AMC Spotlights Contemporary Costumer Ellen Mirojnick In The Hollywood Fashion Machine Special, ‘Hollywood 101: Cosmtume Designer’

BETHPAGE, N.Y., December 11, 2000 – Costume designers undoubtedly have one of the most demanding jobs in Hollywood. In addition to the creative role of helping transform actors into three-dimensional characters, the costume designer is also part therapist and part confidante, forming a unique connection with each actor on the set. Airing as a Hollywood Fashion Machine special on March 22, 2001, AMERICAN MOVIE CLASSICS examines this complicated and challenging role in filmmaking through a profile of Ellen Mirojnick, the noted costume designer for BASIC INSTINCT, WALL STREET and FATAL ATTRACTION, when it presents HOLLYWOOD 101: COSTUME DESIGNER. The original, half-hour special follows Mirojnick through the process of creating the contemporary look for the characters in the comedy ONE NIGHT AT MCCOOL’S, starring Liv Tyler, Matt Dillon, John Goodman, Paul Reiser and Michael Douglas, due for release in April 2001.

Through flashbacks, Reiser, Goodman and Dillon each recall a steamy night they shared with Tyler, who portrays Jewel Valentine, a young woman remembered quite differently by each man. Mirojnick helped director Harald Zwart realize his vision for ONE NIGHT AT MCCOOL’S by creating three variations on the same basic wardrobe for Tyler, reflecting the different impressions of her character. As the film cuts back and forth among the various flashbacks, Jewel’s costumes help clue the audience into whose memory is in play.

By focusing on Mirojnick’s work in ONE NIGHT AT MCCOOL’S, AMC’s HOLLYWOOD 101: COSTUME DESIGNER illustrates the blend of diplomacy and toughness required for a costume designer to build a successful relationship with the actors and director in a film. Through interviews with actress Gina Gershon, director Jan de Bont, studio executive Sherry Lansing, producer/actor Michael Douglas and others, the special traces Mirojnick’s contribution to ONE NIGHT AT MCCOOL’S from her initial reading of the script and meetings with director Zwart to the successful completion of the wardrobe.

HOLLYWOOD 101: COSTUME DESIGNER also explores the contrast between contemporary costumers like Mirojnick and her predecessors from the early days of Hollywood. Mirojnick executes her craft under far different circumstances than her earlier counterparts like Adrian and Edith Head, who worked under studio contract, managing entire wardrobe departments with seemingly unlimited time and budgets to create haute couture for the movies. Every piece of clothing was designed and created from scratch with an emphasis on glamour shaping the end result. Today, realism is the quest, costumes are as likely purchased or rented as made, and with the break-up of the studio system in the 1950s, costume designers like Mirojnick became freelancers plying their trade from film to film.

HOLLYWOOD 101: COSTUME DESIGNER is a World of Wonder Production for AMERICAN MOVIE CLASSICS. Executive produced and directed by Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato, the special was produced by Gabriel Rotello. Marc Juris and Jessica Falcon served as the executive producers for AMERICAN MOVIE CLASSICS.

AMERICAN MOVIE CLASSICS is the premier 24-hour movie network, featuring award-winning original productions about the world of American film. With one of the finest, most comprehensive libraries of classic films from the 1930s through the 1980s and a diverse blend of original series, documentaries and interstitials, the service offers in-depth information on timeless and contemporary Hollywood classics. Through the network’s multiple platforms — AMC’s Web site (, AMC’s original broadband programming and AMC magazine — the entertainment provider informs passionate movie fans about the history behind the films. AMC is available in 75 million homes.


Jaime Saberito
Dina White
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Fenot Tekle

Lynn Weiss
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