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American Horror Story: Roanoke – Lou Eyrich, Helen Huang
ACD Rebecca Guzzi
Ryan Murphy shows always tend to be complicated! But the biggest challenge this season on AHS: Roanoke was its method of storytelling/structure. The season was devised in two distinct parts: the first in the world of drama re-enactment shows, and the second in reality TV. Balancing the aesthetic between cast members mirroring the same character, and midway, having to conceptualize cast members who were portraying new characters, also added more design challenges.
Empire – Paolo Nieddu
My process for Empire really varies on every episode, as I never know what twist, or what performance will come my way. I need a lot of looks for the characters as they are entertainers and the clothes need to be extra fabulous. Often, I have to look beyond what’s in stores. I love searching for past season designer pieces and jewelry and giving them a new life. It’s a challenge but also the most fun and engaging part of doing a show like Empire. It also doesn’t hurt that I have the best people working with me to help make it all come together!
Grace & Frankie – Allyson B. Fanger
ACD Lauren Morelli
The characters of Grace & Frankie are people that I think every viewer can relate to, so my special challenge was to find the real moments of character expression through costume choice that I have seen in all of the most important people in my life. The characters in Grace & Frankie are my mother, my sister, my father, and a favorite teacher that I once knew. The biggest challenge, of course, being dear Frankie, whose each and every piece needs to be most unique and unidentifiable, like her, which takes some serious digging, dumpster diving, and midnight art projects—my favorite.
House of Cards – Johanna Argan, Kemal Harris
ACD Jessica Wenger
Kemal Harris, Costume Designer to Robin Wright
Transparent – Marie Schley
ACD Hannah Schneider
This season of Transparent was unique in that it depicted so many transitions in the costumes, especially Maura’s. We start with her established bohemian clothing, but when she decides to have gender reassignment surgery, she makes herself over into an urbane, polished, and feminine version of herself. This particular monochromatic look was difficult to find and so I designed (and my fantastic crew built) many of Maura’s looks. We also see Maura as a boy in 1950s LA, a fantasy of herself as a girl, as a young adult, and finally when Maura learns she can not have surgery, she improvises a gender neutral look with clothes from a cruise ship gift shop. Finding a visual through line that carries Maura through so many iterations of herself was a distinct challenge.