Mia Gyzander (Costume Designers Guild, Local 892) is a Costume and Fashion Designer, highly experienced in design and production for live entertainment, television, film and music video.
The Los Angeles based Mia Gyzander Costumes, has become well known for creative designs and quality workmanship.
Mia’s recent diverse projects include costume design for the feature film, Farmhouse and period Renaissance costumes for the Venetian, Macau. The Six Flags Magical Light Parade in Mexico and the US received rave reviews for costume design:
“The final touches to the parade were added by Mia Gyzander, who designed and constructed more than 100 breath-taking costumes that shimmer with bright colors, reflecting fabrics and glowing lights”.
The movie Farmhouse starring Steven Weber and Kelly Hu, winner of the Best Horror Feature Film at the Phoenix International Horror & Sci-Fi Film Festival, shows her talents in designing futuristic demon costumes with period inspiration. For the film 16 to life, award winner at MethodFest 2009, Mia’s assignment was to design and create the main costume for the movie; a cute & sexy contemporary ice cream stand uniform. For the Discovery Channel TV show The Colony, she worked with purchased, used clothing to put together interesting mixes that were heavily distressed to get the desired disaster-stricken look.
Mia has styled & designed a multitude of reality TV shows including three consecutive seasons of ABC’s Super Nanny. She has worked with numerous celebrity clients. She designed Wynonna Judd’s wardrobe for the 2003 Country Music Awards, where Wynonna was voted “Best Dressed”.
Recent costume construction projects in her shop include Disney’s Pixar Play Parade, Wicked for Universal Studios Japan, Waterworld for Universal Singapore and Medea for UCLA starring Anette Bening.
Originally from, Stockholm, Sweden, Mia earned a business degree before moving on to fashion design, patterning, draping and tailoring. She worked as a Fashion Designer traveling the world for production follow-up for several years before moving to the US in 1993 to pursue Costume Design. She earned a degree in theatrical costuming and started working in the entertainment industry as a freelance designer. In 1996 she started her business, working out of her apartment doing everything from patterning to sewing herself. Over the years the business has grown in to a corporation having up to 30 employees and the shop has become known for excellent workmanship.
Mia is a world traveler and her creative vision continues to be inspired by different cultures and experiences.
More about Mia
Mia was born and raised in Stockholm, Sweden amongst dogs, cats and horses. “Animals where a huge part of my life growing up. I trained horses and competed in show jumping for many years” she says.
Early on, she also took an interest in fabric arts. As a young child she remembers sitting under her mom’s spinning wheel watching wool being spun into yarn and colorful fabrics being woven. Costumes, animals & travel where in her blood from very early years. “I remember dressing up and have our Labrador as a stand-in for my trained lion. My dream was to join a Circus”.
These early influences helped to develop her artistic ability and intuitive feel for textiles, this would later be carried over into Mia’s college education and career.
After earning a business degree at the age of 20, she took a break in her studies and pursued another big goal: traveling the world. She worked several jobs to save money for her travels while working as a fashion sales rep by day and factory seamstress by night. The reward was spending a year exploring the world, which she considers as “one of the best things I’ve ever done in my life”. She continues to travel to different countries whenever she can take some time off.
Returning to Sweden after seeing the world, Mia began her fashion design, patterning, draping, and tailoring studies. She worked as a fashion designer, traveling the globe for ten years before moving to the US in 1993 to pursue costume design. In Los Angeles, she attended Otis School of Art and Design and LACC Theater Academy, graduating with a degree in Theatrical Costume Design.
Mia was hired at Universal Studios Hollywood in 1996, as the lead costumer for Beetlejuice’s Rockin Graveyard Revue. While at Universal she also designed costumes for Spiderman Rocks, Marvel, and Halloween Horror Nights III. “Working for Universal was the best start I could possibly have gotten here in Los Angeles” states Mia. “I learned so much about show business and had the opportunity to meet many people”. Mia continues to design and produce costumes for all the Universal Studios theme parks.
In 1997 Mia set up her own costume design studio, in one of the rooms of her apartment and freelanced as a designer while working full time at Universal. Two years later she rented a commercial space for her business, creating quality work from the small shop of 600 square feet, that soon expanded in to twice the size. By 2005, the move was made to a larger facility of 4000 square feet. The result was a greatly expanded capacity for handling multiple high volume projects. The business employs up to 30 skilled craftspeople that work on various productions. The shop has become known for excellent craftsmanship and quick turnarounds.
Mia has also worked with numerous celebrities over the years, including Annette Bening, Jon Bon Jovi, Kanye West, Alyssa Milano, Kathy Griffin, Ozomatli, Stevie Salas, Chris Pierce, Dennis Rodman, Roseanne Barr, Steven Baldwin, Mark Cuban, Daman Wayans, Carmen Electra, Dave Navarro, and Wynnona Judd.
Mia’s design for Wynnona’s wardrobe at the 2003 Country Music Awards was voted “Best Dressed”. She is known for producing funky contemporary looks with a retro twist for rock bands and music videos. Her knowledge of clothing construction, along with her design ability gives her the edge in providing fashion forward unique clothing. If Mia can’t find what she needs off the rack, she can design and produce a custom garment in her shop. For a few years, Mia worked on her own fashion line mainly targeting musicians. Her designs were selected for the entrance display at the MAGIC SHOW in Las Vegas. “It came to a point when I had to decide in between fashion & costumes. There is not enough time in a day to have two full time jobs” she says, laughing.
Starting in 2002, Mia designed, styled, and produced costumes for numerous reality TV shows, including three seasons of the Super Nanny, Celebrity Mole, The Colony, Duel, Hole in the Wall, The Benefactor and many others.
Mia’s experience and flexibility serves her well in reality television work. She says; “Working in reality TV is tough since I am often limited to working with personal wardrobes and very tight budgets. But I enjoy variety in my projects so I’m up for the challenge”.
Her costume designs can be seen in Farmhouse, starring Steven Weber and Kelly Hu. This film showcases her talents with futuristic demon costumes that have period inspiration. Mia designed & created cute & sexy contemporary ice cream stand uniform for the main characters in the 2009 Methodfest award winning film 16 to Life. For the Discovery Channel TV show The Colony, Mia was tasked to design an “end of days” concept. She worked with purchased clothing, both new and used, and utilized her in depth knowledge of distressing techniques. This created an interesting mix of textures resulting in a disaster stricken look.
She has done several unique organic assignments for Peta. Recently, she designed an original look for an ad campaign promoting vegetarianism in the form of a gown made entirely of purple cabbage and kale. The dress was modeled by Cloris Leachman, who received reviews in the LA Times for looking fabulous. “I get called for the strangest things sometimes” Mia states. “But it’s a lot of fun coming up with solutions and making it work. ”
After focusing on her studies and career for over 20 years, Mia felt it was time to make some changes in her personal life. Her love for animals brought labradoodle puppy “Sass” into her life. A year later he needed a full time fury friend, so Mia & Sass found Princess, a pit bull terrier mix at the Downtown Dog Rescue kennel, where it was love at first sight. Princess moved in to their Venice home one week later. After learning more about the rescue group and their endless efforts, Mia wanted to do more to help the many dogs in need. She began the rewarding volunteer work of fostering puppies and says, “It’s an amazing feeling to help the pups, knowing they were hours away from being euthanized at a shelter, or being scared & homeless, trying to survive the tough life on the streets of downtown LA. The rescue group saves them, and then they come to stay with us to get healthy and to learn social skills. It is a powerful feeling of happiness to deliver them to their new forever homes”.
At the end of 2007 she became a homeowner for the first time, a cabin located in the stunning nature of the Sequoia National Forest, CA where she enjoys hiking with her dogs, relaxing and re-fueling her creative spirit when she has a chance to get away from LA.
With her long-time amazing crew, Mia is now looking forward to the future and all it entails in this ever adapting, fast-paced profession. Enjoying the process of both costume design and construction, she continues to seek innovative and challenging projects that push the creative boundaries.