When Sharon Long was brought in to work on the hit Hulu show “The Great” for Season 2, she was immediately faced with a huge challenge: crafting 18th-century Russian costumes for the main character, who was pregnant throughout the series.
“It was almost just over nine months and she was pregnant the whole time,” Long tells Gold Derby during our “Meet the Experts” costume designers panel. “We shot it in blocks so she didn’t go backward and forward in different sizes. But it was quite complex. The 18th-century woman’s shape is a tiny waist and a big skirt. What we had was a diminishing waist. Catherine’s waistline was disappearing and moving up higher.”
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Created by Tony McNamara (“The Favourite”) and starring Elle Fanning as Empress Catherine and Nicholas Hoult as her husband, Emperor Peter III, “The Great” is a subversive self-described “anti-historical” comedy that balances history with satirical comedy. Long, however, says she made sure the costumes were period-appropriate despite the cheeky nature of the show. Not that she couldn’t have some fun, like in a Season 2 episode where Catherine is given a baby shower by Peter. “What Sharon designed were really fun costumes, my favorite being what Peter has designed for the baby shower that he throws,” Hoult said during the summer session of the Television Critics Association press tour.
“Because he’s been deposed he’s got a lot more free time,” Long says. “So we very much played with the idea of him being a little bit more relaxed. Nick himself quite liked to get in touch with his feminine side. He’s such a handsome, masculine maverick that you can put shiffons and quite feminine fabrics on him and frills.”
“The Great” Season 2 is out November 19 on Hulu.
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