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How 'SNL' re-created Kamala Harris' white pantsuit so quickly

The show had just over an hour to pull together Harris' look for Maya Rudolph.
Getty Images/ NBC
/ Source: TODAY

When Kamala Harris gave her first speech as Vice President-elect Saturday night in Wilmington, Delaware, she wore a white Carolina Herrera pantsuit layered over a cream pussy-bow blouse.

President-Elect Joe Biden And Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris Address The Nation After Election Win
Harris wore a white pantsuit from Carolina Herrera during her victory speech.Tasos Katopodis / Getty Images

Not long after the event, Maya Rudolph took to the stage on “Saturday Night Live” and wore almost exactly the same outfit, right down to the cut of her jacket, the color and silky material of her blouse and her American flag pin.

Saturday Night Live - Season 46
Rudolph, joined by Jim Carrey playing Joe Biden, was the spitting image of the Vice President-elect. Will Heath / NBC

Given the timing of the live show, the "SNL" costume department had just 85 minutes to whip up Rudolph’s look in time for her appearance in the cold open. How did they pull it off so perfectly? The show’s producer and costume designer, Tom Broecker, spoke with PopSugar about how his team copied Harris’ look in just over an hour.

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As soon as Harris appeared on TV in her white pantsuit, the costume team took screen grabs of every detail of her look, from her clothing and accessories to her hair and makeup.

“By 9 p.m. we had pulled all the 'research' photos together and started looking through our stock to see if there was anything that could work,” Broecker said. “Every store in the city had been closed for hours. There was no way to shop this look anywhere, except in our back rooms.”

They found a double-breasted white suit and, amazingly, recut it into a single-breasted suit on the fly.

“I work with the most incredible tailors in the world," Broecker said. "They put the jacket on Maya's mannequin form in the office and went to work, just like in the movie 'Cinderella.' Eighty minutes later, and four tailors exhausted, Maya did a fitting. It was perfect and she was ready to go to the stage.”

Interestingly, the white suit had originally been bought the previous year for Cecily Strong to wear during a sketch about Melania Trump that ended up getting cut.

Meanwhile, the "SNL" team created Rudolph’s silky blouse from scratch, using "a box of cream charmeuse fabric” they found in their stock.

Rudolph's costume was spot on.
Rudolph's costume was spot on.Getty Images/ NBC

Determined to capture every tiny detail of Harris’ outfit, the costume team was making changes up until the last minute.

“As she was leaving her dressing room, I realised she didn't have her flag pin on her lapel,” Broecker said. “Her dresser went running into the wardrobe room to get her flag pin.”

Broecker confirmed to PopSugar that his team had no advance warning about what Harris would be wearing that night, so they were not able to prepare any part of her look ahead of time.

He said it all came down to his team’s incredible ability to work costume magic on SNL, a show known for its lightning-fast wardrobe changes.

"(It's) an impossible task for any other place other than 'Saturday Night Live,'” he said. “We have the best people anywhere in the world.”