Daisy Jones and The Six Is Already Giving Us '70s Fashion Inspo
When fashion and music band together, magic happens.
At least, that seems to be the case with Daisy Jones and The Six, Prime Video's rock 'n' roll-inspired series based on the beloved Taylor Jenkins Reid novel. And to help capture the fictional '70s band's rise and fall, costume designer Denise Wingate made sure the fashion felt authentic to the time period.
"I paid a lot of attention to making sure things were aged and looked lived-in," she told E! News in an exclusive interview. "I think that's a problem I see with shows, even period shows, and it just looks so new. It doesn't ring true to me."
Denise, who designed clothes for The Bangles during their world tour and grew up a club kid, felt it was important for the wardrobe to be authentic to the characters, to the rockstar lifestyle of the '70s, the California environment and the cultural shifts happening.
"I want people to feel like they're in this world," she shared, "that they're going along for the ride and they're the audience watching this band for real."
Daisy Jones & the Six: First Look Images
So, before you tune into the limited series on March 3, here's your backstage pass to all of the details behind the costumes.
Daisy's Rockstar Transformation
Lead singer Daisy Jones (played by Riley Keough) has the most drastic changes out of all the characters in the show, according to Denise. From being an unknown singer to reaching superstar status, her wardrobe adapts to the various milestones she experiences. But whether or not Daisy was going through highs or lows, the costume designer made sure the character's essence always shined through.
"Her roots are very small and then she grows into this superstar," Denise explained. "She has the biggest transformation, but she's also the one character who never really cared what she wore or what anybody thinks."
Denise also wanted to bring the author Taylor's vision to life, pointing out that Daisy is wearing a man's dress shirt and cowboy boots during her first big day of recording.
"That was in the book," she said. "There were things I felt had to stay true. The fans are expecting that, and we would be ripping them off if we didn't give that to them."
A Secret Nod to Elvis
There's no denying music runs through Riley's veins. After all, she's the granddaughter of rock legend, Elvis, and Priscilla Presley and the daughter of musicians Lisa Marie and Danny Keough. And while the costume designer said that it must "be tough coming from that legacy," Riley was able to separate her real-life background from the character.
"Riley has her own style and she's really managed to be her own honest, authentic self," Denise shared. "And she brought that to the character. That's how Daisy is."
However, Denise did pay homage to Elvis in a subtle but special way for Riley.
"I met a woman, Love Melody, who designed clothes in the '60s and made two jumpsuits for Elvis," Denise revealed. "And I had her make two beautiful long coats for Riley—one in a rust leather and another in patchwork denim. I felt it was important to bring something from that period."
She added, "And I think Riley was touched."
So, where exactly did Denise pull inspiration from? Well, for one, she watched a lot of '70s documentaries, including The Last Waltz.
"I told Josh Whitehouse, who plays Eddie, I was like, 'You are Robbie Robertson. You have to watch this movie,'" she shared The Band's widely hailed concert documentary. "For Suki Waterhouse, who plays Karen, I channeled Patti Smith and Suzi Quatro. For Riley, we started out with early Linda Ronstadt."
"The only reference that I felt really strongly about was Bruce Springsteen for Sam Claflin, who plays Billy Dunn," Denise explained. "I felt Billy was a character that was going to stay true to his roots and didn't get caught up in the fame. And I've always felt that way about Springsteen, he's managed to carry that legacy throughout his entire career."
She admitted she felt terrible for Sam, because "while I was dressing everybody else in these fabulous leather jackets and fur coats," she recalled, "He'd be like, 'Another denim shirt, thanks.' He had a whole rack of blue denim and for his arc, he went with black denim."
The Power of Fashion
For Denise, the clothes didn't just drive the story but helped the actors get into character—physically and mentally.
"I remember early on, the guys weren't used to wearing tight, hip-hugger jeans and tiny, tight T-shirts," she recalled. "It felt very awkward to them. But I would give them clothes to wear to practice so they could start to feel it."
As she put it, "You don't want it to look like somebody's uncomfortable in what they're wearing."
Denise explained that since the show spans from the '60s to the '90s, the fashion changes acted as a storytelling device.
"You have to use the clothing to see the character arc," she said. "We start off in Pittsburgh—it's very dark, cold and blue-collar. And then, when the band goes to California, it's very Kodachrome, warm colors. So we played with that a lot."
The Show Must Go On
Sometimes, you have to roll with the punches, even if it hurts. Denise recalled feeling crushed when a glitzy, custom-made design didn't end up getting its moment in the spotlight.
"I had seen Stevie Nicks wearing this white, diaphanous gown and I was like, we've got to do that," the costume designer recalled. "We painstakingly made this dress, it was so beautiful, and then we shot in the desert and it was snowing."
She continued, "And there was a windstorm, so I had to cover up the dress with a fur coat."
However, putting together Daisy's finale outfit—a Halston pleated dress with gold macrame—was a dream. But there had to be adjustments made to that as well.
"It's a magical piece, it was a caftan," Denise described. "And it was expensive. But I needed to cut it down the middle and make a cape, so we had scissors in the fitting and I was just terrified I was gonna ruin it, but it was perfect."
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