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WORKING HOLLYWOOD

Sizing up series' style

January 21, 2007|SUSAN KING

Stacy Beverly

Costume designer

Current credits: The CW comedy series "Girlfriends" and "The Game"

Job description: "I basically head up the wardrobe department for both shows, so I am responsible for establishing the overall look for both shows and look for each character -- that includes guest cast and atmosphere. It goes according to the producer's vision of what the characters should be, script requirements, etc., etc."

Cruising the racks: "I start off doing the bulk of the shopping [for clothes] myself, and I have an assistant on each project. We try to establish a closet for each character."

Support: "We do have a full crew for each show. Depending on the project, it's divvied up differently, but for 'Girlfriends' we have a crew that is myself, a costume supervisor and a key [costumer] who works five days a week and, depending on the requirements and on how big the show is, we call in extra help."

Collaborating with the actors: "I have an initial interview with each actor, and I love to find out what their comfort levels are. I like to eyeball them and make sure I am on-point with their body types. We consider hair color, complexion, their own sense of style, any dislikes, or whatever they want to accentuate as far as body features. I just go from there. I make my suggestions. I want to make sure the producers get what they want for the project, as far as the characters are concerned .... I still love to put my twist on it and make sure everything is contemporary and current and make sure we get all the designers and new fashions on the forefront as well."

Grand designs: "Sometimes designers call me and send me samples. Sometimes I go to the shows. Sometimes they have their trunk shows and they'll bring stuff to me. Sometimes I'll see something in magazines and call. I use well-established and high-end designers, or I might find a young up-and-comer, somebody who has an urban edge, and we mix it all up and come up with our look."

Dressing the 'guests': "It's nice when they come in and the company hires them for two or three days. But sometimes they are only there for a day. So I end up taking a meeting with them over the phone. I'll try to get a head shot and ask them about their measurements, their comfort levels, their coloring and all of their sizes. Then I end up pulling [clothes]. I am pretty good about getting a feel for a person over the phone. When they come in, I will have four or five choices and then I'll just mix and match. It hasn't failed me yet."

Problem solving: "Sometimes there are fires to put out. You get ready to tape and you sent something out to be dyed or to be altered and it doesn't make it back on time. Always have a Plan B -- that's the first rule. We just figure out how to make something work out in place of it. You have to be very resourceful."

Background: "I have always been involved in fashion. I modeled when I was growing up in Chicago. I started off at a four-year university and ended up going to the Fashion Institute and got a degree there. I started off day-checking on 'Jamie Foxx' -- that is when you come in for one or two days and you fill in when the regular costumers may need additional help. And then I was hired as key costumer, which is the person who runs the set on 'Girlfriends.' The next season I interviewed for the head of the department and I just got it. I have been here ever since."

Resides in: Los Angeles

Guild or union: The Costume Designers Guild of America

Age: "My age? Heck, no!"

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-- SUSAN KING

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