'Jane by Design'
Working on the ABC Family series `Jane by Design' gives costumer designer Olivia Miles-Payne the opportunity to dress a wide range of characters, from high-school fashionista Jane to devious fashion designer India.
"This show is really fun for me because I have teenagers, adults and ages in-between, so it's not like doing a cop show or a lawyer show because we have so many types of styles going on," she says. "There's a big cast so there is a lot to do."
Jane (Erica Dasher) presents an unusual challenge because she is transitioning back and forth from high school to her job as an assistant to a high-powered fashion executive.
"When she leaves her school, initially we would do an entire costume change," Miles-Payne says. "Then we dialed that back a little and her school outfits are often something where she can add a high heel or different accessories and dress it up for work in the city."
Jane has a specific silhouette Miles-Payne tries to follow, and one place she likes to shop for the character is Wasteland, a huge store on Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles where "you can find the craziest stuff for cheap." For Jane's high-school look, she also uses a lot of Zara, Anthropologie and Betsey Johnson. For high-end vintage, she goes to Resurrection and Catwalk in L.A. For more affordable vintage, there's Playclothes in Burbank.
"With Jane's character, I like to pretend that her mom - since we don't know what happened to her - maybe she left some vintage," Miles-Payne says. "Then when she gets the job, I feel like she is borrowing from the fashion closet."
Viewers above a certain age may find Jane's unconventional high-school look and her lack of social standing reminiscent of Molly Ringwald's character in the beloved 1986 romance "Pretty in Pink."
"The vibe of the school is conservative and preppy, so Jane is very different if you look at her friends," Miles-Payne says. "She does stick out, she's taking risks, and other kids at school really aren't, they are following the pack. We did make a nod to 'Pretty in Pink.' It's a school where wearing vintage is not cool."
Here are just a few of Jane's memorable looks:
"That was a custom piece that I had made. It was a separate bodice and I added little rosettes because it was supposed to be her mom's vintage dress that she took and revamped, so I wanted to keep the bodice very simple and I added the little punky black bra straps. I feel like Jane gets some inspiration from her best friend, Billy, so I like to have a little rock 'n' roll, punky edge with her, like with the vintage Alexander McQueen corset belt. Underneath it all, it was so hard to get the skirt that big so I found a vintage Dolce & Gabbana skirt and layered on yards and yards of tulle on top. It has a life of its own, it was massive. Those are Tory Burch velvet sandals and they were gold but I painted them silver to match her silver Lanvin charm bracelet you can't see in the photo. Erica has a tiny, little waist and like a Hollywood siren body, and the little belts look great on her."
"This is a good example of the way Jane goes from school to work. In this photo, she is wearing a Zara cardigan, an Anthropologie bustier and belt, and a cuff by Robyn Rhodes. (Robyn Rhodes) is a great jewelry designer and her jewelry is all over the show. In this photo, Jane is wearing jeans but later when she goes to work I switched to a Diane von Furstenberg metallic skirt and added heels."
"This is a super high-end dress. The label is Hakaan and I got it at Opening Ceremony. I think only a few were made and this is after Jane raids the fashion closet and ends up wearing couture to go to school to take a test. The spider pin is diamonds and made by Avakian jewelers in Beverly Hills. They kindly loaned us some jewels for the pilot. I also used two vintage watches worn together throughout the episode."
"This is kind of a very Jane do-it-yourself look. It's a cheap little top I got on Melrose Avenue in a little boutique; I believe that's a Forever 21 belt; and a Betsey Johnson tutu and Betsey Johnson spectator shoes with an open toe. I wanted to create a fun cuff but I didn't have just the right thing so I chopped up one of (Jane's nemesis) Lulu's headbands and made a cuff and added the flower. That's something Jane would do to customize her clothes and keep her individual spirit. Then, her ring: We have an animal ring theme and I'm combing the city every day to find a new animal ring we haven't featured yet. We probably have about 50 of them. I don't like to repeat an animal and it has to be colorful."