''Lost'' costumer's designer challenge -- The costumer designer for the hit TV show discusses the tricks she uses in creating a wardrobe for characters with limited clothing options

By Jennifer Armstrong
Updated October 22, 2004 at 04:00 AM EDT

As Gilligan’s Island can attest, a show chronicling folks stranded on a deserted island isn’t exactly a costume designer’s dream job (nice hat, little buddy!). Here’s how Lost‘s costumer is tackling the castaway challenge.

Any hairstylists among the survivors? Or can we expect some Tom Hanksian ‘dos? Because the flashbacks of the characters’ pre-crash lives are shot right along with the island sequences, the actors’ looks must remain fairly consistent — much to costumer Kathryn Morrison’s disappointment. ”Matthew Fox looks so cute with long hair,” she sighs. How to explain the survivors’ good hygiene? Most of the luggage seems to have survived the crash. ”The plane had about 250 passengers,” Morrison says, ”so there’s enough stuff there to keep themselves groomed.”

So no sarongs and loincloths à la Brooke Shields and Christopher Atkins in The Blue Lagoon? The cast will spend time in an upcoming episode going through luggage to find ”what will work for them,” Morrison says. Thank goodness spoiled girl Shannon (Maggie Grace) found her own suitcase — with bikini and pedicure supplies inside — in the pilot episode: ”She has wonderful little clothes.” Too bad they’re already out of style: ”We cannot have anything new from this point on. We can’t use a great new Cavalli or Prada outfit that comes out after 2004.”

Still, these folks did crash in the middle of nowhere. How does one achieve that I-just-wrestled-with-an-island-monster look? ”We have special dirt,” Morrison says, to make clothes look like they’ve been through the wringer. ”My favorite product is Old English furniture polish.”