'Veronica Mars' Movie Costume Designer Reveals Logan Conundrum, Nod To Lilly, And More

Veronica Mars

A still from 'Veronica Mars.'
Photo: Warner Bros.

All of you saw the Veronica Mars movie last weekend, right? Right?! (If not, we hope the surgery went well, since presumably that’s your excuse.) So last week, we strolled down the hallowed halls of Neptune High with Salvador Perez, costume designer for the original series. He filled us in on the secrets behind Veronica’s pink-and-green color palette, Logan’s love of orange, the genesis of Dick’s statement tees, and so much more.

We also spoke to the film’s costume designer, Genevieve Tyrrell, to find out how she helped the beloved gang of Pirates ~mature~. The movie picks up 10 years after we last saw the cast in college, and so much has happened: Veronica has swapped her career as a private detective for a promising future as a lawyer, she’s been in a year-long relationship with Piz (Chris Lowell), and she hasn’t spoken to her epic love Logan (Jason Dohring) in NINE YEARS! But when Logan is accused of murdering his pop star girlfriend, Bonnie DeVille (née Carrie Bishop, played by Andrea Estrella), Veronica quickly ditches her new life in New York City to return to Neptune, where she confronts suspects old and new (hi, Gaby Hoffmamnn and Martin Starr!). (They play Ruby Jetson and Lou "Cobb" Cobbler, respectively.) Tyrrell dished on Veronica’s grown-up steez, Bonnie’s rock-roots fashion inspiration, and why modern-day Logan presented her with a “wardrobe conundrum.”

So when you signed on to the film, what was your first step in planning the characters’ style?

We did a breakdown of the progression of the characters. With Veronica in particular, because the series has a more ’90s sensibility, we wanted to show the passage of time, to show that she had graduated college, that she was this professional New York adult woman now. We also set about to make the initial changes that we see at the beginning in New York be different from what we then were moving to when she gets back to Neptune.

Veronica Mars

A still from 'Veronica Mars.'
Photo: Warner Bros.

Sal mentioned you hadn’t seen much of the series. Did you end up having to watch a lot of it to get prepped?

Well, I watched the first season and the last season, and I talked to Sal about how he saw the characters during the series, and he gave me a ton of information about their personalities, which was incredibly helpful. And then, you know, talking to [creator] Rob [Thomas], talking to some of the producers—because we see the characters in this one-week period in the movie. Dick and Logan and everybody has had life happen since we last saw them, so it was important to get that information.

Veronica Mars

Stills from 'Veronica Mars.'
Photos: Warner Bros.

What would you say are some of the signature differences between Veronica’s New York and Neptune style?

Well, she definitely goes from a more-polished business look to a more casual, funky—back to the roots of who Veronica was back in the series. Back then she wore a lot of denim jackets, or, you know, T-shirts with jeans, all with a colorful canvas jacket.

We wanted to keep some of those silhouettes. So when we get back to Neptune, there’s a lot of Helmut Lang and AllSaints and Paige Denim. She’s more mature. She’s also developed a sophistication away from Neptune and away from that life. The series was much more colorful, but again, they were kids. I feel like we kept a much stricter palette in the film to age them a little.

Veronica Mars

Stills from 'Veronica Mars.'
Photo: Warner Bros.

And as Veronica transitions from New York style to her Neptune roots, she goes from fitted blazers to leather jackets?

Right. She wore a lot of cropped denim jackets and things like that in the series—and there are a couple places that I placed a striped T-shirt with a little cropped denim jacket on her. Like when you see her in her full Veronica Mars P.I. garb.

In the series, Veronica is known for having black boots and a militarist vibe. As an adult, does she have any signature accessories?

Yeah, she wears two things: Little initial earrings, one’s a V and one’s an M—they’re very small—and then she also wears these little star earrings that harken back to the original series.

Veronica Mars

A still from 'Veronica Mars.'
Photo: Warner Bros.

As in the star necklace that Lilly gave her?

Yeah. We wanted to replicate that, to give the Marshmallows some of those key pieces. That’s also why we brought back the bag that she used in the series. There’s a few Easter eggs that were original to the series.

We learned that while the show was filming, the wardrobe was meticulously organized in a warehouse. Was it easy to get these pieces?

Funnily enough, the girl who is the archivist for Warner Bros. was a big fan of the series, and so when it wrapped, she went through the boxes of wardrobe and pulled out tons of stuff she thought was important to keep, which, I mean, is crazy in a way. Who would ever think that this many years later there would be a movie? That you would need any of it? The odds are so completely against that.

Speaking of fans, some of the donors to the Kickstarter campaign got to be extras. What was it like to style them?

Honestly, that’s one of the things that was so great. Everyone would come with this wonderful energy and enthusiasm to be part of this. And there were just amazing stories of people who had traveled across the country, and had been a fan forever, and it just made the vibe like the best independent film you could ever work on. People will complain about being on a low-budget production, but nobody ever complained about being on this movie.

You mentioned Veronica is wearing Helmut Lang and AllSaints. Did you have specific designers in mind for the other characters? Who were you drawn to for Logan?

He has such a great upper body, and it becomes one of those things, like, it’s such a shame to put him in anything loose-fitting, silhouette-wise. So there’s a lot of T-shirts and muted colors, and it’s John Varvatos, sort of rock ’n’ roll, easy-going. And we see him in his dress whites at the top and bottom of the movie.

Veronica Mars

Stills from 'Veronica Mars.'
Photo: Warner Bros.

Yes, we were shocked to see Logan in uniform. Nobody expected that, especially not for the first shot of him. Were you given any background to work with?

It was definitely scripted that he’s now in the military. Certainly, the dress whites—he’d mentioned he just came from a JAG thing, and that was all Rob wanting to create where Logan has been and what he’s been up to, in addition to the other things that happen in the movie. Certainly, it has a lot of dramatic flair. He has such a great physique that he can definitely pull that off. It was romantic, wasn’t it?

Veronica Mars

Stills from 'Veronica Mars.'
Photo: Warner Bros.

It was, their chemistry is just so good. With Veronica asking Logan if he was planning to carry her through the airport, it certainly came off as a direct nod to An Officer and a Gentleman and just the idea of a man in uniform and the sexiness around that.

Yeah, certainly. I can’t get inside Rob’s head and answer that, but certainly, I think it has a nod to An Officer and a Gentleman, for sure. So iconic.

Veronica Mars

Stills from 'Veronica Mars' and 'An Officer and a Gentleman.'
Photos: Warner Bros./Paramount Pictures

Were those authentic dress whites or were they custom made for the movie?

They’re authentic in that they come from a costume house. They’re authentically from a costume house. But they’re the true uniforms that are worn in the military, but you need a specific letter and it has to be verified [in order to purchase them].

On the series, Logan was often dressed in autumnal colors, which came from Jason at the time saying he wore "rack colors.” Did you consider adding any orange to his adult style?

No! I really love seeing him [Jason] in deep olive tones, deep browns, charcoals, and so forth. He was kind of a wardrobe conundrum. Given his military life, dating Bonnie DeVille seemed so wildly divergent. How do you make it look like he would be dating her? It’s a hard matchup, visually. We tried to keep his wardrobe as simple as possible, like jeans, a T-shirt, and a leather jacket. Like, I’m just a dude.

Did you feel you had to distinguish him from Piz?

Differentiating between Logan and Piz, I think it's more about silhouette because I put Piz in more button-up, plaid versions of things, but muted still. I would say it's more about the fit.

Veronica Mars

A still from 'Veronica Mars.'
Photo: Warner Bros.

Now Dick is one of our favorite characters. Did you consider incorporating any of the ironic statement T-shirts he used to wear back in the day?

You know, we didn’t really. In large part we felt like that was who he was when he was a teenager, and he’s still that smartass character, but he’s progressed slightly, if only just a smidge. He has a flask belt.

Veronica Mars

A GIF from 'Veronica Mars.'
GIF: Warner Bros./Jenny Shafei

Yeah, please tell us where to get one of those.

That’s your aspirational accessory right now? The props department custom made that for a douche-y moment he has at the reunion.

There’s a scene in the reunion where everybody gets drenched. How many takes were there?

I don’t know the exact number, but it was an all-day event. It was a lot of people wet all day—mostly stunt people. But Madison [Amanda Noret] was truly wet in that little Herve Leger bandage dress.

How did you decide on that dress for her?

Well, honestly, I had multiples of it, so it became the obvious frontrunner. We were on a tight budget and there was a huge CSI warehouse sale of great clothes from the show. A lot of what people wore in that scene came down to what were we able to get multiples of.

Veronica Mars

Stills from 'Veronica Mars.'
Photo: Warner Bros.

We loved the dress Gia Goodman [Krysten Ritter] wore to the reunion. What can you tell us about it?

It’s an Alice + Olivia dress and we completely recut it. It was originally an A-line shift and we made it more bodycon. It took a lot of seamstress hours to reset that dress and re-bead the sides. We completely changed the entire silhouette.

Was there any item of clothing that you totally splurged on?

Yeah, I feel like the olive-and-black Mackage overcoat that Veronica wears at the beginning—we got that wholesale, but I specifically wanted that, and it’s one of my favorite pieces.

Veronica Mars

A still from 'Veronica Mars' and a shot from set.
Photos: Warner Bros./Splash News

Mac [Tina Majorino] appears to have undergone the most dramatic change. She would be that girl at the reunion who was a geek in high school and would then stun everybody with her cool hair and sexy dress. Was that what you were going for?

Oh, you know what, it’s two different pieces. It’s a Gucci top and Bebe skirt. And because Tina’s hair is so funky and cool, we wanted to give her some elements that had a little femininity, too.

Veronica Mars

Stills from 'Veronica Mars.'
Photo: Warner Bros.

Was her hair a styling decision, or is that how Tina’s hair was cut?

That’s how her hair was cut, and they did a really great job of styling it.

Bonnie DeVille struck us as a mix between Katy Perry and Lana Del Rey. How much of her look was Andrea’s own style?

I dressed her. Everything you see her in we chose for her. Andrea has her own sort of funky look for herself, with her lavender hair, but we gave her more of that rock star look. I’m always a fan of anything Gwen Stefani wears, so it was a combination of that and Topshop.

Veronica Mars

Stills from 'Veronica Mars.'
Photo: Warner Bros.

Now, the Vinnie Van Lowe character [played by Ken Marino]: What kind of fun did you have dressing him?

He’s so funny. I’m such a big fan of Burning Love [the web series Marino directs and stars in]. He came in and was like, “Yeah, you know, I’m a real douchebag.” And I thought it’d be fun—with him selling things out of his van, and him being this seedy character—to give him an almost goofy Jersey Shore kind of vibe.

Veronica Mars

Stills from 'Veronica Mars.'
Photo: Warner Bros.

Who was your favorite character to dress?

Hmm. That’s a good question. It was fun to do Bonnie—you know, I think maybe Ruby Jetson. Gaby is a total character, first of all, and she’s so into it and you want to give her wardrobe as her tools to use to emulate Bonnie. And I always think that’s fun, when you add a level of subterfuge or duplicity. There’s a little more range.

Veronica Mars

Stills from 'Veronica Mars.'
Photos: Warner Bros.

With Gaby Hoffmann playing Ruby, a Bonnie DeVille stan/imitator, did you double-up on clothes without us knowing, or did she have her own wardrobe?

She had her own clothes that were imitations of Bonnie’s. The one dress she wears when she sings [at the Beachcomber] is actually a vintage Betsey Johnson—the black one with the red velvet. We made her this low-rent version [of Bonnie], like she didn’t have the means to really dress like a true rock star. So it was things she could’ve found at a thrift store.

Veronica Mars

Stills from 'Veronica Mars.'
Photos: Warner Bros.

Just a quick question for those of us who believe in LoVe [Logan + Veronica]: Is Veronica wearing Logan’s shirt when he leaves her to report for duty?

Yes.

Veronica Mars

Stills from 'Veronica Mars.'
Photo: Warner Bros.

Why do you think Veronica Mars amassed so many loyal fans over the years that, even after seven years off the air, there was enough interest in seeing it transitioned into a movie?

Rob Thomas is such a good writer. I think there’s always going to be that allure for kids who are essentially doing something that is relegated for just adults. There’s something really wonderful and empowering [about Veronica], with her snappy dialogue. She’s got sass. All these female characters [on other series] are pandering and don’t take charge of their own lives or make things happen, and that’s the opposite of Veronica. And to take the backdrop of California and make it dark? It’s hard to take a beach and make it dark.

Veronica Mars

Stills from 'Veronica Mars.'
Photos: Warner Bros.

Veronica Mars

Stills from 'Veronica Mars.'
Photos: Warner Bros.

Veronica Mars

Stills from 'Veronica Mars.'
Photos: Warner Bros.

Additional reporting by Jenny Shafei.

+ MORE PHOTOS FROM 'VERONICA MARS'

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