"Magic City" Costume Designer Carol Ramsey on Miami and 50's Fashion

June 1, 2012   


Designing the costumes for the STARZ series “Magic City,” which has its first season finale tonight, proved a unique challenge for costume designer Carol Ramsey. Ramsey, who has designed costumes for more than 40 film and television projects, worked with her team to dress about 500 people per episode, and all in era-specific outfits that reflected the fashion of 1959 Miami. As part of her research for the project, she scoured old issues of VOGUE, VANITY FAIR and GLAMOUR for inspiration for upscale styles and Sears catalogs for everyday looks – something she recommends we all do to get inspired for new looks.
We caught up with Carol to find out what she had to say about the 1950’s style of the show and how to incorporate it into an everyday look.

What types of fashion were popular in Miami Beach at the time?

In Miami, there was lots of swimwear with matching cover-ups and sandals as well as great exotic and themed purses, often in straw and sometimes with entire beach scenes embedded in plastic.  For men, there were all kinds of colorful cabana sets, particularly in wild prints. Also, there were matching swimwear outfits for entire families.

How can readers recreate the Magic City vintage look into an everyday look they could wear for work or going out?

Keep everything simple and coordinated and body hugging and sexy! Think curvy, controlled, and use pieces that accentuate your assets.

What advice would you give readers for this summer?

Don't be afraid of one-piece bathing suits, especially those with plunging backs and strappy detailing. [Back in 1959] Bikinis existed, but didn't really come on strong in America until about 1963 or 1964. If you want to be really authentic, you have to avoid spandex - this is the hardest part. But there are lots of nice 50's inspired bathing suits around now in spandex. I say wear them!
The season finale of “Magic City” airs tonight at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT on STARZ so don’t forget to tune-in. You can also find Magic City on Twitter (use hashtag #MagicCityTV to join the conversation) and check out the Magic City Facebook page for more amazing 1950’s fashion. 

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