How did you come to be involved with Jingle Jangle
I became involved in Jingle Jangle when the writer director David Talbert sent me the script, which i read and immediately fell in love with the project, from a standpoint of seeing Black representation in a positive, fun way. The very idea of Afro hair in a Victorian setting was too exciting not be get involved
What was the design process like?
The design process was a very collaborative one, David Talbert has been working on the project for over twenty years, so to have their trust to bring your ideas to the table was generous of them and liberating for me. I worked with a concept artist to present early ideas and launched from there.
How many makeup artists and hair stylists were on your team?
My core team was made up of myself, a Key Makeup Niamh O’Loan, Key Hairstylist Kat Fa, Laura Blount as crowd supervisor, Klara Levring junior makeup and hair and trainee Angella Appiah. We also had a regular team of day players which grew to a maximum of 60 some days. The core team was key to making all the hair pieces, lattice braid, hair roses etc.
Were there any specific challenges when designing the makeup and hair given the project’s twist taking on period with a touch of fantasy?
The challenges i faced with designing the looks were mostly keeping true to the period. there is not a lot of reference out there for Black women’s makeup during Victorian times. So we had to make creative choices, which the fantasy element gave us the scope to do.. The ladies had to have sense of polished look. we used makeup to sculpt and shape their faces. The warmth of the skin was the main focus of the movie, this was achieved using warm earthy tones, of oranges, golds and reds.
There is a level of iconic energy to the characters in the film given its storyline and that it’s a Christmas focused film. Did this effect your design process?
The iconic energy of the film was a great launch pad, as we set out to create iconic looks for the predominantly Black cast, skin prep was hugely important, as the makeup looks were fairly timeless. i wanted to capture the warmth of the skin, so color matching was key. some of the characters were played by different actors so we had to maintain the color tones throughout. Forest Whittaker plays Jeronicus as his life changed by the loss of his family, and he spent a lot of time in his shop, his skin was not as vibrant and warm as in his younger years. Phylicia Rashad’s Character who was seen in the 1950’s, needed the perfect red lipstick, we researched the colors until we found one which was period correct and also worked with her skin tone. The matching nail polish was also incorporated for the polished finish.
One of the most important parts of the film was the cultural importance of a primarily black cast in a period project of this type. Was there an increased level of responsibility that you felt in being a part of something as important as this? How did that impact the process or design?
I felt a huge responsibility to maintain the cultural integrity of this film, the black representation is important. The women i saw as i was growing up, were very well groomed. Their skin was always glowing, we set out to bring this to life with the particular makeup colors for each character.
There seems to be a fusion and mixture of cultural references in the costume and hair design – how did that come about or was it the intention from the outset?
The intention from the outset was to fuse the makeup hair and costumes, the makeup color palettes were chosen after I had seen the color of the costumes, we then knew whether we needed to warm the skin tones or the cool them down. The Afro Victorians were a smooth blend of their warm hi lighted skin and the sculptural shapes of their hair.
There were a large number of background actors in the film. How did you manage design, and continuity for this part of the project?
The large number of background and dancers posed a huge challenge, the 60 dancers remained the same for each number but with a different makeup and hair style , we had to dig deep and get very creative. Laura Blount my Crowd Supervisor and her team did and amazing job of keeping track of all the looks, continuity, upkeep onset daily. We would work together on an overall design, the looks would be created from this. We would have a daily lineup each morning to check everyone’s look before going to set.
Talking makeup – what were some of your must-have products on set?
Some of my favorite Makeup products on this job was the Lancome 24hr foundations, Laura Mercier loose setting powder. Nars makeup palette, Jamaican black Castor oil, Expression braiding hair.
What was the most fun thing about working on Jingle Jangle?
The most fun thing bout working on Jingle Jangle was being able to dance everyday knowing we are in a creative bubble making something special.
Photos Courtesy of: Garett Gatrell/Netflix