Totally Pitchin’! We Talk Rebel-isms, Crystals And Geri Dresses With ‘Pitch Perfect 2’ Costume Designer

All The Details On The Totally Pitchin' Pitch Perfect 2 Costumes


by Emma Spedding |
Published on

We caught up with Salvador Perez Jr, the costume director of Pitch Perfect 2 to find out about working with Hailee Steinfeld, making his very own Geri dress and hiring three 'crystalisers'...

Grazia Daily: What was it like to work on Pitch Perfect 2?

"It was a huge success and the expectations are so great so you think we have to top it on the second one. On the first one they were the underdogs trying and the girls were college freshman. The note from Elizabeth was that they were young girls and now they're young ladies. They are confident and winners so the evolution of their personal style reflects this. So every performance was custom made with glitz and sparkle - we brought the game up."

**Grazia Daily: **Which is your favourite character to dress?

"Oh that is like asking which is my favourite child! That's the challenge in itself - there are multiple changes. I have an affinity for Becca's rockstar look - I love the skinny jeans, boots and leather jacket."

**Grazia Daily: **The outfits they wear to the principal's office are amazing!

"I have to say that was all Rebel. Rebel is hysterical and will take anything and make it hilarious. She is an Australian woman in the South - what do the Southern ladies do? They wear gloves and pearls. But of course she did it the Fat Amy way so they were the long satin gloves and instead of a clutch she carries a big floral sack. She had to give it the big Rebel-ism!"

Grazia Daily: How was it to work with Hailee Steinfeld?

"Hailee Steinfeld was a new character to establish. We wanted her to be the young girl in the group and the note from Elizabeth was that she wanted to be young, but still have some sophistication. Hailee is a fashionista - she goes to the Met Ball every year! At least once a week I'd get a dress from Hailee like "I've found a great dress!" It was amazing to have that input - instead of explaining what I wanted, Hailee was like "I want these shoes!"


Grazia Daily: The DSM costumes are amazing, how was that to work on?

"We wanted to have an industrial look, but it couldn't be too military because we do not want to go there. I was pulling out fashion magazines of European menswear and there were loads of mesh sheer shirts and Elizabeth loved it. The DSM lead came on the first fitting and was like 'oh my god this is a nudity shirt.' He went away and came back to shoot and he was completely ripped and he was like 'you showed me the sheer shirt, so I had to work out.' The transformation in four weeks was amazing. So the look that was comical, he started to carry it off so confidently that he pulls it off."


**Grazia Daily: **Was there anyone you had in mind for the DSM costumes?

"I did so much research - Madonna did a tour with a half kilt in front over jeans and I loved that idea, so that was the inspiration for the mesh skirts with aprons that look like kilts from the front. We had that designed for the performance and then it really worked with the movement and leg work."

Grazia Daily: It manages to take the mic out of stereotypes, without being offensive - how do you get that balance?

"Well it wasn't supposed to be funny. International groups will be very serious - what was tricky was the British group. How will we know they are British? Then I have 8 girls in sequin Union Jack dresses and blue wigs - inspired by the Spice Girls. I kept thinking 'we've gone too far, it's too over the top.' But for something that was meant to be a subtle throw-in joke, it was a favourite of all the cast and crew."


Grazia Daily: The costumes of the Bellas, you feel like they've come back to their original sound...

"In the first movie I made them very fitted because we wanted them to look like flight attendants. When we started to shoot Elizabeth was like 'oh they're so covered up, can we have them in vests' and I was like 'ahh how am I going to find 160 vests in a week? No!' I cropped the sleeves and gave it more skin. I did that a week before the movie and there were 150 suits. For this one Elizabeth Banks loved the vests, so we wanted to build that into the final look."

**Grazia Daily: **How much did you look at what people were wearing at universities in the US

"The funny thing is that we shot on a real campus and as a costume designer you can't really do reality. I would say that 50 per cent of the students are in the their PJs. If I did that people wouldn't want to watch that. The reality is they would be in shorts, t shirt and flip flops. You know what reality is and then work off of that."

**Grazia Daily: **Did you have any costume dramas in the film?

"I have done costumes my whole life - I did Titanic! I understand how to construct and we did it one week at a time. We had a time schedule and I had a full time staff - I had three girls who just worked on crystals. Yep I had a staff of three crystalisers going 'one, two, three...' by hand."

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