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»With our new masks, we’re going the extra mile!«
»With our new masks, we’re going the extra mile!«
Wardrobe director Alexandra Brandner and her team of eleven bring the "The Masked Singer" costume designs to life.
»With our new masks, we’re going the extra mile!«
Wardrobe director Alexandra Brandner and her team of eleven bring the "The Masked Singer" costume designs to life.
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March 2020. Ten celebrities in oversized, elaborate costumes, panelists, and the million-dollar question of 'who are the people hiding behind the masks' - that is "The Masked Singer". In 2019, ProSieben celebrated its most successful show of all time with the singing quiz show and made all of Germany love the guessing game. The grand finale, in which singer Max Mutzke aka "The Astronaut" was the last of ten masked stars to take off his helmet after six weeks, achieved a market share of 38.5 percent among 14- to 49-year-old viewers.
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Especially the full-body costumes and unique masks, which were made in fiddly work, enchanted people from all over the world. Created by US designer Marina Toybina, the costume designs have been brought to life by wardrobe director Alexandra Brandner and her team of eleven. The costumes for the second season of "The Masked Singer" are now also being created in her studio in Mühldorf am Inn, Bavaria. In our Insights Interview, Alexandra Brandner explains why the designer's creations have attracted attention on a national level, what the people hidden behind the masks in the second season are challenged by, and what makes her sweat already.

ALEXANDRA BRANDNER

ALEXANDRA BRANDNER

Wardrobe Director

Each mask is truly unique: In painstaking detail work, Alexandra Brandner and her team create the costumes for "The Masked Singer".

Alexandra, you and your team have produced the famous masks and costumes for "The Masked Singer" and got a lot of media attention for it. How did you experience that?

We believed in the show from the very beginning and were therefore not surprised at all by the great success it entailed. That both masks and costumes gained attention to that extent is a great honour for us. The whole team was thrilled.

How has "The Masked Singer" changed your work?

We have become even more flexible and inventive. Every mask for "The Masked Singer" is a real learning and improvement process. This year, we're going one step further costume-wise.

To what extent are you gonna go the extra mile this year?

The costumes are even more artistic due to even more special effects that have been incorporated, and the materials used can only be processed manually. 90 percent are handmade and only ten percent are machine-made. We try to take even more account of the celebrity underneath and try to make their costumes as comfortable as possible for them to wear. For example, we now included ventilation systems in our masks.

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"Mit unseren neuen Masken setzen wir nochmal ordentlich einen drauf!" gallery 1

All masks are made by hand in complicated sequences and sometimes very elaborate individual steps - one of the costumes, for example, consists of 5,000 scales, which are cut out, primed, painted, assembled, and finally airbrushed and brushed.

How has your team changed compared to last year?

We have extended our team quite a bit. Eleven of us are working in the studio, there are another five specialists from around the world, such as our ventilation specialists, who have developed these tiny fans for us, or the programmers who implemented certain effects.

Is it true that in the meantime other countries have taken notice of you and have their costumes made by you for their "The Masked Singer" shows?

Yes, that is amazing. We’re producing the masks for two other countries, including Belgium. The producers took a look at the different costumes. The quality of the German masks and us being sticklers for details seem to stand out.

35 kg

Pretty heavy: Some of the costumes weigh up to 35 kilograms and have to be assembled by several people at the same time. To increase the stars' wearing comfort despite the weight, a ventilation system specially built for the masks was installed this year.

How do you protect the costumes and your work done during production?

Wertvolle Unikate: Ein Kostüm kostet etwa 20.000 Euro und es stecken etwa 300 Stunden Arbeit darin.Wertvolle Unikate: Ein Kostüm kostet etwa 20.000 Euro und es stecken etwa 300 Stunden Arbeit darin.

Precious and unique: A costume costs about 20,000 Euros and takes about 300 hours of work.

Here, everything is completely closed off: there is no getting in or out. The door is locked, the windows are blacked-out. We actually only open the door when goods are being delivered. We even agreed on signs with the suppliers so they can identify themselves. (laughs)

What takes up most of your time during production?

Most masks are more about creating costumes rather than tailoring. And this time they're even more difficult. Most of the time is needed for pre-logistics: getting and assembling all the materials. Coordinating all steps in time is extremely time-consuming. For instance, one of the costumes consists of 5000 scales, which are cut out, primed, painted, assembled by hand, and treated with both brushes and airbrush. We don’t use any machines for sewing. This costume is completely handmade. It’s in fact incredible.

What is it like to make a mask for someone without knowing who'll end up wearing it?

Challenging! Thinking about one of the masks makes me sweat already. That costume is like an armor-like suit. If it doesn't fit, we have to take it apart again completely. It is the same with other costumes.

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"Mit unseren neuen Masken setzen wir nochmal ordentlich einen drauf!" 2

Despite their size and weight, the costumes should be as easy to put on and take off as possible, ensure free breathing, be comfortable to wear, allow relatively free movement on stage and the masks should fit perfectly and securely.

And what are you looking forward to the most for the time when the production work is over?

"The Masked Singer" is a live show, a unique experience, and we know as little as the audience. We are really looking forward to the shows, to Cologne, to our colleagues. It's the greatest team I've ever been part of in any production.

What is your job during the shows?

We are always prepared in case something happens to the masks or costumes. We make sure everything is working out and, if necessary, we make little adjustments or repairs after each show.

What's the recovery plan after the second season of "The Masked Singer"?

We keep putting the pedal to the metal; maybe we'll take a little break in May ...

The Masked Singer

Ten stars from all areas of life perform in the best and craziest show in the world. The highlight: The celebrities hide under elaborate costumes and behind masks that are rich in detail. The panelists in the studio, consisting of Ruth Moschner and Rea Garvey as well as a weekly-changing guest, and the audience have to guess the identity of the celebrities behind the masks - the only hints: small clues in feature films, the stage performance, and the real, unalienated voice during their songs. In every show, one famous undercover singer with the fewest audience votes have to unmask themselves. "The Masked Singer" is based on the licensed format "The King of Mask Singer" (original title) of the South Korean TV channel MBC, which has been broadcast in South Korea since 2015. ProSieben is the only station worldwide to broadcast the show live. The first season in Germany thrilled viewers and critics alike.

The second season of the successful format debuts on Tuesday, March 10, 2020, at 8:15 PM live on ProSieben.

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