How did ‘SNL’ Kamala Harris’ Victory Speech outfit pull off so shortly?
On November 7, 2020 Joe Biden and Kamala Harris officially won the Presidency and Vice Presidencies of the United States. They gave an acceptance speech in Wilmington, Delaware around 8:30 p.m. EST that evening. Just a couple of states in New York City, the cast and crew of Saturday night liveThis bastion of weekly, live, and yes, cutting-edge sketch comedy threw elements of their show together at the last minute as huge news (i.e. a new president) demanded of them. By the time they started broadcasting around 11:30 p.m. EST (a little late actually thanks to a soccer game), they got just one thing right: Harris’ all-white outfit, impeccably worn by Maya Rudolph. How in the world did you do it so quickly? SNL’s producer and costume designer Tom Broecker and cloakroom ladder Dale Richards POPSUGAR told everything – and it really shows how exactly the program is put together.
“I had a member of my team who worked on every piece: the blouse, the jacket and the pants,” began Richards. And while Harris himself had some top-notch designer outfits to choose from, Broecker and Richards had it all. Broecker went into the essentials:
“My assistant started taking screenshots of everything [Harris] so we could get all the details right – the shoes, jewelry, hair, makeup, blouse, and suit. By 9:00 p.m. we had pulled together all of the “research” photos and began to search our inventory to see if anything could work. Every shop in town was closed for hours. There was no way we could buy this look anywhere except in our back rooms.
A box of off-white charmeuse fabric was found to make the blouse and then a off-white double-breasted suit was found that could be completely recut and altered to make the suit work. It would take an incredible amount of work to convert a double-breasted suit to a single-breasted suit, but I work with the most incredible tailors in the world. They pulled the jacket on to Maya’s mannequin shape in the office and got to work, just like in the movie Cinderella. Eighty minutes later, and four tailors were exhausted, Maya made an adjustment. It was perfect and she was ready to go on stage. As she walked out of her locker room, I found that she didn’t have her flag pin on her lapel. Her chest of drawers ran into the closet to get her flag pin. I’ll say this: Nowhere else in the world could this happen. “
The two also said that they had no contact with Harris at all. In fact, the blazer’s original source came from exactly the opposite end of the political spectrum: it was meant to be worn by Cecily Strong a Melania Trump Impression before it was repurposed here. How on earth did they think they were using it? Well, as Broecker put it, “We have the best people in the world.”
To learn more about SNL, here’s another wild moment from that episode.