SNL reveals how it recreated Kamala Harris’ white suit in just hours

Show’s costume department says it did not know what vice-president elect would be wearing beforehand

Chelsea Ritschel
New York
Tuesday 10 November 2020 16:38 GMT
SNL re-creates Kamala Harris' speech

Just hours after Kamala Harris gave her victory speech as vice president-elect, dressed in a suffragette-white pantsuit by Wes Gordon, the creative director of Carolina Herrera, the crew of Saturday Night Live recreated it perfectly.

The feat, which saw Maya Rudolph dressed in a near-identical look, down to the silk pussy-bow shirt and American flag pin on her lapel for the show’s cold open, was met with disbelief on social media, where viewers questioned how SNL’s costume department had managed to pull it off in just hours.

Some speculated that the show had been told what Ms Harris would be wearing before her acceptance speech, which started around 8.30pm, while others wondered whether the costume department was able to go shopping last minute before the 11.30pm show.

“Did @MayaRudolph have advance knowledge? She had the exact outfit on just three hours later on SNL!” one person tweeted, while another said: “What I wanna know is who shopped for @MayaRudolph in the three hours between the speech and @nbcsnl? Because that outfit could not have been better. Nice going!”

However, according to SNL’s producer and costume designer, Tom Broecker, and wardrobe supervisor ,Dale Richards, who spoke to PopSugar, everything about Rudolph’s outfit was either made that night or pulled from the stock closet.

“My assistant started capturing screen grabs of everything [Harris] was wearing so we could get all the details right — the shoes, the jewellery, the hair, makeup, blouse, and the suit,” Broecker recalled. “By 9pm we had pulled all the 'research' photos together and started looking through our stock to see if there was anything that could work.

Broecker also confirmed that the crew didn’t have help from any of New York City’s stores, as they were all shut by this point.

“Every store in the city had been closed for hours. There was no way to shop this look anywhere, except in our back rooms," he told the outlet.

Kamala Harris delivers historic speech commending Americans for choosing 'unity, decency, science, and the truth'

For Ms Harris’ champagne pussy-bow blouse, Broecker said the team relied on a "A box of cream charmeuse fabric”.

The vice president-elect’s suit proved harder, as the costume designer told the outlet that “a cream double-breasted suit was found that could be completely recut and altered to make the suit work”, but that it would be difficult.

“It would require an incredible amount of work to recut a double-breasted suit into a single-breasted suit,” he said. “But I work with the most incredible tailors in the world.

“They put the jacket on Maya's mannequin form in the office and went to work, just like in the movie Cinderella.”

According to Broecker, just 80 minutes later, Rudolph did a fitting and “it was perfect”.

However, just as Rudolph was leaving the dressing room and heading to the stage to play the part of Ms Harris, Broecker noticed that she was missing the American flag pin — at which point her dresser “went running into the wardrobe room” to get the accessory.

“I will say this: nowhere else in the world could this happen,” Broecker said of SNL’s accomplishment.

The pair also confirmed that they did not have access to Ms Harris’ outfit choice ahead of her victory speech Saturday night, and that even if they had, it would have been too late.

"Even if we had a contact in Kamala's camp, by the time they told us who designed it, the stores would be closed and it would be way too late to source it," Richards said.

Ms Harris’, and subsequently Rudolph’s, outfit was significant as it paid tribute to the suffragette movement and the continued fight for women’s rights during a speech marking a historic victory.

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