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The Masked Singer Costume Designer and FIDM Grad Featured in LA Times

Grad and Masked Singer Costume Designer in LA Times

Four-time Emmy-winning Costume Designer Marina Toybina, the creative talent behind Fox’s incognito competition series, The Masked Singer, was recently interviewed by the Los Angeles Times. In the Q&A, the Moscow-born FIDM Graduate walked the newspaper through her creative process, discussed specific costumes such as Lil Wayne’s Robot and Rob Gronkowski’s White Tiger, and shared the challenges of working on a tight schedule. 

“I’m so flattered when I get a letter from a 9-year-old telling me how much they love a certain character or which costume they wore for Halloween, and then let me know the ideas they have for new ones,” Marina told the LA Times, noting she sometimes incorporates such ideas into designs. She said she plays with color and more detail each season and that the costumes “keep moving to the more cinematic approach and started to take on a life of their own.” 

Marina starts each season with a skeleton crew of about three or four. Then she and her illustrator come up with various designs, which are shown to the network and show's producers. Once the casting talent is confirmed and they know which characters are chosen, Marina’s team grows in size to 20 to 25 people once the show is in production. She said she only learns a singer’s identity about halfway through the season. 

“It’s a very sped-up, tight schedule, without a lot of wiggle room” added Marina, who won a Costume Designers Guild Award for her work on The Masked Singer last year. “It’s crazy and I do get tired, collapse and cry; and for me, the show is just having to be very instinctual. You need to get fabrics within an hour rather than days. But my team and I are proud of our work and we love it when it all pays off. It’s the sweetest thing in the world to get those letters and feedback. It’s incredible.” 

Follow Marina Toybina on Instagram @marinatoybina.

Categories:  Film & TV Costume Design Alumni