In the “Glee” tribute to Madonna, fashions were definitely in focus.
The only problem was that award-winning costume designer Lou Eyrich couldn’t just pick up the proper Material Girl attire at the local mall.
Therefore, most of the awesome looks in Tuesday’s (April 20) “The Power of Madonna” episode had to be custom-made. Really, where else could you actually buy legwarmers long enough to cover up the “legs” of those stilts-walking Cheerios?
“This was a first for me, and it went so wonderfully when we went to rehearsal,” Eyrich told Zap2it. “We bought all the fabric where we usually get it and created these legwarmers. We added white tights to continue the illusion.”
The episode was really Jane Lynch‘s time to shine though, and for her first singing foray on “Glee,” “Vogue” was the way to go. Better yet, we got to see Sue Sylvester decked out in a plethora of Madge-wear.
“‘Vogue’ was practically the death of me; it was so big,” said Eyrich. “Everything was custom-made for her except the white corset, which was original vintage. Mon Atelier custom tailored everything else, and we rented the fur stole.”
And that cone bra Sue wears later in front of Principal Figgins? Also tailored.
“We tried to copy that as closely as possible,” said Eyrich.
More Madonnas also came into play for the hallway scene in which Finn and Rachel (Cory Monteith, Lea Michele) sing “Open Your Heart” while Madonna lookalikes walk by. In this challenge, creator/executive producer Ryan Murphy picked eight iconic Madonna looks to be re-created.
Here’s three. Can you name the other five looks?
Channeling Madonna wasn’t just Sue Sylvester’s territory though. The New Directions girls got into the action with “Express Yourself,” wearing pin-striped suits and jewel-toned bustiers, all custom-made for their different body types.
This brings us to another costuming challenge: Matching. Since the bustiers from the “Express Yourself” number were all different colors, that allowed the wardrobe department to pick the right color for each girl.
In contrast, the producers wanted the three ladies — Lea Michele as Rachel, Jayma Mays as Emma and Naya Rivera as Santana — in the “Like a Virgin” sequence to wear the same “sweet virginal color” but in different designs. It was Eyrich’s task to finally settle on lavender, which was flattering for all the women, and then custom-dye each nightie to match.
That was just three people. Imagine then the challenge of having to dress all of New Directions, both boys and girls, and finding a design and/or color that would flatter each individual while maintaining a certain uniformity and keeping them looking youthful.
Eyrich compared this to the same dilemma brides have of dressing their bridesmaids, and she does this every week, sometimes multiple times.
One of her biggest challenges though is dressing the boys in their everyday school outfits.
“It’s hard to get creative with the boys, the jocks and the popular guys,” said Eyrich. “They’re so limited with just a t-shirt, hoodie, polo. It’s a little bit mundane I’ll admit.”
An exception among the boys is Chris Colfer, whose character Kurt Hummel brings snazzy new looks every episode. In this case, the vintage houndstooth hat actually belonged to Eyrich herself, who then had a “happy accident” when she stumbled upon a Marc Jacobs jacket to match. Kurt’s longhorn sweater is by Ralph Lauren.
And even though we’re waiting for a more Tina-centric episode before breaking down one of her looks, we thought we’d get the lowdown on what Tina Cohen-Chang’s (Jenna Ushkowitz) style is all about.
“In the beginning, Tina was goth geek. That’s been broadened and is not as limited now,” explained Eyrich. “She’s a bit dark and gloomy and punk and is still trying to find herself. She tends to wear armwarmers, fingerless gloves, chains, cameos, spiders, colored streaks in her hair.
“I like the juxtaposition of black army boots with white lace inserts, and sometimes she wears girly dresses. She’s a little bit Hot Topic.”
Which of the Madonna fashions did you like the best? Do you prefer the costumes or the students’ everyday clothes the best?
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‘Glee’ does Madonna and it feels like home
‘Glee’: Naya Rivera on Madonna, stilts, and Santana’s unexpected turn
‘Glee’: Jenna Ushkowitz and Dijon Talton on being fierce
Photo credits: FOX