NEW YORK — Debi Mazar has style to spare. Literally. For the second season of her hit HBO series, “Entourage,” in which she plays brassy, no-nonsense Los Angeles publicist Shauna, the actress pulled 90 percent of her character’s outfits from her own closet. She also surveyed the attire of her male co-stars and, finding it a little Gap-heavy, provided the costume designer with her friends’ contacts at Ferragamo and Armani.
“I just wanted the show to have a slick and interesting look,” explains Mazar. “Everyone on TV always wears this stuff that you recognize, and nobody really stands out in terms of design. You have to take some creative license, because people want to watch and be excited by the visual.”
The fashion-obsessed actress began bringing her own clothing and jewelry to the show’s set after the first few episodes, when she fretted that Shauna’s style was being geared toward “something out of Macy’s juniors’ department.”
“I felt that a publicist could wear kind of fabulous cool things, and at the time they just didn’t have the budget to get me those things, nor did the costume designer have the taste level that I wanted.”
That Mazar could simply dip into her personal wardrobe and yield a season’s worth of high-end, often high-priced garments for a fictitious TV character testifies not only to the actress’ taste, but also to her long-standing dedication to all things fashion — a habit she first picked up in the early Eighties New York club scene as a precocious teenager with an unabashed sense of style.
Looking back fondly on her life in that decade of excess, Mazar remembers reinventing her look more times than her good friend Madonna, going from androgynous doorman at the famous Mudd Club (she wore secondhand sharkskin suits resewn to fit her petite frame) to New Wave dancer at the gay disco Paradise Garage. “We would just drink a ton of water, maybe smoke a little pot and dance until five or six in the morning.”
These days, both Mazar’s life — she’s happily married with a small daughter — and her style are much more subdued. One of her favorite designers is Isabel Toledo, who designed her wedding dress and who Mazar credits with making her look sexy without revealing too much skin. “Most of the chicks on ‘Entourage,’ you know, we call them the hottie chicks,” says the actress. “They’re all in miniskirts, halter tops and Uggs. I don’t wear that stuff. I like to err on the side of mystery. I like for people to try and guess what’s underneath, not to always see it.”