Polly Smith has worked for the Jim Henson Company since she was brought on board to create costumes for The Muppet Show in 1978 and continues to design for Sesame Street. In the years in between, she has designed costumes for many of the Muppet film and television projects produced by the Jim Henson Company as well as the costumes for several other children’s television programs.
Smith received Emmy nominations for her designs for The Jim Henson Hour (1988) and Muppets Tonight (1996) and has received three Emmy awards for her designs on Sesame Street. Smith also co-designed costumes for the TV series The StoryTeller (1986-88) which won a BAFTA award for Best Costumes in 1989, and The StoryTeller: Greek Myths (1989) which received a BAFTA nomination for Best Costumes in 1991.
Smith's film credits include Muppets from Space, The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland, Muppet Treasure Island and The Muppet Christmas Carol. Smith was also part of the design teams for the films The Dark Crystal, The Muppets Take Manhattan and Labyrinth.
In addition to the work on films and television shows, until 2002 Smith oversaw the costumes for many of the Muppet commercials, photo shoots, personal appearances and also worked on many Muppet toy prototypes.
In 2002, Smith was chosen as one of 200 women to show their work in the exhibit Women Designers in the USA 1900-2000 at the New York City Bard Graduate Center.
Additionally, in 1977, while designing costumes for the Champlain Shakespeare Festival at the University of Vermont, Smith collaborated with two friends to create the first women’s sporting bra called “Jogbra”. This achievement has been recognized with a bronzed Jogbra on the wall at the University of Vermont and by inclusion in the costume collections of the Smithsonian Institution and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Smith's two partners went on to create the company which produced and marketed the bra while Smith chose instead to go off and create undergarments for puppets and animals.
Polly Smith received her BFA in Fashion Design from Moore College of Art & Design in Philadelphia. Smith was recognized as a distinguished alumna by the College in 2005.
- John Denver & the Muppets: A Christmas Together - Nativity Muppets, costumes
- The Muppet Show - Muppet Costume Designer 5th season
- Dark Crystal - Associate Costume Designer: Gelflings (Jen and Kira) and Podlings
- I Love Liberty- Miss Piggy's costumes, others
- Fraggle Rock - Muppet builder
- The Muppets Take Manhattan - Costume Designer (with Karen Roston and Calista Hendrickson)
- The Muppet Show: On Tour!- Additional costume design
- Jim Henson's Muppet Babies Live! - Additional costume design
- Labyrinth - Creature costume design; Creature Workshop team: Hoggle, Sir Didymus, Alph and Ralph, Goblins and Riding Goblins
- The StoryTeller - Costume designer (with Ann Hollowood)
- The Tale of the Bunny Picnic - Puppet design
- Inner Tube- Costumes
- The Jim Henson Hour - Costume Designer
- The Muppets at Walt Disney World - Costume Design
- Dinosaurs - Costume design (uncredited)
- The StoryTeller: Greek Myths - Co-Costume Designer
- The Muppet Christmas Carol - Costume Designer
- Muppet Classic Theater- Costumes
- Muppet Treasure Island - Costume Designer
- Muppets Tonight - Costume Designer
- The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland- Costume Designer
- Muppets from Space - Costume Designer
- It's a Very Merry Muppet Christmas - Costume Designer
- The Muppets' Wizard of Oz - Costume Designer
- Sesame Street - Costume Designer (2003-)