Read my exclusive interview with Paco Delgado, costume designed for A Wrinkle In Time. He shares the process of designing costumes, working with Oprah, and getting rid of self-doubt and fear. 

Paco Delgado Interview

Photo credit: Louise Manning Bishop / MomStart.com

Exclusive Interview with Paco Delgado | Designing Costumes for A Wrinkle In Time

If you’ve had a chance to catch Disney’s A Wrinkle In Time, now playing, you will see the gorgeous costumes, and think, “wow, someone put a lot of time and effort into that!” You would be accurate in that statement. Designing costumes for movies is a lot of work. There are long nights, frustrating days, and the tiniest details cannot be overlooked. That’s why Paco Delgado is the man you want to call when you need a fabulous costume designer that will put in 110% and knock the ball out of the park. His work in Disney’s newest film, directed by Ava DuVernay, is moving, beautiful, and astounding. We sat down and talked to Paco about how he came up with these ideas and the process of designing costumes for this movie. 

 

Costume Design for A Wrinkle In Time Paco Delgado

Photo Credit: Disney

How Paco starts the design process

The first thing Paco does when he starts working on new costumes for a film is NOT to design the costumes. He looks at the script first. “There’s a lot of information in the script. In the script you read things, “She wakes up in the morning, Or she goes and takes a bus.” There are really, really tiny things that they always tell that you can understand things. In this movies, they (referring to the Mrs.) don’t wake up in the morning. They don’t have any porridge in the morning.  You don’t know what they are doing because basically, they don’t behave like human beings. Then after you read the script, you get some hints. For example, Oprah’s character that she is Mrs. Witch. She is a warrior fighting in the universe against the forces of evil. And she was original, like a supernova that exploded and became all this energy. Then you already know, Oprah’s character has to be energy. And she’s a warrior. Then you have there so much information.

AWrinkleInTime Costume Designs1

Reese’s character, she is very playful. You see the way she engages with the children and the silly things that she says to the children. Then you think, well, this is very playful. She has to be interesting and fun. And then there is Mindy, Mrs. Who. She speaks with quotes from books. Then I thought, well, this lady is a librarian of the universe.”

Exclusive Interview with Paco Delgado

Photo credit: Louise Manning Bishop / MomStart.com

Sometimes costumer designers get it wrong

Paco shared with us how sometimes he may start a design, and have one idea in his head. Then he goes and talks to the director, and they have a different idea. Then the actors may chime in sharing an idea they have on how they want to look. Paco has to take in all of this information and go back to the drawing board to come up with a new concept. But that’s the fun (and sometimes frustrating) part of being a costume designer on a movie set. When talking to Paco about this, he didn’t make it sound like it was a chore. You could tell that challenges and coming up with new design concepts excite him. And, from the beautiful costumes he designed for A Wrinkle In Time, his work speaks for itself. 

 

Costume Design for A Wrinkle In Time Paco Delgado

Photo Credit: Disney

Costume Designs + Materials

Paco didn’t have a favorite star to dress. He stated, it’s like when people ask, who’s your favorite child? You love all your children the same (we hope). LOL, The same with Paco and dressing the cast of A Wrinkle In Time. ” They’re all my children. All of them have a very different. For example, Oprah’s dresses, they were complex, because we were using a lot of materials.”

He also went on to share with us that some dresses would take several weeks to make, up to eight weeks. However, “Everything worth doing, was being done simultaneously.” So while he may be waiting on material for one dress, he was busy working on another design. He also stated that he looked at other types of materials to use versus just regular fabric. He worked with glass beads, metals, metallic, and fiber optic; with some of these things being the first time he has ever worked those materials into his designs. His goal with many of the costume designs was to have fun with them, but also to have energy. 

There can also be a setback when it comes to putting together a design for the first time. Paco mentioned he had an idea to use fiber optic. They were able to find a company in China that had some amazing fiber optic. However, once the material arrived, the idea did not work. That can be the frustrating part of designing costumes; you make a lot of mistakes, you try new things, and keep reworking the design until it comes together. 

AWrinkleInTime Costume Designs1

With Oprah’s dress, Paco mentioned it took WEEKS of putting this costume together because they could not find the right electricity to use that could be seen “in normal conditions.” Initially, the dress would only light up in a dark room, and they were excited about how it looked. But, when they went to show Ava in a normal room, the dress didn’t light up. So they had to go back to the drawing board and come up with something different. 

Costume Design for A Wrinkle In Time Paco Delgado

Photo Credit: Disney

Paco also talked about the details in Mindy’s dress. Her costume was AMAZING! Here’s his thought process behind putting together Mrs. Who’s costume. “She was this super librarian, I was thinking, all her dresses have to have layers of things, like book pages. I was trying to think, is it possible to make something with paper? You see a lot of paperwork on the internet of people making paper. Will this work and will it stay like that the whole movie? And then we were trying to find the right pape. We found these people in south LA that they have this warehouse where they saw, like, Japanese paper, made by hand.”

AWrinkleInTime Costume Designs1

He continued talking about the back and forth of this process of working with the different paper until they were able to come up with the magic solution. It took about four weeks to make her costume. Another cool thing about Mindy’s costume was the jacket. You can’t see it in the movie, but the on the back of her jacket is a ton of words. 

Paco shared the idea behind putting words on her costume. “I was thinking about graffiti. Graffiti is an amazing expression, an artistic expression where you have words, and thinking into it. It’s not like making a drawing of a butterfly. It’s like saying a message. And then I just saw… This is amazing that she can have all these graffiti on her. She (Mrs. Who) speaks a language of a culture that we haven’t encountered yet. Or maybe in 200 years, we will encounter them.”

 

Exclusive Interview with Paco Delgado

Photo Credit: Disney

On designing costumes for Oprah Winfrey

Because Oprah is everything, we had to ask Paco how it felt to design costumes for Oprah! “It was very scary because you are gonna have a first meeting in your life with somebody like Oprah Winfrey. Paco expressed that he didn’t know what to think at first, but then he thought, “I was, like, oh my god, what happens if she doesn’t like this?”

He went on to share that he wanted to do a great job because it’s Oprah. And Reese and Mindy. These are people he has watched in movies for years, and now he has a moment in his career where he gets to designs costumes for these stars. Eventually, he had to check those feelings at the door and focus on his job, designing amazing costumes. He had to treat Oprah like that his colleague, “I’m going to talk to a colleague; I can’t be scared, the only thing that it does is paralyze you.”

Exclusive Interview with Paco Delgado

Photo Credit: Disney

Calming Self-Doubt

We all deal with self-doubt. And when you work on a set like Paco, designing costumes for A-List stars in a big Hollywood production, there’s always that fear of “what if they don’t like my work?” Paco talked about those challenges, and how he deals with them. “This is a race to the future always. You have a deadline you have to produce these costumes. You have to make drawings. You have to put them in motion. You have to find a workshop to make them. You have to make a fitting. You have to put them in front of the camera to test them. And one day they have to be in the movie.  I mean, the thing is, you have to do. You have to calm yourself and think. I always think, well, they are gonna hate it. That’s it. And then once I think they’re gonna hate it, I feel so relieved, because I think the only thing that can happen is to get better. {That’s a great way to think because you can only go up from there!}

Photo credit: Louise Manning Bishop / MomStart.com

You can catch Paco’s beautiful work in Disney’s A Wrinkle In Time, now playing in theaters everywhere! 

A Wrinkle In Time Poster