‘The Chi’ Costume Designer Reveals Secret Inspiration

“Everything here feels inspiring,” says costume designer Nancea Ceo, scanning the shelves at Arcana: Books on the Arts. “It is like a museum.”

The Culver City, Calif., shop is much beloved by artists and designers, and when Ceo begins a new project, she says, “I always start here.”

Lately her career has been thriving, helped along by her costumes for Lena Waithe’s critically acclaimed Showtime series “The Chi,” the CW’s popular “Vampire Diaries” spinoff “The Originals” and the coming-of-age Netflix series “On My Block.”

But she is on hiatus now, so she has time to visit favorite places, including Arcana. She’s a regular here. The owners know her by name and greet her as she enters the store.

Arcana is a 4,500-square-foot modern space in the historic Helms Bakery complex. Built in 1931, the Helms building has been converted to upscale retail shops and now anchors an

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