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Maya Lieberman on the Costumes of “For a Good Time, Call...”


For A Good Time Call Ari Graynor Lauren Anne Miller Maya Liebermann Focus Features

Photo courtesy of Ryder Sloane / Focus Features

Lauren (Lauren Anne Miller) and Katie (Ari Graynor) get down to business.



The trials of sticking it out in New York City are the subject of many a song (James Brown, Albert Hammond Jr., LCD Soundsystem- you get the idea), but this time, they take hilarious center stage on the big screen in For a Good Time, Call...

Quick, cursory premise: Lauren (Miller) is unceremoniously dumped by her boyfriend and as is always the case in Manhattan's tense real estate market, immediately needs an affordable place to live.

Her best friend, Jesse (Justin Long), insists she give it a go with former college classmate, Katie (Graynor) who happens to be making the rent on her grandmother's palatial Gramercy apartment as a phone sex operator.

The two never got along (understatement) in college, so for awhile the two are cordial at best, until Lauren sees a major moneymaking possibility in Katie striking out on her own. The two are soon operating as 1-877-MMM-HMMM.

(It's no spoiler to say you really should get your tickets in advance of the film's limited release this weekend.)

While stars Lauren Anne Miller and Ari Graynor never engaged in any of their own phone sex hotline antics for cash, we got a hold of the film's costume designer, Maya Lieberman, former shoe store-owner (with the closet to prove it!) whose costume credits include Wes Anderson's Royal Tenenbaums, to get some more behind-the-scenes insight about the film.


We know the film had a limited budget and shot for a short time. How did you accommodate any of those challenges with dressing Lauren and Ari?

Lauren Miller has a HUGE closet, and because the closet is based on her a little bit, we were able to use some of her things...And both girls are size 8, and i have an extensive shoe closet so they really wore all of my shoes! I used a lot of stuff from H&M and Zara and Mod Cloth and Urban Outfitters, just mixing it together so nothing too much from one store but just kind of an amalgam of things.

The two girls start out as such opposites, and not just in their style. How did you approach each character's wardrobe?


We did a two hour fitting separately with each girl, and the characters just start to develop. You start to say "Oh, that's so Lauren". We noticed she happened to wear a lot of stripes because that was kind of a nod to her preppy character. And Ari was more the vintagey vibe. We wanted something like her caftans—maybe they were her grandmother's—and then I found these jumpsuits and all of a sudden, Katie the character was born. We were like, "This is it!" We knew these were New York girls who are on a budget, how do we portray that? Girls in New York who don't have a lot of money still have great style. There was no reason why we should be limited by what their real life budgets were.

The clothes play an interesting role because as the characters shift and become closer, their wardrobes sort of morph together. It's a very visible change.

As the characters arc, the clothes make an arc too. Lauren definitely frees up and becomes more wild and sees that Katie-ness grow inside of her and vice versa. As the story progresses, the clothes sort of follow those lines. The blending and sharing of clothes is something that's very real in life, and if you become best friends you start to share things and adopt each other's style a little.

So we're not exactly asking if you've ever operated a phone sex hotline, but what's the most regrettable thing you've done for cash? No judgment!

Selling clothes at consignment shops when I thought I was done with them and then realizing 10 years later, 7 years later, it would have been an amazing new vintage piece and I really wished I had saved it but I sold it for money when I was younger and I want to take that back. That's one of the most regrettable things I've done for money, definitely. I think about some of the first Marc Jacobs stuff that came out that I sold that I was like "I could get a good price for this." I wish I had that now.

For A Good Time Call Ari Graynor Lauren Anne Miller Maya Liebermann Focus Features

Photo courtesy of Focus Features

Once frenemies: A jumpsuited Katie and Lauren in preppy stripes, united by Jesse (Justin Long)






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