Selena Gomez has made a long-awaited return to television.
The actor – who started her TV career as a 10-year-old in Barney and Friends and then fronting the Disney Channel teen show Wizards of Waverly Place before making her foray into music and film – is gracing our (smaller) screens once more, playing Mabel in Disney Plus’ show Only Murders In The Building.
The internet was buzzing with excitement earlier this year when paparazzi shots of Gomez filming in New York City with legendary co-stars Steve Martin and Martin Short were released. Apart from the huge (fake) blood stains on Mabel in the shots, we also couldn’t help but notice the fashion. Carefully mastered by costume designer Dana Covarrubias, who has previously worked on sitcoms Inside Amy Schumer, Master Of None and Ramy, Mabel warms up for the chilly NYC Autumnal weather in thick mustard-hued knits, gingham skirts and bright faux fur jackets.
‘After gleaning what info I can from the scripts – Mabel is scripted as a tough, no-nonsense single woman living in NYC, but that’s kind of all you know about her. You know that she’s haunted by something in her past, she’s shrouded in mystery – I take it to the streets,’ Covarrubias tells us of her methods for costume dressing. ‘I go to where Mabel, Selena’s character, would hang out – and in my mind this was Brooklyn and Downtown Manhattan – and I people watch. I try to find real people who are ‘Mabels’ and I try to recreate these looks with my shopping and thrifting.’
But how do you create a new character wardrobe for somebody already so well-known, and adored for a signature style too? Covarrubias has her methods. ‘I also thought a lot about how to balance Selena’s wardrobe with her own celebrity… How can I make this stunning mega-pop star that is so recognisable feel like ‘Mabel’ and not like Selena, and how will her look play off of as theirs? It needed to have the right balance. Not too edgy, not too sweet.’
Gomez was involved in the process too, Covarrubias tells us: ‘Selena was very trusting and supportive of my team… From the first fitting we did, she liked how the costume transformed her into Mabel physically. At the time we were mid-Covid so everyone was wearing really soft, cozy lounge-wear. The first time she put her foot into these yellow Stella McCartney boots [see below] I think that she felt the physical change in her body, which I’d like to think helped her in her character development.’
The show dropped on the subscription service on August 31 and with actual footage and pictures and Covarrubias’ behind-the-scenes scoop, here’s our guide to Mabel’s wardrobe…
1. Selena Gomez In ‘Only Murders In The Building’ – Episode 4
In an exclusive sneak peek at the upcoming fourth episode of Only Murders In The Building, Gomez wears orange cargo trousers from Urban Outfitters, an oversized brown and black plaid shirt by Aqua, and her trusty Jennifer Fisher gold earrings.
2. Selena Gomez In ‘Only Murders In The Building’ – Episode 4
Covarrubias tells us it’s her favourite outfit of Mabel’s from the series is this one: ‘The look is very 70’s badass detective. I love how it feels very modern and very classic at the same time- this was the aesthetic we wanted for the entire show.’
The wine coloured coat is from Asos, the turtleneck cream sweater is & Other Stories and there’s a two piece Beige Frankie Shop suit under that coat too.
3. Selena Gomez In ‘Only Murders In The Building’ – Episode 3
The bright-coloured knits and Gomez’s beloved Jennifer Fisher hoops run through the series. Covarrubias says her team had go-to retailers and designers for each type of clothing. Boots tended to be Kurt Geiger, Doc Martens, Stella McCartney and Proenza Schouler, Rellery for her necklaces and Rebecca Turbow for belts (like this wide square classic design, pictured).
4. Selena Gomez In ‘Only Murders In The Building’ – Episode 1
Photographed off-duty filming the show back in December, we soon learned that this red utility jumpsuit features in episode one of Only Murders In The Building. The jumpsuit comes courtesy of MKT Studios and the yellow chelsea-style boots are the aforementioned utility boots by Stella McCartney.
5. Selena Gomez In ‘Only Murders In The Building’ – Episode 1
In the first episode, Mabel swaps her marigold Michael Kors jacket for a cream teddy coat and camel coloured check scarf.
6. Selena Gomez In ‘Only Murders In The Building’ – Episode 1
‘With this look we wanted the audience to ask “?!”’ Covarrubias explains. ‘It’s the first time we really meet Mabel so this needed to establish her whole vibe: Effortlessly cool.’
So what is this ‘effortless cool’ look Gomez appears in during the premier episode?
Well, the yellow cropped sweater and plaid trousers were vintage, as is a lot of Mabel’s wardrobe (‘We tried to shop second hand as much as possible,’ says Covarrubias citing Brooklyn’s Beacon’s Closet as one of her go-to thrift stores).
The faux fur cropped jacket is Michael Kors, the gold hoop earrings were Jennifer Fisher, headphones courtesy of Beats By Dre, backpack by Lotuff Leather and the – now, out of stock – oxblood lace up Siva boots by Kurt Geiger.
The marigold beanie? H&M. The tonal marigold look in episode one is purposeful too, explains Covarrubias: ‘Like Selena and her character Mabel, I am also half-Mexican and I wanted to somehow represent that heritage in Mabel’s costumes. I decided to use the Marigold as the core inspiration from which to draw this cultural connection. Marigolds play a significant role in Mexican culture and iconography- representing grief and resurrection as well as passion and creativity- which was perfect for Mabel. She’s haunted by her past, held back by her grief, and hoping to resurrect into something new. Selena also looks amazing in the colour marigold.’
Courtesy: ELLE UK