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Behind the scenes with the costume designer for Desperate Housewives - Part I

Cate Adair, costume designer for Desperate Housewives
Cate Adair, costume designer for Desperate Housewives
Cate Adair

Cate Adair, Emmy-nominated costume designer for Desperate Housewives took time away from dressing the stars to host a “Style Celebration” event in the Twin Cities, along with locally based Chamilia, a fashion-forward fine beaded jewelry company and Be the Match Foundation.

When asked how it came to be that Cate aligned with Chamilia and Be The Match, Trisha Gregory Marketing Director for Chamilia shared that the common bond is uniqueness. "Chamilia is all about creating personal style and celebrating unique style by providing you the opportunity to design bracelets, necklaces and earrings that tell your story. In her role as a costume designer, Cate seeks to create a unique style that facilitates the character coming to life visually, to aid in telling the story. Be The Match Foundation is searching the world for a unique match – the one person that can save another’s life – by matching individual patients who need a marrow transplant with an unrelated donor through its marrow registry."

“Working on Desperate Housewives has provided me with a platform to speak out and give back. We all know someone, a family member or friend who has endured an illness. Just recently, one of our crewmember’s best friend became ill; reinforcing how important it is to get involved. The partnership with a fashion forward company like Chamilia and an organization dedicated to saving lives such as Be The Match is ideal for me.” says Cate.

In designing her own Chamilia bracelet online, Cate designed six bracelets before narrowing it down to one. With over 600 beads to choose from many caught her eye, causing her to run out space on her wish list. If you would like to design your own bracelet, visit Chamilia’s website or send your significant other the site to get a jump on your holiday, anniversary, or birthday gift. The starter bracelet is perfect for any budget. Start with what you can afford and keep adding as funds allow. Once you design your bracelet, don’t forget to visit Chamilia for those special occasions as 20-30 new beads are added to the line quarterly.

Thrifty shoppers take note; the Desperate Housewives' stars are wearing clothing and accessories from your favorite venues —flea markets, thrift and vintage stores, Target and other affordable retailers. Cate shops everywhere and mixes and matches the inexpensive with expensive. Given that she doesn’t know the storyline more than a week in advance, the volume of clothing and accessories on hand is vast, as the crew has to react quickly on short notice. There are five 50-foot trailers filled, two of which travel with the starts and styling crew of ten with more items in a separate storage facility. Even though Cate knows the inventory intimately and where to find each piece – everything is photographed and cataloged to make it easy for the crew to find. After all filming goes on even when Cate is on the road.

For those that have been wondering what brand of jeans Mike Delfino wears, the answer is Levi’s 501 Button Fly paired with those snug fitting Banana Republic T-shirts that have been altered in the sleeve to accent the bicep.

Desperate Housewives fans stay tuned, as upcoming thrifty shopping articles will fill you in on the what took place behind the scenes on the Desperate Housewives epsiode that aired on Sunday October 17th, along with an inside scoop on Lynette, shopping tips, the story Cate’s Chamilia bracelet and purse tell about her life, and how it came be that Cate landed the role of costume designer for Desperate Housewives.

Resources: Cate Adair, Chamilia, Be the Match Foundation, Target, Banana Republic, Levi’s 501 Button Fly jeans on sale at JC Penny.

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