One of the many reasons to love The Mindy Project is the endless parade of colorful fashions and daffy prints Dr. Mindy Lahiri wears onscreen. The Cut caught up with Mindy Kaling and the show’s wardrobe designer (and Kaling’s sometime personal stylist), Salvador Perez, at Friday’s For Your Consideration Emmy event in Beverly Hills. The event took place at Neiman Marcus, where, Perez informed Academy members, many of Mindy’s dresses were purchased. The show has a team of 12 people doing various wardrobe-related tasks, like shopping, returning, ordering, sewing, and tending to fitting actors on set.
Kaling revealed that over the course of 67 episodes, Mindy Lahiri has never worn the same outfit twice; Perez said that pieces are reused but entire outfits are not repeated. As an in-joke, they had Mindy ask Beverly (Beth Grant’s character) to take some of her castoffs to the needy and Beverly started wearing some of Mindy’s wardrobe. (Of course, the Twitterverse picked up on it immediately and loved it.)
Perez also said that while most women on TV are supposed to look effortless, Mindy Lahiri is just the opposite. Kaling, he said, “coined a phrase, and I love it: ‘Everybody wants to be effortless, Mindy Lahiri wants to be effort-FUL.’”
Will Mindy’s wardrobe budget be impacted when the show migrates to Hulu? Kaling and Perez said it won’t, and that they won’t have the same problems with showing brand logos that they had at Fox. At one point, Perez recalled, Kaling sent a memo to Fox execs insisting that Mindy Lahiri carry a Chanel bag in a first-season episode of the show. “I wasn’t Zsa Zsa Gabor!” she protested. “I said it’s so much ingrained in the character and it’s so iconic and classic and she wore it in the pilot. I wasn’t like, ‘It’s my way or the highway.’ I’m a real noble person, forcing the network to let me wear Chanel. Everyone has their causes, so that’s mine.” Fight the power, Mindy.