Glee Costume Designer Talks Regionals Dresses. Plus: Will the Warblers’ Uniform Change?

Thursday, March 17, 2011

When it comes to deciding the New Directions girls’ outfits for regionals, Glee costume designer Lou Eyrich asks, “Is it youthful, is it pretty and soft, and does it fit Ryan Murphy’s vision?”

Last year’s regionals dresses came from Betsey Johnson, which Eyrich says makes the “perfect show choir dresses.” This year, the show needed a designer who’s used to making dresses of varying sizes on a tight turnaround, so who better than a bridal designer? Eyrich’s team ordered aqua bridesmaids dresses from Los Angeles-based Jenny Yoo (who also did the girls’ dresses for Kurt and Finn’s parents’ wedding) on a Wednesday; Yoo made them on a Thursday, and on Friday, Eyrich and her team fit the dresses on the girls — who require a wide range of sizes — and added sashes around the waists and applied jewels from deconstructed BCBG necklaces to the fronts.

The biggest twist on the ensemble, though, came below the waist. The ladies of both New Directions and Aural Intensity sported black leggings, mostly for practical reasons but partly for style. “Their dance numbers are very athletic,” says Eyrich. “They’re jumping on boys’ shoulders and sliding on their knees — we have to give them [leggings] for protection and comfort.” For New Directions, at least, the leggings were also part of an ’80s Cyndi Lauper look, along with the big Doc Martens the girls wore with them. The boots came as an addition straight from the top: “Ryan Murphy liked the sweet, youthful dresses but wanted to make it more Balmain. Just a little more fashion-y and trendy, not just another dress with dance shoes, because we’ve done that so many times.”

As for some other Glee-toure curiosities

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: There was some talk early in last night’s episode about changing up the Warblers’ uniform. Is that actually going to happen?
LOU EYRICH: Nope, that was just a joke from the show. It’s a blessing for us that they wear the same thing week to week! [Laughs]

EW: Speaking of uniforms, how do you feel about Quinn, Santana, and Brittany no longer wearing their Cheerios outfits all the time?
LE: Creatively, we love it! It makes a lot more work for us, and the girls [Dianna Agron, Naya Rivera, and Heather Morris] were thrilled to get out of the cheerleading uniforms at first. But now they see how many fittings they have to do, and they’re like, “Hmm, maybe we should go back to Cheerios uniforms.” We’re having a lot of fun with it, though.

EW: Where did you find Rachel’s crazy green dress from the alcohol episode?
LE: It’s vintage — we rented it from a costume house. Ryan wanted her to be wearing an inappropriate ’70s style hostess dress when she opened the door as guests arrived. You can find dresses like that at vintage stores, in Los Angeles, at least, like Jet Rag or American Vintage.

EW: Do you know what people are wearing at Nationals yet?
LE: We’d love to get a jump on it. We were just talking about Nationals this morning. We usually wait for the music so we know: Is it upbeat? Is it rock and roll? Is it reggae? But we want to get a jump on it and show Ryan some ideas because we’ll be doing two big episodes in a row.

EW: I guess people don’t talk about the boys’ fashion as much, but what kind of thought process went into designing their regionals outfits?
LE: We start with the girls and find a color that works for them, because it’s harder to find a dress that works on seven different girls. Since we chose aqua and black for the girls, we wanted to color-coordinate. We put the New Directions boys in black Levi jeans, black tops, and a skinny black tie to dress them up a bit.

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