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American Horror Story: Roanoke – Lou Eyrich, Helen Huang

Empire – Paolo Nieddu

Grace & Frankie – Allyson B. Fanger

House of Cards – Johanna Argan, Kemal Harris

Transparent – Marie Schley

 



 
Photos by:FX

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.

 


 
Photos by:Chuck Hodes/Fox

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!

 


 
Photos by:Netflix

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.

 


 
Photos by:Netflix

House of Cards – Johanna Argan, Kemal Harris

ACD Jessica Wenger

Johanna Argan
Costume Designing for a show like HOC, you would think it would be simple because the characters are in an atmosphere where they are almost always in career wear—suits, ties, skirts, shift dresses etc… The challenge is keeping it fresh and interesting without making it look redundant or forced season after season. Season four introduced many new characters, most of whom are women, making each and every one have their own signature look. As a result, there are four to six silhouettes to create. This is the demand of working within the story space of this series.

Kemal Harris, Costume Designer to Robin Wright
Claire Underwood’s surroundings don’t change much, so my biggest challenge is breaking her out of the repetitive cycle of daily pencil skirts. The best solution for me is to sketch and produce custom pieces so I can achieve an original look. I also work closely with designers such as Ralph Lauren, Michael Kors and Dolce & Gabbana to get one-of-a-kind runway pieces. They even let me dig in their archives!

 

 
Photos by:Amazon

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.


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