Behind every great film is a great stylist we learned after the extremely cool and authentic styling of the characters in the latest box office hit “Teer Enta” starring Ahmed Mekky and Dunia Samir Ghanem. We met Marwa Abdel Samie who is the mastermind behind all costume designs and styling in so many productions we have enjoyed in the past few years.
As a graduate of the High Cinema Institute majoring in animation she is new newcomer to this industry, hence she decided to work on costume design in her third college year. “H Dabbour”, “Ahla El Awaat” (Best Times) as well as the TV series “Sarkhet Unsa” (A Woman’s Cry) and “Nour El Sabah” starring Leila Elwi are a few of the production Marwa Abdel Samie was part of in addition to advertising shoots.
How long did it take you to style all these costumes in Teer Enta?
Due to a very tight production schedule we were able to create all costumes in a short time to meet the deadlines. I worked on the references and we rehearsed for every character before and during the shooting.
How do you create the costumes of the different characters?
I read the scenario first and have regular conversations with the director. I sometimes do free hand designing and surf the Internet for references. There are also some actors like Mekky who like to share brainstorming with the stylist. I pick up references like shots from Indian movies, for example, or other images according to the character and theme. Dunia and Mekky were really flexible and cooperative, we share ideas and thoughts and we pick the right decision at the end.
What was the most character you were excited to do the styling for in Teer Enta?
Well, the football costumes weren’t that exciting for me although I did lots of football campaigns, but I’m not a football fan at all so I thought it would turn out to be not that good, but thank God it did. My favorite were the Indian costumes, it was so much fun. I was afraid the costumes would look more “Egyptian” not authentic Indian, so I told the producer I must travel to India or Abu Dhabi and he agreed and I did the designing in Egypt.
Who do you wish to do the styling for?
I never worked with Mona Zaki and Ahmed Helmy so I wish to do the styling in their movies as I worked with most of their co-actors.
Hend Sabry in Ahla El Awaat looked really like a teacher from Shobra. How do you keep the authenticity?
I bought her clothes from Shobra stores, the character’s own environment to become very credible. I always imagine women who take the metro everyday and work as teachers how would they look like and I start to connect every detail. The character of the make-up sales person according to the hideous yellow extensions for Donia was like lots of real characters we see every day. I always aim to think about little details, which make up the appearance and authenticity of the character. If you came out of a movie saying the clothes weren’t appropriate for the character we are a total failure.
Do you have a dream character you would like style?
As long as the character isn’t modern or casual it’s amazing. Characters from the Mid Ages or the Pharaohs would be great.
Who looks stylish in your point of view?
Dalia El Behery is a very stylish celebrity. She has a great taste and she can pick the best to suit her. In my very own point of view, our male celebrities need a stylist always on every level; they don’t really pick well. I think that Justin Timberlake, JLo, Victoria Beckham, Beyonce and Britney spears are really stylish celebrities.
What would be a great movie to work on?
A movie like Moulin Rouge would be great! All the costumes could be a playground for every stylist. Also movies like Troy and war movies are a creative space for stylists.
Why don’t have we many awards for recognizing stylists/costume designers like abroad?
The Film Association Festival did it once. I was honored from The Specialized Nile Channels on my first movie “Ahla El Awaat”, but I think people here don’t think there are qualified styling techniques in our movies so for that reason we don’t see many awards.
Tell us about your future plans?
I want to do my own fashion line to be a designer on another level and have a showroom. I love my job in cinema very much I don’t want to quit but you never know, I’m not planning for a near or far future.