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'The Mindy Project': step inside Mindy's closet with Paley Center's Costume Exhibit

(L-R): Mindy Kahling and Salvador Perez
No one does fashion better these days than "The Mindy Project" which is set to debut its final season on Hulu.

On television, the well-dressed successful career woman had always been the character to watch. Like "Sex and the City's" Carrie Bradshaw to "Black-ish's" Zoe Johnson and "Scandal's" Olivia Pope, the clothes have become another character on the show.

The Paley Center for Media in Beverly Hills is allowing visitors to walk inside Mindy Lahiri's closet with their latest exhibit, “The Mindy Project: Six Seasons of Style" Curated by Costume Designer Salvador Perez. From now through October 1, the center will have on display 40 costumes, photography and sketches representing six seasons of fabulous color, print, and sparkle. 

For Perez, working with Kahling for the past six seasons has been easy. "The first thing I designed for her was the print with the plaid skirt and yellow sweater and Mindy lit up," Perez said a preview reception for the exhibit. And she said 'I love this, all that's going on.' I said "you do? It's normally too much' and I realized we were kindred spirits. It took from that to this explosion of color, print, and sparkle. There's always sparkle because as Mindy and I's favorite quote line is 'Sparkle makes everything better.'"

The duo has been through a lot together as they dressed Mindy including. The show has produced more than 4000 outfits over the six seasons. One of the most challenging has been the pregnancy pad the character wore in Season Three which Perez admits that Kahling hated wearing. It was a fight to get her just to wear it the Emmy-winning designer said.  ‘This isn’t my idea, you wrote the script,'" he said.

It's easier dressing Kahling's real life pregnancy the designer said. 

"So far, so good. She doesn’t show yet," Perez said. "We have another four weeks of shooting and I’m hoping to get away with it. I’m buying lots of stretch."

When it comes to why the show is such a hit in its fashion looks, Perez likes it to Mindy being the average woman. 

"Mindy is not the average actress size and she always looks impeccable, " Perez said. "I think that it shows regular size girls all over America that you can have fun with fashion no matter you wear. She really pushes fashion and makes sure the show always looks great and everything is a great fit. We have taken away all those norms - like what a doctor would wear to their office. What doctor would have this collection of handbags? She's really sort of made fashion fun and wearable and another character on the show."

As for what will happen to the clothes once the show leaves the air? "First Mindy will pick what she wants first," Perez said. "Most of them will go to the archives and the rest will be auctioned off. Some of them will go to NBC and you'll see a coat on an extra on some other NBC show. 

Catch up on "The Mindy Project" streaming on Hulu. 
Check out some of the photos below: 

Photo credit: Imeh Bryant for The Paley Center for Media
Additional photos: Phyllis Thomas


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