You might not recognize Leesa Evans, but you probably know her work—she designed the costumes for hit films such as “Bridesmaids,” “Forgetting Sarah Marshall,” “I Love You, Man,” and more. She also collaborated with comic Amy Schumer to design the comfortable-yet-chic clothing line le Cloud. “I believe clothing is a fundamental part of our lives,” Evans says.
Tell us about growing up in Laguna Beach.
I loved growing up in a small-town atmosphere. Now that we’re back, I had forgotten how much I missed it. I left Laguna and went to school in New York and then moved to L.A., and I’ve been living this big-city life. Now being back, I’m enjoying the relaxation. I’m just the happiest running down to the beach in my flip-flops.
Did your mother’s design career influence your own?
My mother was a fashion designer, and she had a store in Laguna called D.N. Evans for many years. She did a line of ready-to-wear, but she also did a lot of custom and couture. Really understanding how (the fashion business) worked from the inside was a great upbringing—so much of what I learned was from osmosis.
How did you become a costume designer?
I knew a family friend when I was around 19 who worked as a cameraman in the film business. He was the first person who told me about the possibility of working in film, and I thought costume design sounded interesting. I only knew one other person who worked in the movie business, so I called (him) and offered my services as an intern. I fell madly in love with it and eventually found my way into the contemporary fashion aspect of my costume-design career. (At the same time) I built up this great celebrity and private styling business.
How do you approach personal styling versus costume design?
For personal styling I always start by asking them to tell me the last thing they wore that made them feel great, and we chat about things that would be similar to that piece. For costume design, I start with that approach, but then I build upon it because we’re creating a character, and clothing can evoke certain types of emotion. In “Bridesmaids” you meet Rose Byrne’s character and she’s in that crazy, long black gown, and you feel she may not be approachable. Whereas the first time you meet Kristen Wiig’s character, she’s climbing over a fence in a mini skirt and she’s so vulnerable.
How did you come to create le Cloud with Amy Schumer?
I met Amy on the set of “Trainwreck” … and became her full-time stylist. I think that when you feel good in what you’re wearing every day, you’re able to feel a constant sense of confidence. When Amy and I started working together, she wanted to share that. We came up with our charity called Stylefund that helps teach people to use clothing as a tool for confidence. Le Cloud gives 30 percent of proceeds to Stylefund.
Learn more at leesaevans.com.