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Do New Yorkers really wear head-to-toe black? Are all Angelenos bohemian? Is Washington, D.C., really just about the power suit? Costume designers for top series set in D.C., Manhattan and SoCal try to nail the local style beyond the outrageous stereotypes — though that's not to say that Nadia (Natasha Lyonne) in Russian Doll doesn't lean toward black or that Grace and Frankie's Frankie (Lily Tomlin) doesn't love her California caftans.
"That's one of the first things I ask when I get to do a show or a pilot — I'm like, 'Where is it set?' " says Allyson Fanger of Netflix's Grace and Frankie. "It informs the way that people express, in color and mood."
Costume designer Hala Bahmet agrees, saying she takes the location, geography and climate into consideration with every costume, whether it's in Los Angeles, New York, Pittsburgh or New Jersey for NBC's This Is Us. "When it's missing or when it's wrong, you notice," she says of regional looks.
Costume pros for Vida, Insecure, Broad City, This Is Us, Russian Doll, Veep, House of Cards and Grace and Frankie break down the trends on each coast and how they dress authentically for city dwellers in New York, L.A. and D.C.
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