Here at Loverboy we’re big, big fans of camp, catfights and costumes that use every colour on the palette – surprising to hear, we know. We adore the original 80s soaps like Dynasty, Dallas, The Colbys, Falcon Crest etc. When we heard a couple of years ago that Dynasty was being rebooted we crossed our fingers that it would be good. It exceeded our expectations to become one of the best things in this golden age of television, 2.0. With its wit, reference and reverence to the source material and spectacular casting choices (we want to marry Liz Gillies), it grabbed our sequined hearts from the get-go. Season two of the Dynasty reboot explodes on screens (in the US) tonight. As the clothes of Dynasty are their own character and dominate this glorious show, Loverboy’s Dynasty uberfan, Fallon Gold, spoke with the show’s costume designer, Meredith Markworth-Pollack.
Had you seen the original Dynasty before you got the job on the reboot?
Yes, I watched the first season when I was researching a different 80s show I was working on a couple years ago. But to be honest the show aired the year I was born so I wasn’t exactly a fan in its heyday.
Well, I’m glad to be old and have experienced it when it launched. It was incredibly formative to my childhood, in terms of escape, delusions of grandeur, and a lifelong love of bitches and big outfits. And I named myself after one of the best characters. The costumes in both the original and the reboot are exceptional examples and deserve their own hall of fame. Did you decide that you wanted to reference costume god Nolan Miller – or at least his spirit – from the get-go? Was this a decision discussed with the show’s creators or was it something you decided alone?
It was something we immediately spoke of: Sallie Patrick, our show runner and Stephanie Savage, our executive producer and myself. We all felt strongly we had no acknowledge Nolan Miller’s iconic looks from the original Dynasty, but at the same time they wanted the show to feel fresh and current. So instead of it being an homage we approached it like a subtle inspiration. However, as luck would have it, the 80s trend has completely taken over fashion right now, so it felt very on point and easily accessible.
Despite the roles being tweaked and updated and being played by new actors, you’ve managed to keep the spirit of the original characters in wardrobe references, whilst building entirely fresh costume personalities. For instance, Linda Evan’s Krystle wore a lot of muted, earthy tones – beiges, honeys, creams. The reboot Crystal wears a beige turtleneck in the first episode. Was this a deliberate homage to Krystle?
Yes, one thing that stood out to me about Nolan’s work was his palette choices for Krystle, Fallon and Alexis. Krystle being in soft pastels and nudes, Fallon in gemstones, and Alexis in black, white and red. I’ve tried to stick with those colors for our actors but of course we play around and experiment too. I also loved his fabric choices for Krystle (Linda Evans) all of the silks and cashmeres were so opulent and dreamy.
Agreed. She was the same hue as her outfits and had shoulders of a linebacker that didn’t need padding, ever. We love her. Do the actors have a say in the costumes for their characters?
Yes, they sure do. So many people are surprised by this. I think for more character driven dramas and for period pieces they have less of a say because it’s more un-like their personal world. But for a contemporary fashion show like Dynasty those worlds can often get blurred. And actors can be very aware and particular of what they are comfortable or not comfortable wearing on camera. We all usually see eye-to-eye, so it all works out and we are often sharing inspirations with each other. Ultimately my job is to respect the script and the creators’ vision, but also make the actors feel like they are an honest representation of their characters.
Liz Gillies, in particular, wears your clothes so well! Her clothes seem integral to Fallon’s personality. We’re smitten.
Liz and I have a lot of fun. It’s a very intimate and personal relationship between actor and costume designer and sometimes you really hit it off with an actor and they trust you. This is how it is with Liz. She lets me push her and she’s open to thinking outside the box. She also has a strong fashion sense of her own and I respect that.
The 80s party was one of the best costume moments for me, especially Fallon trying on all those wonderful, very 80s, dresses. That must be great fun for you and the actors as well.
It’s funny because I personally love the 80s but, as I’ve found out, many people don’t! So, I think some of the actors were nervous initially but once they were on set with all of the other cast in full blown 80s they could groove with it. I loved that episode and had a lot of fun building a dress for Fallon.
You’ve done the near impossible – made the men’s costume as interesting and exciting as the women’s. Jeff and Sam’s wardrobe is somuch fun. Where did that inspiration come from?
I’ve gotten a lot of my men’s style inspiration right here in Atlanta. The men’s fashion scene here is really on point and I always see guys at the stores I frequent or out at night and I think, ‘Oh my god, that’s so Sammy Jo!’ I’ve started documenting some street style here because I’m so smitten by it.
You obviously can’t give away anything from the new season, but we know that Nathalie Kelley has left the series. The original Dynasty had a habit of replacing actors for major characters (Steven, Fallon, Amanda). IMDB tells me that there is a new character called The Real Crystal Flores… is this new one getting a whole different wardrobe signature?
I can’t comment on that one, sorry!
We had to try! :p We’re dreaming of Vanessa Williams being cast as Dominique Devereaux. Whoever ends up with that plum role, we’re anticipating some wonderful Alexis/Dominique verbal and – oh hope of hopes – physical catfights. We’re also anticipating more exquisite costume choices for this delightfully divaish role. Will Dominique be as flashy as Alexis?
I really am not sure about Dominique yet. I think it will depend on casting and storylines. But yes, I’m excited too – if/when that happens.
It has to! Who’s going to inform Alexis that her champagne is burnt? What would be your dream job?
I would love to do another period show. I enjoy the research, sourcing, and construction that goes into the costumes.
Finally, what’s your favourite Mariah Carey song? And do you have a favourite Mariah look or era?
Dreamlover! And I love all the 90’s Mariah looks.
Find out what happened to Crystal in the fire and all the other cliff hangers! Dynasty blasts back on our screens tonight for the US on The CW, and tomorrow on Netflix for the UK.