Costumes are a television show essential. Without them, a show is rendered completely unbelievable, but with them they catapult our imaginations to a particular time and place, leaving behind a legacy in the process.
Whether it’s Villanelle’s pink dress in Killing Eve or Ugly Betty’s poncho, there’s usually always more than meets the eye and a whole world of tiny details that escape unnoticed.
Each week Back Into The Closet will deliver an exclusive look into the wardrobes of some of the world’s leading series to bring you all the costume secrets and niceties we might have missed.
Last time we caught up Godless costume designer Betsy Heimann, but today we’re delving through Black Monday thanks to Melissa Bruning.
The cocaine is actually vitamins
The cocaine the characters snort is actually vitamins (Picture: Showtime)Cocaine crops up time and time again in Black Monday with characters snorting it like no tomorrow.
In the opening episode, Blair (played by Andrew Rannells) accidentally walks into Mo (Don Cheadle) causing his ridiculously huge bag of the class A substance to form a cloud and fly everywhere.
‘I think in particular scene it might have just been baking soda,’ Melissa tells us. ‘But when they’re sniffing it it’s like a vitamin D powder. So it’s a bit of a different sort of rush.
You can tell the twins apart by their ties and shoes
There are visual clues to decipher the twins (Picture: Showtime)Telling the Lehman brothers apart might to be difficult for some viewers, until now that is.
‘One is a bow tie and loafer kinda guy and the other is a regular tie and Oxford kinda guy,’ Melissa reveals. ‘That helps the actor and it helps everyone looking at him.’
She adds: ‘We tried to do three piece for one and a no vest for the other. We tried to do little subtle things over the course of the season that would go between the two of them.’
How Tiffany rips off her wedding dress
Tiffany rips off her wedding dress in episode nine and unveils a gorgeous denim number underneath.
‘We rigged this wedding dress that we bought on Ebay and because of the way the trim was we were able to connect it in certain places and Velcro it,’ Melissa spills.
‘We did a rip away dress so she could take it off the and then start hip-hopping. It actually turned out great.’
Blair’s tie with Tiffany’s earring is a bad omen
The earring is a bad omen (Picture: Showtime)The earring that Blair carries around with him on his tie is a bad omen that runs the course of series one and makes its way into every episode.
‘I felt like the jewel should be felt moneyed so when she took her earring off it looked real,’ Melissa says. ‘It was the bad omen that works its way through all the episodes which was fun.’
Tiffany always has a speck of denim on her
Tiffany always wears denim (Picture: Showtime)Tiffany (Casey Wilson) has denim incorporated into every piece of clothing as a nod to her being the heiress of Georgina Jeans.
‘With every outfit I tried to incorporate some form of denim into it,’ Melissa says. ‘Even the wedding dress. The underneath dress was denim with sequins on it.’
‘t was a, “By the way everything I do has a little bit of Daddy’s company in it.”‘
Mo wears a different chain with each tracksuit
Mo wears a different chain with every outfit (Picture: Showtime)Mo is probably the chillest manager when it comes to office attire, often turning up to boardroom meetings in sweatpants and hoodies.
Chains are his staple accessory, with Melissa admitting: ‘I think we did a different chain for every outfit. I think that we really went there, it was sort of the cherry on his look.’
And unsurprisingly Don is a big fan of dressing down too.
‘He loves the tracksuits,’ Melissa says. ‘It was also important for him because he’d done House Of Lies for five years prior to this where he wore suits all the time, but I think with this we were able to create a new person.’
Blair’s suspenders helps Andrew Rannells into character
Blair is a big fan of suspenders (Picture: Showtime)Andrew’s character Blair has a penchant for suspenders and for good reason too.
‘Suspenders were definitely his Andrew’s thing,’ Melissa recalls. ‘We both grew up in Omaha, Nebraska which wasn’t very fashion forward in the 80s.
‘He said he remembers seeing Wall Street and seeing suspenders and somehow suspenders made him feel like that’s when you’re a man. It was one of those things he thought as a kid that would indicate that he’s made it, like he’s an adult.
‘It was a tool for him.’
More: Back Into The Closet
Why Mo doesn’t wear jackets
Jackets restrict Mo’s movement (Picture: Showtime)Besides his love for joggers, Mo rarely wears jackets and this is mainly due to them being restrictive.
‘Part of it is heat and part of it is that he doesn’t want too much of his movement hidden,’ Melissa explains. ‘He’s very articulate with his arms and his body and sometimes you don’t want to cover that up, especially with him being more informal at work.’
Back Into The Closet is a weekly series that delves into most iconic costumes to ever grace television, from shows past and present. Check back each Thursday for the latest wardrobe secrets.
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