Awards Daily’s Megan McLachlan talks with Rafaella Rabinovich, costume designer for The Detour on TBS, about Season 4’s iconic yellow dress, the “gifts” of working on a show that never stops moving, and how “The Game Show” episode came together.
The crux of Season 4 of The Detour on TBS is about the search for Delilah, played by Ashley Gerasimovich, who’s part of the core four of the Parker family (Jason Jones, Natalie Zea, and Liam Carroll).
The Parkers travel the globe in search of her, which brings about many costuming challenges, although costume designer Rafaella Rabinovich doesn’t see it that way.
“I don’t see them as challenges,” says Rabinovich, “but more as little gifts. I was really excited to come on this season, with the different traditions, different ways of looking at the world. It was more of a case of, ‘Bring it on.'”
Robin Vs. BJ
In Episode 3 of the new season, viewers (and Jason Jones’ Nate) are introduced to Bluejay, Robin’s twin sister, also played by Natalie Zea in a dual role. Her yellow dress becomes a symbolic piece in a plot point, when Nate can’t tell the difference between his wife and her twin sister.
“When we first meet Bluejay, she’s in a Stepford Wife dress. I wanted to keep with that look, so I went haywire on finding the perfect fabric [for the second dress]. I liked the color yellow because of the idea of yellow roses—not necessarily a positive sign.”
Rabinovich also chose the dress for functionality, since both Robin and Bluejay are wearing the dress, as well as the stunt women on the show.
“It’s such a physical show, so she needs to be able to do something physical in it. It also looks good on a variety of shapes. There were a lot of multiples on that dress.”
Rabinovich also admits that the color yellow is not something Robin would wear, which makes it even funnier that Nate doesn’t think it’s weird to find “Robin” in the yellow dress.
‘Do not bring up Japan. No Japan.’
Throughout the season, Nate and the family dare not speak of what happened in Japan, until of course episode 6, titled “The Game Show,” reveals why. In an effort to get free air time to try to find Delilah, the Parkers are contestants on Japan’s most-watched game show called Almost Not Legal Torture and Humiliation in Exchange for Short Amount of Advertising Time.
“Director of photography Joe Kessler, who also directed the episode, is a really great collaborator. Jason Jones and the producers were really great and just told us, the bigger, the better.”
Rabinovich had to make sure the fabric on the clowns worked with the graphics team, but there was one clown in particular whom she loved: Bozosan.
“Bozosan was the centerpiece and I worked around him. I got to build the Japanese girls around him. I had the opportunity to really let myself go and be inspired by many things and really let the script speak for itself.”
The episode ends up being one of the most bizarrely hilarious episodes of the series and perhaps of the TV year.
Growing Up Delilah
For Rabinovich, clothing is important in Delilah’s development as a young woman.
“How she’s blooming into her own woman made me want to bring in different textures, in her own tomboyish way. There’s something about her growing into being a little like Robin. Delilah essentially starts to wear functional things, which is what Robin does.”
Particular decisions were made when it came to Delilah’s jewelry.
“The bee necklace represents freedom, while the crane represents wishful thinking.”
Rabinovich channeled her experience on female-driven projects like Netflix’s To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before to help actress Ashley Gerasimovich capture Delilah’s journey through these pieces.
“The way of telling a story and giving characters depth is giving them details. I wanted to be able to support Ashley and give her those tools.”
Season 4 of The Detour airs on TBS on Tuesdays at 10:30 p.m. ET.
Megan McLachlan is a freelance writer that lives in Pittsburgh, PA. Her work has appeared in Buzzfeed, Cosmopolitan, The Cut, Paste, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Thrillist, and The Washington Post. Follow her on Twitter at @heydudemeg.