Ray Aghayan

Costume Designer


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

02:26

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About
About this interview

In his two-hour Archive interview, Ray Aghayan (1928-2011) speaks about designing costumes for Matinee Theatre while on staff with the NBC wardrobe department, the challenges of quick costume changes for live television, and his long association with Bob Mackie. He fondly recalls working on The George Gobel Show, winning the first ever awarded Emmy for costume design (along with Mackie) for Alice Through the Looking Glass, and designing costumes for The Judy Garland Show, many Academy Awards telecasts, and the opening ceremonies of the 1984 Olympics. Karen Herman conducted the interview on August 26, 1998 in Studio City, CA .

"I think an excellent costume design is that which serves its purpose to the best possible degree. Gives the actor the character. Helps the actor grow into that human being … it helps the audience to be able to look at that and know what the hell it is they're looking at. That is the best costume. When it really serves as that complete thing that gives you all the information you need to have."

People Talking About ...
Highlights
Ray Aghayan on costume design and winning the first costume design Emmy for Alice Through the Looking Glass
Ray Aghayan on his partnership with Bob Mackie
Ray Aghayan on designing for The Academy Awards, starting in 1968
Ray Aghayan on designing for The 1984 Olympics
Ray Aghayan on advice to aspiring costume designers
Full Interview

Chapter 1

On his childhood in Iran and moving to the United States; on his childhood influences and learning sewing and design from his mother
On his recollections of early television; on his early costume design experiences for Matinee Theater

Chapter 2

On costume design and the production work week for Matinee Theater; on research for costume ideas and designing for quick changes for live television
On on costume design for The George Gobel Show; Shirley Temple's Storybook, and The Judy Garland Sho w

Chapter 3

On costume design for The Judy Garland Show and Bob Mackie becoming his assistant; on working with Judy Garland
On his partnership with Bob Mackie; on working with directors and producers on The Judy Garland Show; on working on films and designing and winning the first costume design Emmy for Alice Through the Looking Glass; on designing for The Academy Awards, starting in 1968

Chapter 4

On costume design for The Academy Awards; on designing for The 1984 Olympics; on producing the 1975 Fashion Awards and Consenting Adult
On his then-current projects - running Elizabeth Courtney costumes; on designing for nightclub acts
On what makes great costume design and a great costume designer; on the evolution of costumes; on what constitues "bad" work in his mind; on advice to aspiring costume designers; on his thoughts on people with whom he's worked 

Chapter 5

On photographs of people with whom he's worked: Julie Andrews, Carol Channing, Doris Day, Judy Garland, and Bob Mackie
Shows

Academy Awards, The

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Ray Aghayan on designing for The Academy Awards, starting in 1968
Ray Aghayan on costume design for The Academy Awards

Alice Through the Looking Glass

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Ray Aghayan on costume design for Alice Through the Looking Glass

Consenting Adult

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Ray Aghayan on producing Consenting Adult

George Gobel Show, The

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Ray Aghayan on costume design for The George Gobel Show

Judy Garland Show, The

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Ray Aghayan on costume design for The Judy Garland Show
Ray Aghayan on costume design for The Judy Garland Show and Bob Mackie becoming his assistant

Julie Andrews Specials

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Ray Aghayan on photos from a Julie Andrews Special

NBC Matinee Theater

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Ray Aghayan on his early costume design experiences for Matinee Theater
Ray Aghayan on costume design for Matinee Theater

Olympics

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Ray Aghayan on designing for The 1984 Olympics

Shirley Temple's Storybook

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Ray Aghayan on costume design for Shirley Temple's Storybook
Topics

Emmy Awards

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Ray Aghayan on getting an Emmy category for costume designers and winning the first Emmy for costume design with Bob Mackie in 1967

LGBTQ

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Ray Aghayan on producing Consenting Adult

Olympic Games

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Ray Aghayan on designing for The 1984 Olympics

Pivotal Career Moments

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Ray Aghayan on costume design for The Judy Garland Show
Ray Aghayan on costume design for The Judy Garland Show and Bob Mackie becoming his assistant
Professions

Costume Designer

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Ray Aghayan on his early costume design experiences for Matinee Theater
Ray Aghayan what makes great costume design and a great costume designer
Ray Aghayan on advice to aspiring costume designers
Genres

Awards Shows

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Ray Aghayan on designing for The Academy Awards, starting in 1968

Children's Programming

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Ray Aghayan on costume design for Shirley Temple's Storybook

Classic Anthology Series

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Ray Aghayan on costume design for Matinee Theater

Music Shows & Variety Shows/Specials

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Ray Aghayan on costume design for The George Gobel Show
Ray Aghayan on costume design for The Judy Garland Show
Ray Aghayan on his first impressions of Judy Garland; on her costume choices for The Judy Garland Show

Sports

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Ray Aghayan on designing for The 1984 Olympics
People

Julie Andrews

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Ray Aghayan on photos from a Julie Andrews Special

Carol Burnett

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Ray Aghayan on working with Carol Burnett

Diahann Carroll

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Ray Aghayan on working with Diahann Carroll

Carol Channing

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Ray Aghayan on working with Carol Channing
Ray Aghayan on a photo of him with Carol Channing

Doris Day

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Ray Aghayan on working with Doris Day
Ray Aghayan on a photo of him with Doris Day

Angie Dickinson

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Ray Aghayan on working with Angie Dickinson

Judy Garland

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Ray Aghayan on his first impressions of Judy Garland; on her costume choices for The Judy Garland Show
Ray Aghayan on a photo of him with Judy Garland

Mitzi Gaynor

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Ray Aghayan on working with Mitzi Gaynor

Alan Handley

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Ray Aghayan on working with Alan Handley

Arthur Hiller

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Ray Aghayan on working with Arthur Hiller

Norman Jewison

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Ray Aghayan on working with Norman Jewison

Bob Mackie

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Ray Aghayan on costume design for The Judy Garland Show and Bob Mackie becoming his assistant
Ray Aghayan on his partnership with Bob Mackie
Ray Aghayan on costume design with Bob Mackie for Alice Through the Looking Glass
Ray Aghayan on working with Bob Mackie
Ray Aghayan on a photo of him with Bob Mackie

Geraldine Page

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Ray Aghayan on designing for Geraldine Page on Matinee Theater

Diana Ross

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Ray Aghayan on working with Diana Ross

George Schlatter

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Ray Aghayan on working with George Schlatter

Barbra Streisand

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Ray Aghayan on working with Barbra Streisand

Shirley Temple

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Ray Aghayan on costume design for Shirley Temple's Storybook
Ray Aghayan on working with Shirley Temple

Danny Thomas

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Ray Aghayan on working with Danny Thomas

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