Worked in high-end fashion retail in Seattle, and moved to New York City in 1980 to get her foot in the film and theater costume world.
Worked as costume designer for such big events as Sting's Bring on the Night World Tour and Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey's Greatest Show on Earth.
Her career took a turn when she met Tim Burton while working on the set of Joe Versus the Volcano (1990). Since then, she has done costumes for several of his movies, starting with Edward Scissorhands (1990).
She surprisingly first heard that she was nominated for an Oscar for Snow White and the Huntsman from her daughter's classmate, who was a movie buff.
Art of Elysium—an organization that raises money for children with serious medical conditions—honored her with the Visionary Award at their 2013 gala.