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Mimi Lein

Michelle Tse: And I also imagine for this show, you maybe collaborated with the other designers more than any other production. Was there one designer you worked with more closely than another? We sat down with Paloma [Young, costume designer] recently, who said your set informed her designs a lot.

Mimi Lein: Really?!

MT: Yes! And I noticed when I was at the show that when the actors are spinning around on the constructed aisles that the circumference of their dresses were literally the exact width of your aisles.

[Everybody laughs]

ML: I know! I don’t know whether it’s possible that Paloma went and calculated that, but I noticed that, too! Everytime I watch the hem of their skirts I worry that it was going to knock over something. [laughs] I mean, if Paloma has calculated that, she hasn’t told me, but I worship her. I feel like for me, a lot of the bunker is actually in response to the punk flavor of some of the ensemble costumes. We certainly talked about it in the beginning, about this being an anachronistic vision of Russia. We’re not being period specific. This is not what 19th-century Russia looks like, you know? This is maybe if you went to a nightclub in Moscow in the late ‘90s and their theme was Imperial Russia. Maybe that’s it. So that has a lot to do with the techno music that Dave [Malloy, creator and composer] composed. So it’s kind of a mashup of things.

full conversation