There is pink in nearly every frame of Peacock’s fluffy, fame-obsessed limited series, Angelyne. Every time that Emmy Rossum’s title character struts on screen, we are treated to a feast of lace, spandex, and the color pink. With such an iconic and colorful character like Angelyne, dressing Rossum for the role of a lifetime was a dream come true for costume designer, Danny Glicker. He brings the sparkle, respect, and shimmer to the demanding role.
A look that we see throughout the series is Angelyne in the interview chair. She is the gateway for us to understand her side of the story, and, surely, Angelyne wants to look a certain way as she is getting interviewed. Glicker knew it had to be a bold look since we see it in every episode.
“The idea behind that outfit is that it’s covered in pink stars. The stars are a little piece of her soul, and they are there to represent her and the Walk of Fame. Angelyne, as we created her in the show, is very inspired by the real person, but it’s also a fantasy of everything that she represents. In our show, I think she understands the power of image so well, and she presents herself in her talking head that pays respect to the level of iconography that’s she’s embraced her entire billboard career. In a weird way, I imagine that outfit wasn’t given much thought. She intuitively knew the power of the image. I knew that I wanted it to be bold and graphic, and I knew it would pop in the room. These are all things that Angelyne thinks about. And, of course, the sparkle.”
Angelyne briefly mentions Frederick’s of Hollywood while she is driving around Los Angeles with Alex Karpovsky’s Jeff Glasner, and Glicker was eager to talk to me about what the store meant to Los Angeles. Imagine how many hours Angelyne spent scouring the store in order to find dresses. That little line informs us so much of how much the billboard queen love the city of angels.
“Frederick’s of Hollywood, especially in its heyday, represented the fantasy of Hollywood. So much of their power of merchandising was creating these elaborate fantasies. In some ways, more than the clothes that they were selling Angelyne knew the fantasy of what they were selling. The vintage catalogs of Frederick’s were huge influences in my research and mood board. It’s a ton of what I like to call the Jayne Mansfield pink and the leopard. There is a real emphasis on shape and the cinched waist and the torpedo bustline, so I wanted to interpret that into what they were selling. Why is that alluring? Trying to get into Emmy [Rossum] into how those clothes communicate and how they make the wearer feel. One of the central themes of the show, to me, was, ‘What does Angelyne see when Angelyne sees Angelyne?’
If you look at Angelyne’s wardrobe all at once, you might think that she found her silhouette and fabrics at a very early age. She knew how to accentuate her body the way that she wanted, and she immediately knew how to capitalize on her shape. Glicker would always look for that secret nod or wink to give the costumes even more flair.
“One one hand, I let the research drive me, and there are moments where I can create with accuracy the look and feel of something iconic. Just as importantly, it was about understanding the feel of Angelyne as its own language to allow the fabric to expand into vocabulary. There is a retro sense of glamour and sexiness, and that is juxtaposed to a very contemporary sense of splashy, punk, spandex. But it’s always intense pink and intense black. It was always about trying to find a secret wink or Angelyne magic. The dress she wears for her ride with Jeff is a crushed pink velvet, and my favorite thing about it is there are teeny, pink-fused holograms of it. You think you are seeing her in one thing, but there is an intentional, secret sparkly. The most important thing in terms of the world of fabrics was being really transported. There was usually a bold element and a secret element to surprise you when you spent more time with her.”
One of the first times we see Angelyne in all red is when she has a brief interaction with Wendy Wallach before Angelyne goes to shoot Earth Girls Are Easy. It’s a little jarring to see Rossum in a different color, but it’s still romantic, youthful, and sexy. Rossum glows in that dress.
“It was inspired by a real outfit that Angelyne wore for one of her first movies. It was always a fun balance trying to find places where pink doesn’t exist just to give the audience a place for their eyes to rest or to give them something new. That dress is simple, but what I love about that red is that while it’s a departure, I chose a fabric that has a sparkle to it since I knew she was in the sun. She has a fairy quality since it shimmers. We called it the ruffle dress.”
Even with so many gorgeous, feminine pieces of clothing throughout Angelyne, Glicker knew what he would swipe from the set if he had the chance. I revealed that I wanted every button-up shirt worn by Tonatiuh Elizarraraz’s Andre. At the end of the series, Glicker dresses Rossum in a stunning showgirl outfit that shows us how Angelyne wants to present herself to the world.
“It’s a deep question, because when you are dressing a character, you are unlocking their truth. You are always trying to push away from your own objective point of view to get to a character’s authenticity. The outfit that I would keep as a memento is the showgirl dress that Angelyne descends on the pink moon on. It’s a showgirl bodysuit in what I’m calling fleshy neutral silver. When she descends on the moon, she is wearing mirrored, 11-inch platform heels. We knew that she was descending so we mirrored them. She is a goddess being born to the world, and she is stripped of her artifice. She shimmers because of her beauty. Even though it’s very elaborate, Angelyne is in her purest form, and she views herself as a gift to everyone.”
Angelyne is streaming now on Peacock.