Nancy Steiner, with her unassumingly casual uniform of jeans and a t-shirt and the mellow Silver Lake bungalow where she's lived for 17 years, doesn't fit the mold of a Hollywood power player. But after 30 years of creating iconic looks for some of the most influential films and music videos ever made, the veteran costume designer and secret weapon to indie directors is stepping out from behind the seams, and it's about time. Not only has Steiner costumed our teenage idols — from Björk to Bowie, Nirvana to No Doubt, Kirsten Dunst to Claire Danes — she recently added David Lynch's much buzzed about Twin Peaks revival to her already humbling oeuvre. It's an ambitious revisiting of the small-town cult favorite a quarter-century later, and one that only a designer as nuanced as Steiner could possibly bring back to life.
But long before collaborating with industry legends in the fictional town of Twin Peaks, Steiner hawked vintage at a punk haven in Santa Monica called NaNa, caught the bus to X, Minutemen, and Siouxsie and the Banshees shows, and studied fashion design at Los Angeles Trade Tech College alongside aspiring washing machine repairmen, electricians, and plumbers (she couldn't afford to attend Otis). After this stint in retail, Steiner eventually began assisting stylists, including Eugenie Bafaloukos, who entrusted her with shopping for Winona Ryder and Ethan Hawke's quintessentially 90s characters in Reality Bites."Winona's character dressed a lot like I did back then, in old men's tees and trousers," Steiner remarks.
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