Danny Feld/ABC
October 10, 2013 at 10:19 PM EDT

The doctors of Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital trade their scrubs for formal attire when they attend a glitzy fundraising gala on the 200th episode Grey’s Anatomy (tonight at 9pm EST on ABC).

“It’s a feast for the eyes. It pulls us out of the standard Grey’s [where] sometimes you’re on the edge of your chair hoping someone will survive. It’s colorful and full of movement,” costume designer Mimi Melgaard told EW. “The fans will like seeing their favorite character doing something different and being in a different environment dressed up. Who doesn’t like to see someone dressed up?” How did Melgaard prepare the characters for the rare black tie moment? After reading the script and talking with the series’ creator Shonda Rhimes, the designer and her wardrobe team went shopping. “I’ve known most of these characters for ten seasons. I considered, ‘What would they buy?'” Melgaard explained. “I stayed true to the characters, but it also had this lightness to it. It was different since it was such a monumental time in our show.” Melgaard said the cast members also enjoyed the experience. “I think everybody really loved their dresses. There were other dresses from the fittings [that didn’t end up on the episode] that several of the actresses ended up buying for themselves.”

What will happen to the gowns and tuxes when the party is over? “It’s all under lock and key right here [on the set]. You never know when we’re going to do a flashback,” Melgaard explained. “We also have occasions where somebody needs a tuxedo. So the boys’ tuxes can get used again. [There are] big walk-in closets for each character.”

Click through the gallery to see what Meredith, Derek, Callie and more characters will be wearing on tonight’s episode of Grey’s Anatomy.

Dr. Callie Torres (Sara Ramirez)

“Sara’s dress was an absolute bell-ringer as soon as she put it on,” Melgaard said of this one-shoulder gown from Tadashi Shoji. “It fit her perfectly. Usually, we alter everything — even the scrubs and lab coats — but when we put this dress on Sara, it was flawless. Her character is trying to get her life back on track and she just glows in this dress.”

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Meredith. Alex. Bailey. Arizona. The doctors are definitely in on Shonda Rhimes’ hospital melodrama.
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