Home Interviews NYCC 2023: An Interview with Upload Costume Designer Farnaz Khaki-Sadigh on Season...

NYCC 2023: An Interview with Upload Costume Designer Farnaz Khaki-Sadigh on Season 3

I speak with Costume Designer Farnaz Khaki-Sadigh on what it takes to nail the look of the hit Amazon Prime Video series Upload.


In the Amazon Prime video series Upload, science fiction blends with reality to present the viewer with a future that is both parts fantastical and realistic. In this universe, being dead is nearly as fun as being alive with customization in the Upload world. Much like in the real world, cash still rules everything around us.

In season one, we meet Nathan Brown (Robbie Amell), a creative but flawed soul whose consciousness resides in a virtual afterlife, Lake View following his potentially fatal automobile accident. We also meet Nora (Andy Allo), a flesh-and-blood employee of Horizen, whose quick wit and steely decisiveness win Nathan over. We dive headfirst into the insane world of “uploads”, where the only limiting factor on what you can wear is how deep your virtual-virtual pockets are.

In season two, we cover even more ground, quite literally as we venture into the forest to reside with the Ludds. We don’t leave behind the virtual world as much as we do the cold city for more verdant environs. Shady shit’s afoot, sure, but I’ll be damned if the people perpetrating it didn’t have their eye for clothing patterns on point.

From celebrity-worn clothing to monochromatic sweatsuits in Lake View to the boho-chic of NYC, the posh raiment of LA, and everywhere in between, the rich characters we meet along the way are magnificently magnified by their looks. This is no small feat by any means and the creative driving force behind this achievement is Costume Designer Farnaz Khaki-Sadigh.

I interviewed her for this new season of Upload (Amazon Prime Video) and gained some insight into what it’s like not only to envisage our future selves and what we’d wear but also what we can look forward to.

Transcription below:

Robert Kijowski: Hello.

Farnaz Khaki-Sadigh: Hello, how are you?

RK: I’m doing well. I’m Robert from the Workprint (theWorkprint.com) and I’m here with Farnaz Khaki-Sadigh, Costume Designer for the hit, innovative Amazon series Upload. It’s a pleasure to speak with you, Farnaz.

FKS: A pleasure to be here, thank you.

RK: Now, being the sartorial head of such an amazing series, I would imagine it’s so much fun- different worlds, different looks different aesthetics: What was the initial challenge of trying to tackle a near future, multiple worlds while still being pragmatic and fashionable at the same time?

FKS: The biggest challenge was to create a world where it’s still in the future, but it’s at the same time relatable because a lot of times when people say “future” they think Sci-Fi, very futuristic and we just wanted it to be a little bit more down to earth, a little bit more relatable and what realistically fifteen years from now would look like. You know, fashion does change, but it doesn’t change that drastically all the time. So it’s kind of like understanding how our world would be fifteen years from now and how that would affect the way people dress. We looked at a lot of recycling materials, the use of technological fabrics, 3D printing fabrics that hold in heat or cool off-

RK: Interesting!

FKS: And protect your skin against external elements as well as sort of like what would be our environment at that point, right?

RK: Yeah.

FKS: Like how is the weather changing at that point because the climate’s changing all the time-

RK: Yes, yes!

FKS: And you know, a lot of it, we’ll see like we made New York much colder, so you see a lot more texture, a lot more layering there whereas… you know, L.A.’s world is much warmer. So softer, lighter weight to keep people cool but still protect them against the weather and the sun. So there was a lot of discovering all of those elements that would play into what people would wear.

RK: Speaking of that, I sense an evolution from season one to season two in terms of look. For example, with Nathan, we have in Lake View and I noticed his look was very bright, almost nascent, almost newborn-ish-

FKS: Yes.

RK: And with Nora in Lake View, I loved the double-breasted coat, it gave off almost a “spy vibe”. If anybody’s not seen Upload yet, please see it. It’s amazing and the costuming is just… Chef’s kiss.

FKS: Thank you very much.

RK: In season two, I noticed that we moved towards warmer, earthier tones. Without giving anything away, but in terms of textiles, materials, and fabrics, what can we expect in season three?

FKS: There are a lot more character developments in season three… a lot of new character arcs that you’ll see… Nathan, Nora, Aleesha, Ingrid, and a lot of those [arcs] play a part in what their wardrobe looks like and the changes that will happen in their clothing, you know.

RK: Yes.

FKS: So that’s something to look out for… we have a lot of new characters introduced this season, so it’s very exciting trying to develop their arcs as well and add them to the story. That’s a lot of fun as well to get the design for that.

RK: Now at the end of season one, we see Nathan in a grey jumpsuit. I’m not going to give anything away, but for those of you who have not seen Upload, get on that and then get on that look, because that look is too fire for its context. And I know spoilers are the bane of the internet, so I’m not going to spoil anything. I’m going to phrase this very creatively: For this new season, do you have one or two good looks for particular people and can you say what without giving any spoilers away?

FKS: Ooh. There’s a lot of really new looks. There’s um-

RK: You don’t have to mention the characters!

FKS: I can say the character, but I can’t say what the look is…

RK: Okay…

FKS: So I will say that definitely, Nathan will have a couple of very interesting looks. Luke is going to have a couple of interesting looks, as well! So those are fun. And I think one of the biggest changes will probably be Aleesha, so…

RK: Yes. I will say that I’ve seen all of season three and the only thing I can say with assurance is- the evolution continues.

FKS: Yes!

RK: Upload season three premieres on October 20th of this month on Amazon Prime Video. Farnaz, it was so rad talking with you.

FKS: Thanks so much. Thanks for talking to me as well.

Vive la évolution.

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