This week I was lucky enough to get 15 minutes on the phone with the two creative people behind the costuming on Offspring.
I spoke to Michael Chisholm and Zed Dragojlovich last year (you can catch up here) but I was keen to catch up with them again this year with some burning questions about Nina’s wardrobe for Offspring’s fifth season, plus also some questions about Baby Zoe, Zara, Geraldine and Billie’s style.
Here’s what I discovered.
1. Nina‘s look for Season 5 has been purposefully simplified, taking into account Nina’s new status as a mum.
2. The costume designers like to keep things fresh and throw in a Nina look that’s a little bit different every three to four outfits. Hence the printed pants here.
3. The kidswear label Oishi-M approached Michael and Zed a few years ago about possibly being involved in the show. That approach paid off because Baby Zoe has been seen in an extensive collection of its designs throughout this season. “The label is perfect for a mini Nina with an eclectic match of prints and patterns,” the costume designers said.
4. Many labels now approach Michael and Zed about inclusion in the show thinking they have a Nina look but don’t. That look is a precise one that the pair has created. “We are always aiming to make Nina – Asher – look as good as possible.”
5. Some of the things we’ll see Nina wearing in this season have not even made it in store as yet. One of those pieces is a silk maxi dress by Lola Australia that is due in store as part of the label’s spring-summer 2014-15 collection. “We originally saw one of their dresses in a store and contacted them. Out of six of their samples, we worked with them to create a piece that is now called the Nina dress.”
6. Nina’s wearing of the Noosa Amsterdam shopper bag in this series came about after they first saw it in a boutique in Mt Eliza, Victoria. Michael and Zed contacted the Australian distributors and it’s quickly become the must-have handbag around and apparently now a three- month wait for more to arrive in Australia.
8. Nina’s chocolate brown and grey knee-high boots which feature this season were bought overseas.
9. Tigerlily has featured a lot this season because the collection contained plenty of Nina’s style of pieces. “We’ve always liked Tigerlily but it was a really interesting range they did this year. We were looking for dresses and sometimes it’s hard for us to find exactly the type of dress if we haven’t made it. Tigerlily nearly won hands down on all the long dresses and skirts. I think there’s something quintessentially relaxed, vivid (about the designs) and the weights of the fabric are amazing. I think they drape very well and I think you can see that on screen.”
10. If we saw Nina’s winter wardrobe, Zed and Michael think we’d see a lot of cashmere. “She loves cashmere, that we know, and she’d have a fantastic coat. Vintage Scanlan and Theodore would be where she’d head too. They offer really good colours and sublime finishings.”
11. They try and support Australian-made and Australian-designed labels as much as possible. “We used a bit of Cue on Billie and we include a lot of Bassike for wearing in home/bedroom pieces and they’re made from organic cotton.”
12. Both Nina and Zara have a boho style but there is a natural separation in the types of boho they wear. Nina is the more romantic bohemian; Zara wears stronger tribal and geometric prints with her longer, dark hair. “There’s a slight surfer influence … we thought she could definitely be a Byron Bay girl.”
13. Zara wears a lot of Free People and a bit of Tigerlily. Free People wasn’t available in Australia when we first started buying it overseas, now it is (you can shop via ASOS here).
14. Geraldine‘s look is one of North Fitzroy (Melbourne) intelligentsia. “She’s dressed in Lee Mathews, a lot of linens … sort of a Megan Park look, beaded silk and linen. A lot are overseas samples we bought and quite a lot are really good pieces from recycled shops – a lot of expensive pieces. Even though it probably doesn’t look it, they actually are.”
15. Billie: “She was rock ‘n’ roll, then she became corporate and then it became corporate rock ‘n’ roll. The Barbara Bui jacket with the studs on it was probably the perfect marry of the two – a couture piece with studs all over it.” That jacket was bought at Myer at full price and Michael had to go to the producer to get that one cleared it cost that much. “We really wanted Billie to have something really special for those scenes.”
It’s a collaborative affair when you’re making shows like ours. There are not many shows like Offspring that come along where we can have a creative influence and sometimes have an effect on other businesses in a positive way. – Michael Chisolm and Zed Dragojlovich
Nina’s outfit last night again had the Tigerlily label front and centre. The skirt is in the same fabric as the dress that Nina wore back in episode two. She teamed it with a cross-back, breastfeeding top/bra and a crochet knit top.
Billie’s amazing cropped butter leather jacket was custom made for the show. I’d love to know where her top is from. Anyone got any leads?
A little Nina Proudman shopping inspiration for you …
1. Betty Basics swing tank $19.95 @ Birdsnest | 2. Fate knit $44.95 (on sale) @ Birdsnest | 3. Bec Stern earrings $35 @ Birdsnest | 4. Maria Rossi boots $299.95 | 5. Eb & Ive bag $149.95 @ Birdsnest | 6. Bec Stern necklace $55 | 7. Tigerlily maxi skirt $149.95
Just when we thought we wouldn’t need to further invest in Kleenex shares, the script writers roll out a tragic storyline involving a mum who dies while giving birth, leaving a bereft father holding his newborn daughter and Nina spun right back into her personal grief.
Meanwhile Thomas is at Nina’s house cooking goulash and being probed by Billie. Disappointingly Billie didn’t ask the big question: where is his baby’s mum?
Billie has to ponder the question of parenting kids very early on in the Lawrence relationship and then is left processing feelings after getting an email from Mick, who’s coming back to Melbourne for a visit.
The coming back thing is a trend. Cherie was back this week, stirring up Clegg’s emotions and loins. Hope she stays around. Love Deborah Mailman.
Leo continues to prove to be the voice of reason, support and concern. Yes, he’s still my pick. I refuse to believe he’s been friend-zoned forever.
Zara is apparently obsessing over Alfie’s health stats … but is she? I hope, as Phillip questioned, that she IS applying to study medicine.
My favourite line came from Billie (to Lawrence): “You’re so chiselled. It’s like you’ve been carved out of some hot man stone.”
Over to you. Thoughts on the 15 wardrobe facts I’ve unearthed from Michael and Zed? Last night’s storyline?
Photo credit: all images from the show are courtesy of Channel Ten