WHY WOMEN KILL | FOCUS
of jealousy, rivalry, family dynamics that are ever-present and go back centuries, thousands of years. And it doesn’t matter what time period we’re in—those are ever present in just being a human being. This cast is to die for (see sidebar)! What was it like to play with this talented ensemble? LP: I can walk away from this show saying that I’m taking some real friends with me. It’s interesting how we’ve gotten so close because we were kind of clumped into this little bubble together. AT: I spent the majority of my time with Nick [Frost], who plays my husband, Ber- tram. We clicked immediately, personally and professionally. I joked with Nick in the beginning that I live by myself with my cat. So when we went into work, I was like, “We’re going to make sure every scene is blocked where my head is on your lap or your shoulder, cause you’re the only other person I’ve been able to, like, hug and touch in a year!” So he took me in pretty quickly and I’d go spend time over at his place and with his family. And he can cook, which never hurt!
artistic design of the cars, our exterior … the attention to detail that they have on every single set piece. Getting to do a period piece was something that I’ve always wanted to do. LP: It actually threw me because I would always look at everyone [on set] like, “ Why are we all wearing these masks? It’s post–Spanish flu !” I love vintage anything. It was wonderful to step back into 1949 to see the cars and the fashion and even the language of that time. The beauty about period pieces is that they enable you to tackle modern-day issues through the lens of 1949. What timely themes did you get to explore this season? AT: The concept of beauty as currency, and the idea that this is a woman who is fascinated with the beautiful, the glam- orous, and the upscale, and what that kind of obsession and ambition does to her and what her ambition does to her. I think that’s something that in the age of social media we can all relate to. That sort of notion of comparative thinking and the unattainable ideal. LP: I would say our human complexities
DRESSED TO KILL EMMY-WINNING COSTUME DESIGNER JANIE BRYANT BRINGS STYLE AND SOPHISTICATION TO 1949.
W hen we first meet desperate housewife Alma (Tolman), her drab beige dresses aren’t exactly silhouettes befitting Janie Bryant’s caliber. The costume designer, after all, reinvigorated our love affair with midcentury style in Mad Men , and designed period pieces for the ’60s, ’80s, and today in Why Women Kill . But the unabashed fan of the ’40s says it’s been “creatively satisfying to live in” the year 1949, a time period Bryant calls “the ultimate expression in femininity.” Think fuller skirts, tea-length hemlines, and the return of the corset! “Janie did an incredible job replicating the era—and also fulfilling this little girl's dream,” says Lana Parrilla, who’s always
loved Old Hollywood glam. “Ingrid Bergman, Lauren Bacall, Marilyn Monroe. Those were all of my icons that I admired. And when I had my first fitting [for Rita], that really brought the Rita Hayworth vibe.” Expect Bryant’s wardrobe to play a huge part in Alma and Rita’s role reversals throughout the season. Parrilla recommends dressing up for WWK viewing parties with your pod, so Bryant has a few tips: “Start with a corset to create a wasp waist. Petticoats are important. The strapless neckline was also very indicative of the late 1940s—even a tailored suit! But it’s all about the nipped waist.”
Bryant designed the “fantasy gown” above as if Alma is headed to her own movie premiere.
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