September 27, 2013
Stephen Merchant may be a Golden Globe® winner (as the writer and executive producer of “The Office UK” and HBO’s “Extras”), but in his first leading role in the comedy series “Hello Ladies,” he portrays Stuart, a web designer who relocates from England to Los Angeles in hopes of finding success, excitement and the woman of his dreams, but instead finds himself in increasingly awkward situations of rejection.
Costume Designer Susan Michalek worked closely with Merchant to achieve just the right look, because as she puts it, “his character wants so desperately to be cool. He is obsessed with fitting in.” At 6 foot 7 inches tall with size 15 shoes, thick, dark-rimmed glasses and a slightly off-kilter stance, Stuart can’t help but come off incredibly awkward.
One of Michalek’s favorite costumes is one that Stuart wears to a pool party, which happens to be taking place at the Oakwood Apartments community pool (not a glamorous hotel rooftop). “He is really going for a Don Draper look,” says Michalek, who found about 35-40 shirt options at Palace Costume on Fairfax in Los Angeles.
“We really didn’t have a lot of time to go through all of them, but this one just worked perfectly,” she said. Michalek paired the short-sleeve button down wine and cream colored tribal print shirt with yellow shorts that she found at Bloomingdales, and a pair of brown topsiders. “Once again, Stuart is trying, but he’s just missing,” says Michalek.
“Hello Ladies” will premiere this Sunday, September 29th on HBO.