own sense of style as the seasons go by, and for the fifth and final, costume designer Mandi Line has been asked to bring it all home.
“There’s not a lot of reality in ‘The Bold Type’,” Line admits. “When it comes to clothes, you have to be a little ambitious. “
Line was part of the Freeform family via “Pretty Little Liars”, of which she worked on nearly 100 episodes, when she was contacted about “The Bold Type” in 2017. She was unable to accept engagements programming given, but quickly- looking forward to the most recent season of the show and it was a whole different story. The world was shut down due to the pandemic and there was no work to be found – until the show called. Line was tasked with filming in Montreal on a wintry day while trying to stock up from any stores she could find that were operating and were open during the shutdown.
“It was like the biggest challenge for me, but it ended up being the best because it was really like ‘taking the best of the four seasons and making it even better’,” she says.
Here, Line talks about her process of creating a fashion magazine-worthy TV fashion magazine.
WWD: Let’s start with Kat: what was your approach?
Mandi Line: Her sexual choices are so fluid, and as a queer woman myself, why not make her part of her wardrobe? I like that this year she is wearing men’s watches. She wears masculine chains, but she still has feminine and powerful figures. Number one with Kat, I really wanted to bring the flowing touch to her wardrobe. But number two is a strong, powerful, badass black woman: how do you express that through her clothes? I went to my friend, Charlese Antoinette, she is the costume designer for “Judas and the Black Messiah”. She has a company called Black Designer Database and I wanted to take the money we have on the show and put it back into the black community. It’s something Kat would do. Her clothes throughout the season, you will see, are 80% from Black, independent designers. “
WWD: What about Sutton, who becomes a stylist for the magazine?
ML: Looking at Sutton, I’m like, “Oh, she’s cute. She is pretty. She’s soft. But what does the stylist look like? So I made references to Karla Welsh, to Samantha McMillan. These women do not stand out. If Sutton really is a stylist and she’s the strongest you’ve ever been, stylists wear clean cuts. Stylists these days are low key, but if you look at the brands and if you look at the price and how they do it… Karla Welch wears white t-shirts, black blazers, jeans, moccasins and the best accessories and she is the company’s top stylist.
WWD: What about Jane, who finds her voice as a boss and columnist?
ML: Jane is the toughest because her journey has been sweet, tense, sexual – in the office you never quite knew what you were going to get. So I wanted to say, ‘OK girl, this is what the person who’s supposed to take Scarlet back will look like. »What does a modern office setting look like? She has like this badass blazer with this Isabel Marant belt and these leather pants and these leather boots. She really brings modernity to the office and it’s no longer stilted and sweet Janie. She said, “You know what? I addressed my sexual problems. I walked in and out of relationships. I’m trying to figure out what I want and this is what a boss looks like. Jane’s, until the bitter end we were trying to understand.
WWD: In what ways have you sought to capture what working in a fashion magazine in your twenties really is, from a fashion perspective?
ML: I imagined, “So if they have this trendy closet and they can’t afford these clothes, how did they get these clothes? They have the fashionable closet and they come in and beg, borrow, steal.
WWD: How did you approach wardrobe shopping during the pandemic?
ML: The main thing is that 100% of the stores are closed. So I couldn’t walk into a store. It was not an option. Brands are therefore everywhere. In fact, it was about who would come faster. That’s what happened, because we were in another country, and on TV it’s not like the movies. You don’t have months to prepare. The script comes out, you have two days to put in the clothes. Of them. Then you have to put the outfits together, then you have to adjust them, then you have to modify them, then they go on camera in seven days. I mean, it’s unreal.
WWD: What brands have you worked with?
ML: “UNTTLD, FWRD, Elyse Walker FWRD, Revolve. Holt Renfrew let us do it online. Obsessed. And then Net-a-porter, Aritzia. God, we tried to do a little bit of Etsy, but it was such a difficult turnaround. And as much as I love vintage …
Jane wears shoes from Giovanni Rossi, Saint Laurent and Gucci. I mean, his shoes are to die for. Kat does a lot of Nili Lotan. Lots of All Saints because I wanted to bring that masculine. She wears Michael Kors men’s watches, which I adore. Sutton, we did a lot of reps on his jeans because the jeans were Alexander McQueen wide leg. And I know it’s really expensive, but I did a lot of Victoria Beckham on it. And a lot of Madewell.
WWD: What has been the highlight of fashion this season?
ML: “I always say, ‘Oh, that sucks getting old.’ But with them, there is no excuse at all this season. They’re going to wear it, they’re going to own it. They don’t report to anyone. I mean, maybe Jacqueline, but Jacqueline is ready for a fashion moment. But I really think they’re at a point in their lives where their choices in men, their choices in women, their clothing choices, there are no excuses and there is no turning back. backward.