An Interview With True Blood’s Fashion and Costume Designer: Audrey Fisher

September 8, 2009 by  

eric-vikingRecently “Fashionably Marketing Me” sat with the very talented Audrey Fisher, True Blood’s fashion and costume designer for a one-on-one. With each new episode of True Blood, Audrey is able to authenticate the time, whether it’s a flashback to certain era in time like Bill as a soldier during the Civil War or Eric’s (Alexander Skarsgaard) time as a viking human.  One of my favorite costume designs were from the early 20s and 30s which gave us a glimpse of Bill and Lorena’s tumultuous relationship. Much effort and intricate detail was put into both Bill (Stephen Moyer) and Lorena’s wardrobe and it made me feel like I was watching a movie from that era in time and had me secretly wishing men and women dressed liked that today. When Audrey was asked how she became a costume designer and the inspiration or the force that drove the passion, she stated,

“From a very young age, I was always making costumes for myself, my friends and my family. My path to costume design, however, was roundabout. In college, I had actually started toward a career in the literary department of theater studies but in my extremely academic graduate program I found I was still making costumes in my spare time. It was all connected: I was interested in the way costumes could tell stories. Based on some hats I was making for an art class, a director asked me to design the costumes for her production of “Medea” at a downtown theater. That’s when costumes became my professional passion, with that first off-off-off broadway show.”

Audrey began working in theater in New York in 1992, working happily for many years and traveling to Europe numerous times to design costumes for opera and theater as well. When asked what television shows she has worked on she said,

“In 1998 I moved back to my hometown of Los Angeles. Even though I was in Hollywood, I remained totally focused on theater and I got a job as a resident costume design assistant at the Center Theatre Group’s costume shop. I assisted Melina Root on a show called ‘Space’ and she asked me to assist her on the short-lived TV sit-com ‘That 80’s Show.’ She then hired me as her assistant designer for the last two seasons of ‘That 70’s Show.’ When the show wrapped, Danny Glicker hired me to assist him on ‘We Are Marshall.’ Danny has become a dear friend and I consider him to be my mentor. He was the original designer of True Blood and when the writer’s strike happened and he simultaneously got the offer to design ‘Milk,’ he suggested to Alan Ball that I take over as costume designer. Alan agreed. That was two years ago and I am so happy and grateful to be designing the costumes for True Blood.”

I know many of us could not be happier with Audrey and the casts’ choices because week after week, the cast looks amazing in an effortless way.  In reality much time and hard work does go into what our favorite characters wear in a particular episode and scene. Audrey describes the difference between costume design and fashion. Audrey explains that fashion and the costume that she fits for a particular character go hand in hand.  Whether she is fitting a person on True Blood or in theater. If the character is portraying a housewife, military personnel or one of the cast from True Blood, the costume has to be authentic and realistic to who that actor is portraying in that scene. Lastly Audrey was asked why there are always on going discussions with the studios and producers to explain the differences between fashion and costume design and what makes the distinction so important? Audrey explained,

“Certainly costume design and fashion are close cousins; I’m deeply inspired by fashion. I think some people sometimes mistakenly think that the costumes for a contemporary show can just be purchased head to toe at a department store and that’s just not the case. When I do find costume pieces at retail stores, vintage shops and costume rental houses, I do significant work on those items (altering, dyeing, distressing, aging) to make them work for the character before they go on stage or on screen.”

Each week I, and many other fans, look forward to the fashion and costumes on True Blood. I admit that I get some ideas for myself while watching, thanks to the very talented Audrey Fisher. I must admit I have a closet full of dresses and accessories to last me a few months! I even went as far as purchasing a 30s style navy blue dress that I have received many compliments on, so thank you Audrey! I think also as an actor it must be a dream come true to be able to voice your opinion and offer input on your wardrobe as many actors have stated.  Don’t miss the season finale of True Blood, Sunday Sept. 13 at 9 p.m. on HBO.


Photo credit:  HBO Inc. via