Amy and Karma on 'Faking It.'
In case you haven't been keeping up with Faking It, let me just tell you, you're missing out. (The good news is: There have only been two episodes so far, so you can catch up in under an hour.) One of our favorite elements from the show is (duh) the wardrobe—we can imagine students actually wearing these clothes IRL, and you get a great sense of each character's personality through their outfits. We talked to Mandi Line, the show's costume designer, about the characters' styles, dressing high school students, and how styling Faking It is different from Pretty Little Liars (yep, she's responsible for the clothes on that show, too).
Karma on 'Faking It.'
MTV STYLE: How would you describe Amy and Karma's wardrobes? How do their styles differ?
MANDI LINE: Karma (Katie Stevens) is modern, flirty, and boho. She comes from a hippie background, so she wears eclectic pieces, but she also wants to be popular, so she pairs them with modern pieces for an overall feminine feel.
Amy on 'Faking It.'
Amy (Rita Volk), on the other hand, is effortlessly cool. Carter Covington [Faking It's writer] didn't want her to stick out, so I made her badass and sexy, but more masculine than Karma. If we have her in tight pants, she'll wear a loose shirt and vice versa. Amy doesn't try to draw attention to herself, but I think she's a sleeper style icon. Look out for the cream sweater she wears next week!
Shane on 'Faking It.'
What about Shane and Liam?
I could dress Shane (Michael Willett) for the rest of my life. He isn't afraid of trends and he completely owns everything he wears. We decided to make him fun and fearless but not feminine—he dresses flamboyantly, but grounded. I like him a little theme-y, which is why, for instance, when he's selling tickets for homecoming, he's wearing a blazer.
Liam on 'Faking It.'
Liam (Gregg Sulkin) is a modern James Dean. His look is classic: denim on denim, T-shirts, jeans, and Red Wing boots. If I had my way, he'd have a full beard and tattoos, but he's in high school, so we have to tone it down. You will never see him in plaid, which, obviously, is rare for a guy in high school.
Lauren on 'Faking It.'
Lauren is definitely more buttoned-up than Amy or Karma, what's her deal, clothing-wise?
While we alter some pieces for Amy and Karma, a lot of what I put them in is off the rack. For Lauren (Bailey Buntain), though, we build and make everything she wears. While you're not going to see her in heels at school, she is constantly dressed up—she has more of a Pretty Little Liars feel than the other characters do.
Shane and Amy on 'Faking It.'
What's your approach to dressing high school students?
My approach comes down to the direction of the head writer. Do they want the clothes to pop or disappear? On a show like this, I like the actors to shine and the clothes to shine. My job is to find the balance between the writer's vision and my own vision. It is a very collaborative process. When they hired me for this show, they said they wanted me to bring "something special." I hope I have!
Photo: Gregory Metcalf
You've also worked on costume design for Pretty Little Liars. How would you say the wardrobes of Pretty Little Liars and Faking It are similar? How do they differ?
I think Faking It is a little more grounded in reality—the price point is a little bit lower, so fans will have the ability to buy the clothes their favorite characters wear. My goal is to have the clothes become another major character—as we know, these days people start to tune in for not only the story but the clothes!
For more from Mandi, you can follow her on Twitter and be sure to watch Faking It every Tuesday at 10:30 p.m. to see what the cast is wearing!
+ WATCH EPISODE 2 OF 'FAKING IT'!