July 11, 2017

Anna Wyckoff

Working at a whirlwind pace is nothing new for a Costume Designer, but Beth Morgan’s pace on GLOW must be some sort of record. “The speed was a major challenge,” Morgan explains. “We were having production meetings for the season halfway through shooting the pilot, so there was no hiatus between the pilot and the ten episodes of the season.”

Fortunately, there was also no shortage of inspiration or commitment from the cast, especially for a series that was physically demanding. Morgan says, “Finding their characters was so positive. There was no vanity. Ali (Alison Brie) has no body makeup on, with bruises all over her. She was so married to the character. The entire cast was committed. No one wears Spanx. No one asked for corseting. That’s a lot of confident women.”

Morgan found designing for a wide range of body types uplifting, rather than difficult. “It was a joy for me because we are a world of many types of women and it’s amazing to be able to showcase different ethnicities, shapes, and sizes. For us it’s about developing these characters, these fifteen different women, that are also in wrestling training, so their bodies all changed so much from the beginning to the end.”

A plot line has one of the characters making the actual performance costumes. This added another dimension to Morgan’s thought process. Instead of trying to create the most spectacular, bedazzled costume pieces, she carefully considered what Jenny (Ellen Wong) would be able to cull together from the local fabric store with some sparkle and glitter. “We wanted to show the grit,” she chuckles. “I didn’t want anything to feel polished.”

Working show creators Liz Flahive and Carly Mensch made for a smooth collaboration. “Netflix really leaves you to be with creators to make a world that’s beautiful, without much hand-holding. They really trusted us. I did a presentation, talked them through my color palette and my thoughts for each character. They said, “Good. We love it. Now go have a great time.”

GLOW is streaming on Netflix.

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