“I will never make someone wear something. It doesn’t matter how much I might love it. They’re the ones wearing it. They’re the ones being documented. They’re the ones that have to see themselves forever,” reveals costume designer Peggy Schnitzer about creating the authentic clothing that fits each character and actor on Hulu’s “Welcome to Chippendales.” For our recent webchat she adds, “I always come to a great meeting place with most actors that I work with,” she says. “It’s great when they collaborate and it’s really great when they get excited, as excited as I do, so that they’re going to want to wear it.” Watch our exclusive video interview above.
SEE Exclusive Video Interview: Paula Huidobro (‘Welcome to Chippendales’ cinematographer)
“Welcome to Chippendales” was created by Robert Siegel (“Pam & Tommy”), inspired by the book “Deadly Dance: The Chippendales Murders” by K. Scot Macdonald and Patrick MontesDeOca. It stars Oscar and Emmy nominee Kumail Nanjiani as Steve Banerjee, who founded the famed Chippendales stripper troupe. The limited series charts his rise from an ambitious immigrant gas station attendant to entrepreneur and his fall from grace as he masterminds the murder of his business partner and ultimate rival, Emmy-winning choreographer Nick De Noia, portrayed by Emmy winner Bartlett (“The White Lotus”). The glitzy and tawdry semi-autobiographical drama also co-stars Oscar and Emmy nominee Juliette Lewis (“Cape Fear,” “Hysterical Blindness”), Tony winner Annaleigh Ashford (“You Can’t Take it With You”), Tony nominees Andrew Rannells (“The Book of Mormon,” “Falsettos”) and Robin de Jesús (“In the Heights,” “La Cage aux Folles,” “The Boys in the Band”), as well as breakthrough performer Quentin Plair (“Tiny Beautiful Things”).
In addition to recreating the infamous “tear-away” pants, bow-tie collars and G-strings in ways that would work both aesthetically and practically on the series, Schnitzer was also charged with dressing the huge cast of extras on the series, which spans from the late 1970s to the late 1980s. “I want people to feel really good in their clothes, but effortless. Some people have great legs. Some people want to be a little more covered up and it was really about what they look great in, but were equally as comfortable,” she explains. “For the most part, Annaleigh and Juliette’s clothes were all vintage, It’s so beautiful over that period and you really can’t recreate it. With Kumail, his suits started to get much fancier and dressed up. I made his suits because I picked fabrics and I just wanted him to look like a man that got his shirts made or got his ties made. But the early beige ones were vintage. Same with Murray. We made a lot of stuff for him, but we found a lot of stuff. We made a lot of shirts for the guys, but a lot of times out of vintage fabrics.”
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