It's not every day that you get approached to costume design a "Tea-Shirt", well that is until you work with The Onion http://www.theonion.com on a Doritos/7-Eleven commercial. This spot is for the new Doritos Loaded http://doritos.7-eleven.com, sold exclusively at 7-Eleven. The Onion knows how to bring the laughs and I had the exciting opportunity to figure out how I was going to make this sketch come to life!
How does one start with a "Tea-shirt"? Well, they do a little research and that started very simply with, DUH…..a teabag!
I headed to a fabric store to find a bone colored fabric that would have a light weight sheer quality and be cotton. This shirt would need to perform two very important things.
1.) The shirt needed to have actual tea leaves inside of it.
2.) I needed the tea leaves to naturally dye the fabric because, get this, the talent wearing this fabulous shirt, was going to actually pour (pretend) hot water on himself to make the tea steep.
Once I figured out how to sew a piece in my t-shirt that would hold the tea, I experimented with the different ways substances would react to the fabric. Ultimately, I decided to let the actual loose tea do it's job and naturally dye the fabric. And I bet you're wondering why he had to pour hot water on himself and of course, why the shirt needed to properly function like an actual teabag? Well, because, the talent needed to pour himself an actual cup of tea from his own shirt!
Things pretty much got crazy after that- and the shirt was a total success. We used my steamer to emulate the hot water and the actor was a good sport about it. All and all, a killer day on set that had the whole crew laughing. Not a bad day if you ask me!