USC graduate Sara Fox discusses costume design for The Mandalorian

Sara Fox knows she just might have one of the coolest jobs on the planet.

As a costume designer she worked on big shows like Pretty little Liars, Code Black and Get Shorty, as well as movies like Jersey Boys and Horrible Bosses 2. Most recently, she made the leap into one of entertainment’s most iconic brands – Star wars.

Fox, the costume assistant of The Mandalorian, realizes how lucky she is to work on such a popular show, which is also part of one of the most famous universes in the history of entertainment. But she also knows that to get there it took talent and good old-fashioned hard work. And now that combo has earned the former Trojan its first Emmy nomination.

“We really put all our heart and soul into the project, so it’s really nice to be recognized by our peers,” she said.

Growing up in Yorba Linda, Calif., Fox said she had always been a “patron and lover of the arts,” but never considered it a true career. Originally, she thought she would take a more conventional path and continue with her business. But “conventional” might be somewhat subjective, as Fox entered college with a high school diploma and bachelor’s degree in cosmetology. She figured she would combine that with a business degree to work in cosmetics or do something entrepreneurial. At the suggestion of a high school guidance counselor, however, Fox began to lean into the arts. USC was first on its list.

“They saw that I had these unique skills that I brought as a student, which completed this puzzle that they were looking for in their student body,” she said. “I’ve always had a lot of drive and initiative, and I think that’s part of why I ended up going to USC. They view their new student body not just as a test result, but as an individual. “

Sara Fox takes the leap in Star wars with The Mandalorian

Fox graduated in 2010 from USC School of Dramatic Arts with a bachelor’s degree in theater design and a major in costume and set design. During his undergraduate years, Fox did internships at ABC and E! Network before landing her first gig out of college as a costume production assistant on the show Raising hope.

Since then, his work has covered a wide range of genres, from sitcoms to medical dramas, period plays and his most recent adventure in a particular galaxy far distant.

Each show brings so much excitement and new opportunities and creative juices.

Sara Renard

“Every show brings so much excitement, new opportunities and creativity, and the opportunity to collaborate with other artisans has always been really exciting,” Fox said. “Now, 11 years later, every opportunity has gotten bigger and the shows have gotten bigger, so the excitement has grown every step of the way.”

This does not mean that entering the Star wars the universe did not come with its share of challenges. Fox said this was by far the biggest project she had worked on, so the whole team she worked with felt like they were held to a higher standard. As excited as Fox was to be working on The Mandalorian, she fully admits that she was not an encyclopedia of Star wars knowledge, then she immediately threw herself into the matter.

“It was a really fun learning experience,” she said. “It’s so complex that I still haven’t reached the levels of detail that the universe has created over the past nearly 50 years to this day.”

USC graduate ready for exciting new projects in costume design

The specific episode for which Fox and his collaborators were nominated – “The Jedi” – features the first live-action adaptation of an iconic character from the animated series, Ahsoka Tano, played by Rosario Dawson.

“It’s always very exciting when there is an opportunity to bring a character to life, from animation to live action,” she said.

Apart from the Emmy nomination, the work also led to other forms of recognition, such as being listed as an example of famous alumni of the School of Dramatic Arts, an honor she does not couldn’t help but laugh.

“I really appreciate being recognized,” she said. “I think it’s funny to be called a ‘famous alumnus’, but I’ve worked really hard for that too, so it’s a recognition that my efforts are paying off.”

Fox will not be working on the next season of The Mandalorian, as she left the Star wars universe for now, but she said she would still like to stay in the sci-fi realm and has a few projects in the works. Not too bad to be just a “patron and lover of the arts”.

“It was really a new chapter for me to go into this design and costume career and I really had no idea if there would be longevity,” Fox said. “The majority of people don’t see this as a viable career option, but I have really been fortunate enough to make it not only a career but a passion, and one that I have been successful with.”

The 73rd Primetime Emmy Awards will be presented in September. The awards in the Creative Arts categories – including the costume category – will be presented September 11-12 on FXX; The Performing, Directing and Writing Awards will be presented on September 19 on CBS.

More stories on: Alumni, Dramatic Arts, Television

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