Perez, who creates garments for Kaling for nearly every new episode of The Mindy Project, gave a behind-the-scenes look at the creation of her dress, from sketch to the red carpet.
“I wanted something colorful and dramatic,” Perez said.
“We work so well together and I know her body and how she likes her clothes to fit, so she let me design it," Perez said. "It’s a very elaborate dress, but it came together so beautifully [and] the seamstress on our show Sivorn Price does such beautiful work.”
Perez fitted Kaling with a muslin version of the dress, a process she said was "one of the best parts of my job."
“Salvador had a vision and I was just excited to be part of it -- I trust him implicitly,” Kaling said. “The color, the silhouette, the train, it’s all decadence and drama, cut in the most flattering shape."
"It felt like I was getting married, so much attention was paid to me looking my absolute best," she said. "When you have a gown custom-fit to you, there’s not the hell of trying on dresses and your ego getting hurt because it doesn’t fit in certain places.”
Perez said Kaling's personal style is a big part of how he dresses her character, Dr. Mindy Lahiri, in the show.
“The fact that Mindy [Kaling, not Lahiri] is a shopaholic is a huge help, as she is so on top of what’s new in fashion and we can discuss it often,” Perez said. “Our fittings last three to four hours, as we are having so much fun... She loves fashion and is so open to new designers and looks.”
Kaling was so thrilled with the CDGA design experience, she asked Perez to design another for the Oscars.
“It makes me think back to when I was a little girl, and how this exceeds even my wildest dreams," she said. "I feel so lucky to be his leading lady.”