The 705 Spotlight: Lisa Marie Harris, Key Costumer and Costume Designer

Lisa Marie Harris began her career designing clothes and dressing windows before making the leap to Hollywood and delving into music videos and commercials. She uses her ingenuity on-set to create costume accessories seemingly out of thin air and to deal with growing child actors and changing sizes.

Her most original creative challenge: creating a black tie out of gaffer tape on a late night on location shoot.

She loves: putting her problem-solving capabilities to work.

Where she started: working in music videos and commercials.

What do you do as a costume professional and how long have you been doing it?

I’m Lisa Marie Harris, Key Costumer Local 705 and Costume Designer Local 892. I have been in the film industry for sixteen years. My path to Hollywood was rugged and took many side turns. I studied Fashion Design at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. I designed clothes there until I saw some of my peers file bankruptcy. So I segued to window display for years, up to doing the Christmas windows on State Street for Carson Pirie Scott in Chicago. Then I moved up to photo styling. After a few years, I was ready for a big leap and drove my Trans Am here to plunge into the film industry.

From there, I started in music videos and commercials. I have been working the past few years on features and episodic television shows, prepping and dressing background and taking care of the stock. The most recent feature was The Jungle Book. I love working for Jon Favreau. He is such a talented visionary.

The only big challenge with the costumes was making sure the proportion remained constant when the child actor grew four inches. The big thrill was seeing 100 artists at monitors animating and overlapping the images while shooting the live action sequences. It was fascinating and great to be part of something bigger than all of us. We were truly proud of the end product, too. It’s a beautiful film.

What are some of the shows and movies you’ve worked on?  

The television shows that I have been working on for several years are Shameless and Scandal. I love this industry because every day is different and challenges our problem-solving capabilities at lightning speed.

Tell us the most creative or original thing you’ve ever done to pull something together on short notice to build or procure a costume. Think McGyver! 

Once, at midnight, on location at the Santa Monica Airport for an indie film, of course, they decided they wanted a friend to dress as a BG pilot. There was a hat at the location that fit and the guy wore a white shirt and black pants. But they wanted a black tie, too. So I created a black tie on the spot with black gaffer tape. No one ever knew. LOL!