Meet the Stylist: Luke Reichle
A Conversation with Luke Reichle: Costume & Fashion Designer
Born and raised in a microscopic town in the California desert, Luke Reichle has gone on to become a renowned designer, stylist and leading expert in the fields of costume design, fashion and personal style. Each week, between prime time and syndication, over 20 million viewers worldwide are treated to his costume designs for hit shows Castle, Without a Trace and CSI Miami. His many film credits include The Scout, A Simple Wish and a film of the long running off-Broadway musical, The Fantasticks! His designs for the large and small screen encompass every major film studio and television network, including Disney, Warner Brothers, Universal, Paramount, Twentieth Century Fox, MGM, United Artists, ABC, NBC, CBS, BBC and HBO. It was while attending Pacific Fashion Institute in San Francisco that his women’s eveningwear pieces were picked up by Henri Bendel and Saks Fifth Avenue. This led to his first job on New York’s 7th Avenue in the design rooms of the legendry Perry Ellis. Luke became a sought after designer, proceeding to create collections for apparel icons Calvin Klein, Alexander Julian, The Arrow Shirt Company, Levi-Strauss and Harley-Davidson. A stint in Europe found him as creative director of the Bjorn Borg Design Group. In Hollywood, Luke has designed and styled for Oscar, Emmy, Golden Globe and Grammy and Tony Award winning actors, musicians and entertainers, among them Holly Hunter, Kathy Bates, Viola Davis, Anthony LaPaglia, Joel Grey, Tony Bennett, Virginia Madsen, Christian Slater, Lou Gosset Jr., Diane Wiest, Kelsey Grammer, Kathleen Turner, Martin Short, as well as Nathan Fillion, Stana Katic, Famke Janssen, Brendan Fraser, Keenan Ivory Wayans, Heather Graham, Rhada Mitchell, Mia Kirchner, Jennifer Beals, Colin Farrell, Jim Caviezel, Scott Caan, Giovanni Ribisi and Mark Ruffalo. Today, Luke’s passion is focused on using style as a vehicle for change. With Secrets of the Red Carpet: Style from the Inside-Out he is creating a shift in how we perceive ourselves and transforming the things we say to ourselves when we look in the mirror.
Tell us the story behind your favorite wardrobe item.
Luke: My Swarovski skull necklace. I found it at a vendor when putting together a holiday earring collection. It was all I could do not to buy the matching evening clutch, but it weighed ten pounds and really, when would I use it? I like to wear the necklace with a superhero t-shirt and custom-made, 3 piece, glen plaid suit.
What’s your most memorable panic moment?
Luke: That would have been on the film Diggstown. After being tortured all morning by James Woods over neckties, the director told me that the prison guards looked too new and I had to go age them down. The prison guards were on the top of a twenty-foot stone wall capped with razor wire. And I’m afraid of heights.
How did you recover from it gracefully?
Luke: By climbing a ladder with a ponce (dirt) bag in my mouth. It was SO Steve McQueen. Except for the part where I had my eyes closed.
What is your favorite era for fashion?
Luke: There is so much going on now that I love, but often when I sketch the pencil seems to auto-correct to 1949-52--- when post WW2 fashion was revolutionized by Christian Dior.
What was your big break?
Luke: In fashion, it was when I was hired on at Perry Ellis. For film, it came from Michael Ritchie, the director who sent me up the prison wall. We hit it off and I designed his next eight projects. He totally put me on the map.
Whose closet would you most like to raid?
Luke: Do I have to pick one? I’d say Lady Gaga’s but I would never survive the shoes. For me—Hamish Bowles. For my women—Grace Coddington.
Who are your favorite designers?
Luke: I’m a big proponent of hi-lo shopping so I go everywhere from Target to Trussardi. That aside, what Marc Jacobs does for Louis Vuitton is phenomenal, Tom Ford should be canonized and Diane von Furstenberg has pulled my kishkas out of the fire with her wrap dress more times than I can count.
Thanks so much, Luke! Everyone, please make sure to watch Luke's show - Secrets of the Red Carpet: Style from the Inside-Out which premiers 5/5/12 at 12pm PST. You can also follow him on twitter @RedCarpetLuke and view his YOUTUBE channel.