No material is off limits for “The Voice” head costume designer Erin Hirsh — including the bullet casings and NASA-developed lightning technology she once worked into Kanye West’s illuminated jacket and sunglasses.
Having worked on eight of the show’s nine seasons, Hirsh always begins her process by sending contestants style sheets a few weeks ahead of their first appearance to learn about color and fashion preferences.
Once the season of live shows gets under way, her timeline doesn’t always allow her to build each individual costume. Instead, she’ll embellish found items with fun fabric or objects.
In addition to avoiding cloth such as nylon and linen that display poorly on camera, she eschews materials that affect sound quality — always checking in with sound engineers before adding embellishments or jewelry.
“I like to take things out of context,” says Hirsh, “like going into Home Depot and grabbing material I can work into a design.”
She particularly enjoys creating costumes for those individuals who may not easily find stage-worthy clothing.
“I love working with plus size contestants to create things they feel great in,” she says.