Derica Cole Washington
Style Diaries

Proof Work Is More Fun If You’re Dressed According to Theme

What costume designer Derica Cole Washington wears on One-piece Wednesday and Faux Fur Friday.

Welcome to Style Diaries, a series where we research the physical manifestations of our closet tours IRL. We're asking friends and tastemakers to show us what they're *actually* wearing during the week and to provide a little insight into their thoughts on the current state of fashion. This week, we follow costume designer Derica Cole Washington as she dresses for a week on the set of Reasonable Doubt. Each day, she and her team set a theme that challenges the crew to shop their own closet and interpret new ideas sartorially.

What role does fashion play in your life?

“I have fun with fashion; that's why we do these theme days, to create a level of camaraderie with my crew and just to get people to get excited to come to work because it is so many long hours. With so much going on, it helps people to get their spirits up, to have something to look forward to. We literally have a group chat called ‘What's the Theme? Everyone gets excited to get dressed up.

“In terms of my career, it's interesting because I'll shop and think, ‘Oh, that top is really great but it doesn't work with anybody on our show or it doesn't really make sense.’ I have to make things make sense. I can't just frivolously spend money. I'll buy something like a Dries [Van Noten] jacket I just bought for one of the characters, but it's not something you can overtly tell is a Dries jacket. Nothing we do on the show is overtly noticeable. You want to get lost in the story and not get overwhelmed by what people are wearing. So I think there's always that balance of like, are the clothes wearing them or is it just part of the narrative that we're telling?”

What does your style look like these days?

“There's [a difference between] how I want to dress and how I actually have to dress. I would love to be wearing heels all the time, but that's not practical. If I wore heels, a) I would be making all this noise walking around set, and b) we're usually on gravel or some location that's not suitable for me to be in anything like that. For practical purposes, I'm usually in sneakers and then I also love mules. Even going through my photos, I recognize that I wear a lot of high-waisted, wide-leg pants. When I'm doing fittings, I'm usually looking at the hem, so I'm on my knees or I'm on the ground. I need practical pants to be able to do that. I also want people to still respect me as a costume designer. Even now, I'm wearing a suit jacket and a pant, but it's casual. I'm still wearing a t-shirt. I'm still wearing Jordans. That's how I dress to actually do my job but come the weekend, I'm out in heels and a cute top or a dress or something.”

In terms of beauty, what does your go-to hair and makeup routine look like?

“It's pretty bare. I mean we have to wear masks anyway, so it's definitely very bare. I do get my lashes done. I get my lashes done and my brows down. It's rare that I have an opportunity to do anything more than that.”

Look 1: Moto Jacket Monday

Derica Cole Washington

“That one was technically Moto Jacket Monday, but my jacket is not so much a moto style, so I went with moto as in leather with a full leather look. That's another reason why I love the theme days; I like how other people interpret it. It's also a way for me to gauge how people dress and what they have in their closet. As a costume designer, it's the way for me to even think about my parameters. What are the boundaries and how do I actually meet the challenge?”

Shop the Look:

Shopping Bag

Telfar
$262

Look 2: Music Monday

Derica Cole Washington

“I love some sort of trouser. I've had those for a long time. I got the shirt from Dover Street in L.A. and the pants are House of Tame. She's based out of Ohio. (I'm from Ohio.) I had them custom made. And again, I have another mule on; my JW Anderson mules that I love. I literally live in a mule. If I don't wear a sneaker, it's a mule. The theme was Music Monday, so I'm wearing an A Tribe Called Quest t-shirt.”

Shop the Look:

Black Chain Loafers

JW Anderson
$640

Mirey Teardrop

Vavvoune
$495

Look 3: Two-Piece Tuesday

Derica Cole Washington
Derica Cole Washington

“That was this Paco Rabanne set that I found. It's actually a dress but I unzipped it. It’s funny because I found them separately. I found the dress on Farfetch and I think I found the pants on Matches and was like, ‘Oh, if this fully unzips I could just make it a set.’ Again, the way I want to dress is wearing just the dress, but I literally have nowhere to go. The person I want to be is someone who has all these invitations to go places—dinner, drinks, events, film screenings—but the reality is I'm not the person, so I have to find a way to incorporate it for work.”

Shop the Look:

Look 4: One-Piece Wednesday

Derica Cole Washington

“One of my favorites, [this is] Stella McCartney. It’s practical. I can run around. It was for our One-piece Wednesday, so everyone came in a jumpsuit, overalls, whatever their one-piece was. That one's just one of my favorites because it's practical, but it has a little flare to it with the zippers. Also, when it gets hot, I can unzip it even more. It's 85 degrees in L.A. right now but two days ago it was 50. You never know, so it's always nice to have something you can kind of assess and move throughout the day.”

Shop the Look:

Alma Jumpsuit

Stella McCartney
$1950 $323

Leopard Suede

Cariuma
$129

The Melodic Fedora

Lack of Color
$149

Look 5: Wild Wednesday

Derica Cole Washington

“That set's from Ganni and I just love it because it's super matchy-matchy, and very Fran Dresser—The Nanny vibes but an updated version. It's also classic—a jacket and a high-waisted, paper-bag pant. I just feel like, again, there needs to be a certain level of professionalism. Unless we have a sweatpant day, I'm not wearing sweatpants.”

Shop the Look:

Dunk Low

Nike
$247

Look 6: Faux Fur Friday

Derica Cole Washington
Derica Cole Washington
Derica Cole Washington

“I love that coat, it's from Dries. The sweater's from Stussy. Also, I was like ‘oh, this could have been tie-dye Tuesday?’ It had multiple purposes.”

Shop the Look:

Wool Varlo Bis Bomber Jacket

Dries Van Noten
$1650 $495

Look 7: Floral Friday

Derica Cole Washington

“That was one of my favorites because I actually had put away all of my summer clothes. I do have a bunch of floral t-shirts and things like that, but I had put them away. I have this floral sweater vest that I got from MILLERSROOM, which is this vintage dealer. He's also a friend of mine. The skirt's from Daily Paper, a skirt I never actually wear. I bought it years ago when it first came out. It was a day that I didn't have fittings so I knew I didn't have to squat or bend over, so I was like, ‘Oh, I can wear this skirt.’ I love the skirt. Then, I added an oversized white oxford shirt and another mule. My Prada loafer mules are my favorite. They give me some height but are also practical. It was a Floral Friday!”

Shop the Look:

Black Etape Skirt

Daily Paper
$88

Arlen Bag

Brandon Blackwood
$195
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