Upload is set in a near future where digital uploading is possible. Farnaz Khaki-Sadigh discussed with us what it was like creating costumes for that.
When a series or movie is set in the future, there is a little extra work that’s needed to go into the costuming. After all, what we wear today isn’t going to be what people wear 15 or 20 years in the future. Look at how fashion has changed over the last 20 years alone.
So, Farnaz Khaki-Sadigh certainly had some work to do. On top of that, there was the need to set the costumes for the individual characters, which meant sticking to particular styles but taking into account elements that weren’t necessarily told to us as the viewer.
Khaki-Sadigh discussed the creation of the costumes, especially when it came to the newer characters in Upload Season 2, the LUDDs. What work went into creating the costumes? What type of materials were used? And just where could we be in 15 years’ time when it comes to fashion?
Farnaz Khaki-Sadigh discusses the costumes of Upload Season 2
Amazon Adviser: What process do you go through for the costumes of each character?
Farnaz Khaki-Sadigh: The first thing is going through the script several times and really getting a feel for the story, the story arc, and the characters. Then I start by asking some background questions that may not be obvious in the script such as their job, relationship status, their family, where did they grow up or come from, what is their motivation in life, what environment do they live in now, etc. I feel that it is really important to understand who the character is and what their motivation is before you really start to create their look and choose their costume. I think that our environment and background really influence our style.
From there I start conceptualizing my ideas, research and collect references and then meet with directors and the cast (if available) to see what their visions are and what they see for the characters. The last step is compiling all of that information to create the final concept for the character and their costume journey.
AA: How did you come up with styles for the future?
FKS: Lots and lots of research. I really had to dig into what our world would be like 15 years from now, how the environmental changes would affect how we dress, what we use for materials, and how garments would be manufactured. I had to look at what the trends of technological advances were at the time I started Season 1 (back in 2019) and where they would be headed and how much these technologies might advance in the following 15 years.
I then had to dig into the fashion and trend cycles and how they had changed over the last 20 years and try and figure out how they could affect future fashion trends. It was really important to make sure that the future we designed was relatable and realistic and not too far-fetched.
We ended up incorporating a lot of ’60s fashion influences into our future styles as I was really inspired by the ’60s futuristic mod trends and their fascination with how they saw future trends.
AA: The styles for some of the angels as their avatars seem to change compared to what they would usually wear. What made you make those choices?
FKS: The digital world was very fun for us to design because realistically anything is possible in the digital world despite your socioeconomic status and lifestyle in the real world. So the angels basically get to have the style and clothing that they wished they could have in reality but either cannot afford or would be too shy to portray in reality and instead have these alter ego personas portrayed in their avatars.
For example, Aleesha loves fashion and clothing but realistically she can’t afford it in her real life and she has this bold personality that she keeps intact at work so she doesn’t get fired. But as her angel look, she can create these super fun fashionista avatars that really showcase her vibrant and bold personality.
AA: Can you share the process for creating the costumes for the LUDDs specifically? They were only introduced this season.
FKS: The LUDDs were a group that is completely anti-technology and is anti-corporate future world. They feel this world has created a divide, making the rich richer and the poor poorer, so this group chose to live off the grid, live off the land, and not use anything that is produced or manufactured by technology, going back to a simpler life. We really wanted to incorporate that into their clothing as well.
We used recycled items, reused items that were found or available to them, and repurposed for their use. There are a lot of simpler silhouettes, fabrics, and a lot of natural fibers and textures for the LUDDs. We also really wanted to dress this group for their environment and what their daily routines were. It was really about function over fashion.
AA: Some of the clothing was repurposed. Can you go into a little detail about that?
FKS: We wanted to keep the future fashion realistic and relatable but still have it stand out to show it is not present-day styles. The best way to do this was to take pieces from current fashion and change a few things on it or add to them to make them different.
We also wanted to add that ’60s flair to the current fashion to keep that trend consistent throughout. We changed collars on suits, so they were narrower to reflect that ’60s collar. We changed or added blazers and jackets to modify and update their style making them more futuristic (i.e. one side blazer jacket wrapped around and secured with a leather harness). We also modified shirt collars, combined shirts and or blazers in different fabric textures, added 3D elements to certain garments, and any other revisions that fit the character and story to create a new style.
AA: Is there anything you’d love to do on the show that you haven’t had the chance to yet?
FKS: You know, this show really keeps me on my toes as there are so many elements to the story. Because of this, there is always something fun, weird, and interesting to design and create.
I can’t say if there is anything specific I would want to do but I really look forward to seeing what else our creator Greg Daniels and the writers come up with in the future for maybe, fingers crossed, a possible Upload Season 3 and I look forward to the challenge of making it real.
What did you think of the costumes in Upload Season 2? Which character costumes do you love the most? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
Upload is available to stream on Prime Video.