How Emmy-Nominated Costume Designers Went the Extra Mile to Create Unique Looks

From bringing back the 1990s in Hulu’s “Pam & Tommy” to styling for a lesbian cruise on “Hacks,” the Emmy-nominated costume designers delivered a wealth of contemporary looks.

Kameron Lennox landed her first nom for “Pam & Tommy,” which took audiences back a couple of decades as Lily James and Sebastian Stan captured the wild antics and looks of Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee.

Perfecting the iconic “Baywatch” red swimsuit was imperative. The original suit was made by TYR swimwear, which was not only able to match the red precisely but also helped her find the right fabric and cut. “On Pam, the way that it was cut was very sexy,” says Lennox. “The leg was high-cut to elongate her leg and cut low on the sides to accentuate her bust.”

Rock star Lee, meanwhile, wore a plethora of thongs around the house, so Lennox turned to eBay to procure vintage cheetah prints, silk and satin ones in an array of colors to dress her leading man.

At one point, Lennox got into a bidding war. “Somebody else was trying to buy that same thong. I did end up winning because I was very determined.”

“Euphoria’s” Heidi Bivens took advantage of this season’s fantastical elements to push the limits on her characters’ clothing. Sydney Sweeney’s Cassie, who is trying to figure out who she is and who she wishes to be, wants people to perceive her as she’s presenting herself. To dress Cassie, Bivens gravitated toward social media heavy brands such as House of CB and trendy labels such as WAYF and Realisation Par. “She’s looking at a lot of other people in the world, whether it’s on social media or other people,” says Bivens.

For HBO’s “The White Lotus,” Alex Bovaird pulled together a closet tailored to each of the guests. Jennifer Coolidge’s Tanya, a wealthy woman mourning her complicated relationship with her late mother, was a caftan queen. “She screams kooky costume lady, but I didn’t want to steer her into joke territory either because she plays that so well,” says Bovaird. “We wanted to empathize with Tanya; we didn’t want to laugh at her. It was about trying to strike the balance between, yes, she does eccentric, loud, ostentatious outfits but I don’t want to go too over-the-top.”

Kathleen Felix-Hager got scripts for HBO Max’s “Hacks” early on and that enabled her to know the lesbian cruise episode was coming. Ava’s (Hannah Einbinder) outfit was based on what she would realistically have brought with her on the road. With Jean Smart’s look as Deborah, Felix-Hager says, “I saw that blouse and duster very early on and I knew I wanted her to wear that when she first goes on that cruise ship.”

Michelle Cole had the honor of dressing a first lady, Michelle Obama, for the season opener of ABC’s “Black-ish.” Cole’s objective was to figure out what Obama and actor Tracee Ellis Ross would be wearing, ensuring both women stood out on their own. She collaborated with Obama’s personal stylist, Meredith Koop, to choose a purple look by Sergio Hudson, while Ross wore red from head to toe. The ruffle neckline piece on Ross was created by former “Project Runway” contestant Stanley Hudson. The chic look came from the women, Cole says. “It’s about how you wear it.”

Dana Covarrubias added pizzazz to Selena Gomez’s outfits for Hulu’s “Only Murders in the Building.” Her character Mabel Mora is the “It” New York City girl — effortless in her style and comfortable in her power. “The yellow faux-fur opening look is the perfect mix of new and old, sophistication and creativity,” Covarrubias says. The marigold color used throughout Mabel’s wardrobe is a nod to her Mexican roots and the plaid fabrics are an homage to the iconic deerstalker hat worn by Sherlock Holmes.

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