MAJA MESCHEDE is listed with Dame Helen Mirren as one of the top female collaborations of the year.

MAJA MESCHEDE is listed with Dame Helen Mirren as one of the Variety's top female collaborations of the year

"For the titular Russian ruler (played by Helen Mirren) in HBO’s limited series, costume designer Maja Meschede had to make 60 costumes that combined jeweled elements and luxury fabrics. “During this time in 18th century Russia, costumes were heavily embroidered and had so much detail,” she says.

Meschede showed Mirren “mood boards,” as well as paintings of the real-life ruler to determine for which scenes they “should use an official court dress or a more relaxed look, including a banya.” Mirren says the relaxed looks were a welcome surprise. “I was very happy to see that Maja, as a woman who would understand these things, realized nobody wore those incredibly corseted, enormous skirts and dresses all day long — they had their equivalent of putting a pair of sweatpants and a T-shirt on: an uncorseted day dress. Her understanding of that was very, very important because it made the character playable. You knew you could get through the day. In certain scenes you didn’t want to have that heavy formality.”

Mirren also notes that the fashion at the time was a very wide silhouette, and the “sheer enormity of it and the size of it” helped her better understand other elements in the world, including the architecture and furniture: “You realize they needed to negotiate through doorways and sitting on chairs,” she says."

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