Joanna Syrokomla is Murdoch Mysteries's Costumer Designer since Season 12.
Born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, Joanna's childhood career aspirations of becoming a trapeze artist, a doctor and then a poet, were all a natural progression to becoming a Costume Designer. Having a lucky relocation to Paris, France as an expatriate teenager, Joanna attended the American School of Paris where she outfitted the theatre productions with cast offs found at Parisian flea markets.
Continuing on to the Theatre School at Ryerson University, she enjoyed the collaborative process with the talent and various departments on a production and making doublets out of the drapery from the teachers’ lounge. She managed to graduate with a Bachelor of Applied Arts in spite of playing hooky to outfit the student films.
With over 20 years under her belt as a costume designer, Joanna Syrokomla is one of the founding members of CAFTCAD (The Canadian Alliance of Film & Television Costume Arts & Design), and the co-chair of the inaugural CAFTCAD Awards. Her recent film design credits include Nellie Bly, Little Italy, Love Jacked, and The Steps. TV design includes Murdoch Mysteries 12-14, Bitten, The L.A. Complex and the multi-award-winning web series set in the 1970s, Whatever, Linda which garnered Syrokomla the Mejor Vestuario (Best Costume Design) Award at the Buenos Aires Web Fest.
On Costuming the MM series: "We have a collection of stuff, things have been purchased, made and accumulated over the years. At the beginning of every season, we go to several costume houses across Canada and it’s like we go shopping. We get about 15-20 racks of clothes from all these different costume houses. It can be a dream!” It is also a lot of work to acquire 15-20 racks of clothing.
Joanna Syrokomla loves the magic of it all: “What I really love is watching it all come together. Costume design of a show or of one character is a puzzle. It’s not often on Murdoch that I come up with an outfit completely from scratch. It’s this wonderful combination of pulling it all together and making it work, and then making it work with the person they’re hanging out with. And then making it work with the room. And then I absolutely love when the actor puts it on and says “Yeah, I feel this.”
MM Design Credits and Highlights
- The burlesque dancer's costume was acquire at the Shaw Festival...
- Joanna Syrokomla has two female historical favorites: Madame du Barry, the famous mistress of King Louis XV, a fashion icon and fascinating woman, and Emilie Louise Floge an Austrian who ran a successful couture fashion salon in the early 1900s where she designed and sold her own custom pieces to the Viennese elite, a feminist and was the muse/longtime companion of legendary painter Gustav Klimt.
- Joanna has a personal collection going of clothing from the hippie era and would love to put her knowledge to use work on a show that portrays the 1960s or 1970s.
- Joanna Syrokomla and the team behind Murdoch Mysteries were honoured for the show’s period fashions at the CAFTCAD Awards on May 1, 2021.
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