Gauchere RTW Spring 2021
WWD: How did you land the job as costume designer on “Moesha” and its spin-off, “The Parkers?”
Y.B.: “I was hired on “Moesha” originally as a shopper/customer. During the prep of the first episodes, the original costume designer was let go for whatever reasons and I was offered the position. I was so afraid because it was my first big television series of my career as a costume designer. My previous positions prepared me and I had expected to accept.
The cast of “Moesha.”
The cast of “The Parkers.” CBS via Getty Images
WWD: What were some of your favorite looks you created on “Moesha” and “The Parkers?” Was it hard getting luxury clothing back then for Black TV shows?
Y.P.: I have so many great fashion memories dressing the cast of “Moesha” and “The Parkers.” I like the montages and all the fun character clothing. Of course, the designer clothes were a great advantage — I would shop in New York at different showgrounds during the hiatus for the upcoming season. Dee at Showroom 7 was a favorite.
WWD: How important was it for you to dress the cast in Black brands?
Y.P.: It was always important for me to emphasize Black designers, especially on the main titles because they are shown every week. And I felt a responsibility. I live for being able to help and lift new designers.
WWD: We all loved Kim Parker’s style. How did you execute it so well?
Y.P.: Kim Parker’s style was so fun! I was able to get creative. She was a lot like me. I grew up a designer and would cut, redesign and create my own style. Kim and Nikki Parker were so fun!
WWD: What did being a Black stylist and costume designer mean to you in the Nineties versus now?
Y.P.: Being a Black costume designer on Black shows, the wardrobe budget was very different compared to white television shows that have fewer changes and are newer on the air. But I got creative and I knew how to get clothes on discounts or promotional and stay within my budget. It’s time for more Black shows in 2020. It always [bewilders] me that white costume designers can design Black shows but Black costume designers rarely design white shows or films.
WWD: With “Moesha” and “The Parkers” streaming on Netflix, there are rumors of possible reboots happening — what are your thoughts? How would Moe and Kim look in 2020?
Y.P.: Yes, there’s talks of “Moesha” and “The Parkers” rebooting. I hope they do, I’m ready for it and I am ready for the dichotomy of fashion for the cast.
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