Paco Delgado Shares His Vision for A Wrinkle In Time
I love getting to sit down with costume designers for films and learning about their creative process and how they come up with the designs for that movie. Paco Delgado served as costume designer for A Wrinkle In Time and he created some amazing costumes for the three Mrs. We had the opportunity to see some in person and I still feel there was so much I missed in the designs. They were absolutely beautiful.
One of the first things we talked to Paco about was his process once he’s brought on to a film. When he gets that script in his hand it’s his job to read it and take away hints and clues about the characters he’ll be designing for in the film. With A Wrinkle In Time, he drew from their celestial characteristics to help him with creating the costumes for the women.
His Design Inspiration for the Mrs.
Oprah Winfrey plays Mrs. Which in the movie, according to Paco he decided to go with a warrior theme. She’s responsible for fighting evil in the universe so he included those themes in her costume. She was also a force with a lot of energy so he wanted to make sure that was included in her costumes as well.
Mindy Kaling plays Mrs. Who and Paco went with her use of quotes to develop her costume ideas. He said she viewed her as the super librarian of the universe. He felt her character was very playful so he added in those elements as well.
Choosing His Favorite Costume
Just like any artist Paco couldn’t decide or choose one favorite when thinking of all the costumes he designed for the film. He referred to them as his children. He did share with us elements he loved about certain costumes.
Oprah’s dresses, they were complex, because we were using a lot of materials, like, a lot of plastics, and a lot of reflective metallic, fabrics. And we use glass beads, and, a lot of things that I never used before. But they were fiber optic as well.
Paco pulled from a wide range of designers to help him with ideas and creating the costumes for A Wrinkle In Time, including one designer who worked with Lady Gaga.
Learning During the Design Process
While designing for this film Paco shared he learned so many different things through trial and error. He gave several examples of when he had an idea and the difficult road he traveled to the final design. One was a costume for Oprah’s character and learning about working with electric lights on fabrics. Another story he shared was about learning about paper fashions when designing a costume for Mindy.
I was trying to think, is it possible to make something with paper? Because, you see a lot of paperwork on the internet of people making paper. But I was thinking how will work, and will it stay like that the whole movie? And then we were trying to find the right paper that we found these people in south LA that they have this warehouse where they sew Japanese paper, made by hand.
Then we went there. We were trying little things. At the beginning we bought it in samples like at raw stage. Then we tried to have our people who dyed materials try to see if they could dye it different colors. It dissolved.
How The Actor Influence The Design Process
Just like when a stylist is dressing their clients, costume designers often make design choices based on the actors cast in the roles. Paco shared a bit about how the women cast for the Mrs. influenced his design choices. He added that it’s always difficult when you don’t know who the actors are going to be in a movie prior to creating sketches.
It’s not only the body shapes, and the tone of skin, or the tones of the hair, or the color of the eyes, or the way they move, because some people have gracious physicality. Some people are just working life like almost stumbling. And all that influences you. For example, I can’t put a person in high stilettos, if they don’t know how to work with it. I always try to wait until I get more answers.
I normally try to work in very open ideas like I think this man is a strong man, and he’s very clever. And this lady, she is very powerful, and she knows how to deal with all the problems in life. I try to work that way. And then when you know the actor, everything is like an open book. Suddenly see the pictures, you see who he or she is.
The Words on Mindy’s Costume
When we saw one of Mindy’s costumes up close you could see all these words all over the garment. We were curious and ask Paco about that particular design. He shared the idea came from seeing people with screen printed tee shirts and using that as an idea for the costume.
She is this woman talking about books. Why is she cannot have that? And also I was thinking about graffiti. I was thinking that you walk into the streets, graffiti’s amazing. I don’t think a lot of people have really stopped to think about it. But graffiti is an amazing expression… artistic expression where you have words, and thinking into it. It’s not just making a drawing of a butterfly. It’s like saying a message. This is amazing that she can have all these graffiti on her.
And then we thought we obviously want multiple languages like English, the Latin alphabet. She embodies all the culture of universe, she has to have Chinese. she has to have an invented alphabet. Consistently being in the universe. And maybe she speaks a language of a culture that we haven’t encountered yet. Or maybe in 200 years we will encounter them.
ABOUT A WRINKLE IN TIME
From visionary director Ava DuVernay comes Disney’s “A Wrinkle in Time,” an epic adventure based on Madeleine L’Engle’s timeless classic which takes audiences across dimensions of time and space, examining the nature of darkness versus light and, ultimately, the triumph of love. Through one girl’s transformative journey led by three celestial guides, we discover that strength comes from embracing one’s individuality and that the best way to triumph over fear is to travel by one’s own light.
Meg Murry is a typical middle school student struggling with issues of self-worth who just wants to fit in. The daughter of two world-renowned physicists, she is intelligent and uniquely gifted, as is Meg’s younger brother, Charles Wallace, but she has yet to realize it for herself. Complicating matters is the mysterious disappearance of Mr. Murry, which has left Meg devastated and her mother broken-hearted. Charles Wallace introduces Meg and her fellow classmate Calvin to three celestial beings (Mrs. Which, Mrs. Whatsit and Mrs. Who) who have journeyed to Earth to help search for their father, and together they embark on their formidable quest. Traveling via a wrinkling of time and space known as tessering, they are transported to worlds beyond their imagination where they must confront a powerful evil force. To make it back home to Earth, Meg must face the darkness within herself in order to harness the strength necessary to defeat the darkness rapidly enveloping the Universe.