How Costume Designers From Two Of Our Preferred Period Shows Of 2020 'Pose' & 'Hollywood' Re-created The Past!

How costume designers from two of our preferred period shows of 2020 'Pose' & 'Hollywood' re-created the past!

"The Emmy-nominated designers behind 'Hollywood,' 'The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel' and 'Mrs. America' also open up about how they gave each of the show's characters a unique look, from Hollywood's postwar golden age to the "crazy energy" to the gender-fluid ballroom dance scene of the 1990s.



Macall Polay/FX

For the second-season debut episode, "Acting Up," costume designer Analucia McGorty immediately gravitated to Elektra (Dominique Jackson) in all-pink Marie Antoinette garb for a baroque French Revolutionary ballroom routine. "I wanted to challenge myself with that," says McGorty, conferring with Jackson, choreographer Twiggy Pucci Garcon and her tailors about how to make the scene a standout, "figuring out how to make this all function on camera over and over again."

Along with a conscious nod to Madonna, McGorty found ideas through research: She typically studies late-'80s and early-'90s fashion magazines as well as art, film and theater from the era, but in this case she cast her gaze a few centuries back as well. "I found this amazing sculpture from France around 1835," she remembers, depicting Marie Antoinette "gazing at the merry-go-round. But I just envisioned it as her being in the merry-go-round, being the star of the merry-go-round."

Collaboration with the hair and makeup teams was crucial. "I get them fabric samples of everything so that the makeup artist develops her design with her team to make that come to life, and the same with the hair department," she says.

Then the entire creation demands dance-ability so that "the actors are able to move in them and the choreographer is able to work with the choreography, making it look effortless and elegant," McGorty says. With Elektra's jacket, she had to ensure that "when the cord was pulled, it would go over her head so that it looked like her head got swallowed, that the guillotine would have been cutting her head off." The excess was worth the effort. she adds: "That was probably the most challenging and satisfying moment of my career."




Just as costume designers Sarah Evelyn and Lou Eyrich were prepping the finale episode, "A Hollywood Ending," with sequences set at the 1948 Academy Awards, creator Ryan Murphy threw them an inspired — if eleventh-hour — curveball, veering away from the Netflix miniseries' established color palette of harvest tones. "[He said] 'What if we took that palette and turned it on its head a little bit for the Oscars to create this very dreamy, beautiful world?' " recalls Evelyn.

"The feeling was awash in these beautiful pastels, and it really did highlight a moment in time," adds Evelyn, noting they had five days to pull off the switch for a cast that included nearly 400 extras. "I would call it a 'pressure makes the diamond' moment."

With a tremendous assist from the show's costume researcher, also a fashion academic, to ID real-life looks and accurate colors from that year's Oscar red carpet, they were able to zero in on key points of inspiration, like '40s-era designer Charles James' iconic satin and tulle "butterfly dress" for Laura Harrier's nominated starlet Camille Washington. "We had a vintage dress from the '40s but added on the big back piece and the train in back," says Evelyn. "It was fabulous — and tons of fabric."

Other looks were more nerve-wracking: The team had already fallen for a stunning gown with a fur-trim shawl in the previous palette for Patti LuPone's Avis Amberg, capped by a vintage necklace from Joseph of Hollywood. "And Patti loved it," sighs Eyrich. Evelyn recalls: "Lou said, 'Let's put that creamy fur trim from the cape around the top of her dress on the neckline.' We did it and it lightened up the dress and brought her into that palette — and that dress became even more amazing." -

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