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‘Only Murders in the Building’ Costume Designer: Selena Gomez’s Style Is ‘So Different’ From Mabel’s

Selena Gomez Only Murders in the Building Costume Designer Dana Covarrubias Talks Styling on the Show
Selena Gomez Getty Images(2)

Costume designer Dana Covarrubias gave Us the lowdown on how she dresses Selena Gomez, Martin Short and Steve Martin in Only Murders in the Building.

When it comes to styling the stars, they’re all “very involved” in their characters’ wardrobes — especially Short, 73, who plays Oliver Putnam. “He loves to talk about Oliver, like ‘Is this too much? Or too over the top?’” Covarrubias told exclusively Us on Friday, September 22.

While the series is a comedy and the fashion “can be silly,” it still needs to be “balanced in a way that it’s not too over the top or not too silly,” she explained.

Covarrubias gushed that fitting the actors is her “favorite” part of the job. “There’s this wonderful creative process that happens … It’s like you really are creating the character with the actor,” she gushed. “It’s just so fun to think that something I’m doing means so much to the actor or affects so much performance.”

Only Murders in the Building Costume Designer Dana Covarrubias Talks Styling on the Show
Dana Covarrubias Amy Sussman/Getty Images

Although Covarrubias uses color inspiration from Gomez’s red carpet looks, the singer’s personal style couldn’t be more “different” from her onscreen character, Mabel Mora.

“I just take the color element, but I’m not putting her in these very glamorous things that she wears in her red carpet life,” Covarrubias told Us. Since Mabel lives in her aunt’s luxurious apartment, she “has access to her [aunt’s] closet,” but because she doesn’t have a job, “we can’t have her wearing too high-end things.”

Only Murders in the Building Costume Designer Dana Covarrubias Talks Styling on the Show
Jose Perez/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images

“Selena’s style is so different. In her day-to-day life, she’s all about being comfortable,” the costume designer elaborated. “A couple of times we put her in something that’s more Selena than it is Mable, and she’ll actually be like, ‘This feels too Selena,’ or sometimes she’ll put something on and she’s like, ‘This feels very Mable.’”

Covarrubias ensures that each character has their own look by starting at “the psychology of where that character is at.” She explained her thought process behind everyone’s closest, “It’s mostly sitting down and thinking about how much money does this person have? Where did they grow up? Where do they shop and how do they think their clothes should serve them?”

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Since season 1, the fashion in the show has dramatically evolved. What used to be pops of color, different fabrics and various patterns has elevated to theatrical costumes, a stunning wedding gown and sequin outfits. In season 3, fans can look forward to seeing “more risks” in the characters’ ensembles.

Covarrubias gushed that Linda Emond — who plays Donna Demeo — “wears these extravagant, crazy, loud costumes, really crazy coats. I don’t think I would’ve gotten away with that season 1.” She joked, “I think the directors and producers would’ve been like, this is going too far.”

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In the season 3 trailer, fans caught a glimpse of Gomez rocking a wedding gown. Covarrubias acknowledged Mabel does have a love interest in the current season (played by Jesse Williams), fans will be surprised to find out “why she’s wearing that.”

Only Murders in the Building drops new episodes on Hulu every Tuesday.

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