4 TV costume designers on capturing complex female protagonists – The Hollywood Reporter

After a pandemic year filled with FOMO, viewers are understandably drawn to an ambitious style to immerse themselves further in the world of dynamic characters and stories, from critically acclaimed Michaela Coel’s to an ambitious, wide-eyed American to the stranger in Emilie in Paris, to winding thrillers revolving around enigmatic New Yorkers in The stewardess and The defeat.

Skillful, fashion-infused costume design also supports a growing landscape of storytelling highlighting complex female protagonists while creating suspense for gripping mysteries, journeys of self-discovery, or both – as four costume designers in discuss below.

Emilie in Paris – Netflix

Reunion with Sex and the city creator Darren Star for Netflix Emilie in Paris, Patricia Field continues to influence the way people dress while also attaching viewers to the eponymous ingenuous (Lily Collins). Working with Paris-based Marylin Fitoussi for authenticity on the pitch, two-time Emmy winner Field uses it very stylish and never-old-fashioned approach to show the young marketer how to dress for the big job she wants. “Emily’s optimism and one-on-one coordination shines through in her wardrobe, as she’s on a mission to show her boss that she can win back a client for the company,” Field said via email from Paris. , where the show is filming season two.

As Emily lines up alongside French influencers established to be rejected by an arrogant Parisian, she wears a bold green, multi-pocket Chanel Resort 2020 jacket with graphic Christian Louboutin ankle boots and a mix of playful plaids: a crop vintage top, a Brandy Melville miniskirt and a Kangol bucket hat that spiked online searches. “My inspirations were as usual: a mixed combination of motives, resources and my personal applications,” says Field. But, “the main challenge was to reapply the Chanel aesthetic to Emily’s aesthetic.” So Field transformed the regal jacket into a fresh if not daring message, like Emily’s ultimately successful pitch. “I said to myself:” “Great! Let’s make it an oversized Chanel. “

The stewardess – HBO Max

Inspired by the romance and magic of a glittering Bangkok, Cassie (Kaley Cuoco) ‘s champagne sequined dress, which was worn for her fateful date with first class passenger Alex (Michiel Huisman), launches in a appropriated the thrilling thriller of HBO Max. “It was part of the starting point,” says Catherine Marie Thomas, making a pun on a call. But, like Alex, the series’ ensuing mystery and the self-destructive flight attendant herself, the sparkly dress turns out to be more than it looks.

The silhouette lines up with the design of the Imperial Atlantic uniform, which writer and showrunner Steve Yockey scripted as a Diane von Furstenberg wrap dress. “Cassie feels like she always keeps the same look, and then her world is unraveling around her,” Thomas says of the series’ repeated images of “overlapping and crossing”.

Thomas tailor-made several iterations of the underlying lace jumpsuit, adorned with fabric and latte-colored buttons, keeping Cassie physical throughout the long, curvy evening of her discovery of the body. Alex and his frenzied elimination of evidence. “The whole show has a bit of that dark vibe. I liked that the silk charmeuse jumpsuit was reminiscent of the 1930s, ”said the 2009 Emmy nominee Gray gardens. “It really worked for the pilot’s tone.”

I can destroy you – HBO

To portray a Halloween ‘dark angel’, as scripted by designer and HBO limited series star Michaela Coel, costume designer Lynsey Moore continued her distinct mix of high street and ’90s vintage in an East London incredibly cool but tight on budget. the author turned influencer would wear. Arabella (Coel) reaches a crucial turning point which is illustrated through her costume, rich in dichotomous symbolism. “It was riding on something that looks amazing – and it’s that iconic figure – but at the same time: is it believable that it was someone in the real world and not off the podium? ” explains Moore, based in London.

To “signify power,” Coel suggested an imposing helmet, so Moore custom built devilish horns by carving out of paper and wire, covering them with a leather-like fabric and creating the imposing ensemble on. a headband. “She charges people, she knocks people down,” says Moore. “But this is misguided. She thinks she is fine, but she is not.

Moore found angel wings, which flap with a string, in a party store. Amid the crowds, Arabella spreads her wings to capture social media content, offering another allegory. “It’s about presenting the world with an image that you want them to see, and that might not necessarily be true,” says Moore. “It’s his state of mind: ‘I should look like this right now because the world needs to see me as this powerful figure.'”

The defeat – HBO

To authentically capture the Upper East Side personalities one percent in the HBO thriller, Danish Sign Sejlund immersed herself in the rarefied enclave. “I contacted a lot of these women and had tea with them,” she says. To characterize Nicole Kidman’s Grace, Sejlund accentuated the old money scion with luxurious yet understated logo-free accessories and contrasting fabrics. “I always tried to put a shiny, silky, smooth and sensual piece with a more structured and solid piece,” notes Sejlund. “Grace is an intelligent and grounded person, but she is also fragile, vulnerable and very sensual.”

Grace’s protective and vividly textured green coat has inspired countless memes. “This green fabric has so many colors in itself,” says Sejlund, who custom designed the piece with a mysterious hood to evoke a children’s fairy tale. “This little green riding hood. She never put the hood on, but we could have.

The sheepskin velor was originally meant as a panel over another design, but an inspired Sejlund decided, “” Hey, let’s go through with it. “I’m not afraid to be bold enough in my choices. Working with the fabric has proven to be a struggle but useful – eliciting more talk than the disappearance of the mysterious Elena Alves.“ This world is truly in my mind. alley, “says Sejlund.” Trendy and, at the same time, classic and just tasteful. So I felt very comfortable doing The defeat. “

This story first appeared in a June issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, Click here to subscribe.

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