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Few people can resist a good cat-and-mouse mystery, which is why ABC’s newest drama, The Catch, has such a following. It doesn’t hurt that the stars of the show, Mireille Enos and Peter Krause, are devastatingly good looking, or that the writers and creators do a stunning job at creating an enthralling show each week.
This month, I had the opportunity to talk to the series’ costume designer, Peggy Schnitzer. She has designed wardrobes for the show Californication and worked on the films Three Kings and The Matrix Reloaded. Her team, which includes costume supervisor Leo Castro, uber-talented assistant Anita Cabada, and her tailor-cutter-fitter extraordinaire, Carlos Zapeda, create a wardrobe unmatched by any other show on television.
Imagine not only creating a look for each of the stars of The Catch, but having to keep records for reference of each outfit, piece of jewelry, and shoes and how each were worn for each scene of every show aired.
One valuable tool that helps wardrobe departments on any show, especially The Catch, keep track of details from which jewelry was paired with a certain dress or remembering on which hand a certain bracelet was worn, is a literal photo album.
“A lot of times there’ll be many scenes that link up,” said Peggy Schnitzer, “so if we’re here doing interiors and then a week later they’re doing exteriors… they match it up by the pictures.”
The books are also ideal for reference for reshoots in the future, as they can pull photos from archives. The books were definitely fun memorabilia for fans of the show as Peggy guided us through a few of pages.
“This one was in the parking lot when she had the crowbar in her hand with that dress,” she said. “This was when she went to his fake office building, these are some Margot pieces. Margot pretty much wears very sculpted body [pieces], she’s a little more playful but still professional.”
Being able to see the wardrobe collectively and in-person, we began to notice that each character had their own nuances that contributed to their character’s identity.
“I’ve really tried to make [Margot] feminine but professional; not too power suit-y for her,” Peggy said. “You know, there’s still a very feminine edge to it. This is Rose, and she [wears] a lot of sheers. This is Peter… Peter pretty much wears a uniform – dark suits, mostly white shirts – which were all made for him. You can see his little initials in there.”
The Catch has a 1960s feel and very unique photography direction. This overall feel of the show has a huge impact on the wardrobe department and it’s up to them to enhance that look for the show, but the look is something that comes easily to designer, Peggy Schnitzer.
“If I were to do today-modern, it’s a lot boxier what’s out now. My esthetic by choice is very sixties, early seventies; very sleek because it looks – for their bodies – I think it looks really well.”
Despite the classic tone of the show, Peggy told us that the first pilot that was shot for the show was even older than its current 1960s style.
“It was a more 1940s thing and then they changed,” she said. “They rewrote the pilot, we shot one pilot and then we shot another pilot. And this was a lot more fun, a lot more sixties.”
How The Actor’s Bodies Affect Their Wardrobe
Did you know that each of the actor’s body types also play a strong role in the way their character is styled? For The Catch, actor Peter Krause has a long neck, according to Schnitzer, so she gravitates towards shirts with a tall strong collar.
For Alice, played by Mireille Enos, Schnitzer says her stuff is a little more eclectic with some vintage pieces and pencil skirts which work well for her very small frame.
“A lot of times I look at magazines, I look at newspapers, I look at people on the street, and just get inspiration that way.” Peggy Schnitzer, costume designer for ABC’s The Catch
Margot, played by Sonya Walger, is describe by Schnitzer as having a more sculpted body so sleek clothing and brands works for her.
And, for Rose Rollins who plays Valerie Anderson, it’s very eclectic pieces “because she’s so unusual looking – beautiful, and very statuesque,” says Schnitzer.
A Jack(ie) Of Many Trades And Talents
The wedding dress that was worn by actress Mireille Enos is likely to become an iconic one; its unique look, silken fabric, and tailored fit made women everywhere gasp. You might be surprised to learn that it was the show’s own designer, Peggy Schnitzer, who designed and made the dress.
“I used 1930s wedding dresses as inspiration that were very biased cut,” she said. She worked with fellow designer Carlos Zapeda and created a dress that deserved every gasp it likely garnered.
How Set Design Affects The Show’s Wardrobe
Yes, even the design of the set will affect how each actor is dressed for each scene. After visiting the set for The Catch – specifically the Anderson-Vaughn Investigations office which consists of a mostly glass-and-white surroundings – we could easily see why this would become an issue.
“Their office, their business, AVI, is all glass and white,” Schnitzer pointed out, “so it’s great to have darker shapes and people [walking] through so you can see them. We can’t do like a lot of lights and beiges.”
“We do the occasional white dress, but then surround it, depending on what everyone else is wearing. But usually I try and do it around what Mireille and Rose are wearing, everyone else around them because it’s usually focusing on them in that environment,” said Schnitzer.
Now that you know all the wardrobe secrets from the show, be sure to catch The Catch on ABC Thursday nights at 10pm EST.
Keep an eye out for our “Behind The Scenes” post with all of our photos from the set of The Catch!