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Clothes Encounters

Working with a tight budget and a whole lot of creativity, ''Pretty Little Liars'' costume designer Mandi Line has made the series' leading ladies some of the best-dressed teens on TV. Here she chooses her three favorite wardrobe moments.

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Clothes Encounters

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Season 2 '' Unmasked''

Faced with stiff competition from stylish series like The Vampire Diaries and Gossip Girl — both of which had aired masquerade-ball episodes of their own — Line told producers, ''We've got to step this up.'' Aria's dress was inspired by an ensemble that singer Pink wore to the 2008 MTV Video Music Awards, says Line, who adds that it took three days for a tailor to create the corset for Emily's dress.

Season 3 ''This is a Dark Ride

''They look like they're in Halloween costumes already,'' says Line about the ensembles the girls wore at the beginning of this spooky special episode. ''But it's just for school.'' Though some fans gave thumbs-down to the outlandish outfits — including Spencer's Great Gatsby-inspired getup and Hanna's ''crazy Helmut Lang skirt, with this crazy medallion'' — Line has no regrets. ''It was over-the-top ridiculous and obnoxious. But it's one of my favorites.''

Season 1 ''There's No Place Like Homecoming''

''The producers and the viewers were into 'one of a kinds' on Aria,'' explains Line. ''I couldn't just buy her dress.'' So for Aria's first homecoming, Line customized a sequin dress from Bebe by adding shoulders (which she cut out from an H&M T-shirt), a vintage tutu, and a beaded belt.

Originally posted Feb 22, 2013 Published in issue #1248 Mar 01, 2013 Order article reprints