EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Marion Boyce, costume designer of Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries

Screen Shot 2016-01-31 at 7.47.21 pmPhoto credit: Gene Ramirez

COLLAGE is thrilled to present to our lovely readers an exclusive interview with the talented and passionate costume designer, Marion Boyce. Marion is the veritable artistic genius behind the lavish costuming and extensive wardrobe featured in the beloved Australian detective series, “Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries”. Marion shares with us her inspirations, ambitions, and divulges the secrets behind the spectacular period costume design by allowing a privileged behind-the-scenes glimpse into the visual recreation of Miss Fisher’s 1920s world.

You can catch the Miss Fisher Costume Exhibition at the Ayers House Museum until February 14!

Q: Hello Marion! First of all welcome and thank you for taking the time to answer these questions for COLLAGE. What first inspired you to enter the world of costume design? Was it something you always dreamed of doing?

A: My childhood was full of textiles and treasures – I used to seek them out, and loved to explore new things. I went to RMIT to study fashion design, but I never actually completed my degree. At the age of 21 I was approached to design a film. I never aspired to be a fashion designer; I found my tribe in the film industry.

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Photo Credit: Kirstie Morey

Q: Who are your creative and artistic muses?

A: Balenciaga, Vionnet, Madame Gres.

Q: How important is costume to the character development in shows like Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries?

A: Character development for any show is very important. An actor can never feel comfortable unless the costume feels right in every way. It is part of their performance – it should enhance their performance, rather than detract or distract from it.

Q: How closely would you say you have followed Kerry Greenwood’s description of Phryne’s clothing in the Miss Fisher novels, and how much artistic licence have you been granted in the costume design throughout the series?

A: Not at all! From Kerry’s books I searched for her intent of who the characters were. Once I was comfortable I had fully grasped Kerry’s intent, I then designed for the adaptation of her books, being the script, with the same intent. You must honour the work of the creator.

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Photo Credit: Kirstie Morey

Q: Do you have a favourite costume from the Miss Fisher series?

A: Many – but one of my very favourites is her car coat. It has great simplicity and elegance, and is a very grounding piece. (Editor’s note: the cream car coat and matching hat are worn to great effect in Season 3, Episode 4)

Q: If you had to give just one piece of advice to budding costume designers, what would it be?

A: Stockpile sleep when you can.

Q: And finally, what would you say is the most rewarding aspect of your job?

A: Without a doubt the most rewarding part of any job is seeing the finished product, and it is exactly as you designed and imagined.

On behalf of COLLAGE, thank you so much for your time, and we wish you all the best in your future endeavours!

-Kirstie Morey


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