Zac Posen Recreates Fashion of the Capote Era for Feud: Capote Vs. The Swans

2024-02-09 // LePodium.NET
Zac Posen brings back the fashion of the Capote era for the FX series Feud: Capote Vs. The Swans, creating stunning outfits for the characters based on extensive research and his own imagination.

In the FX series Feud: Capote Vs. The Swans, fashion designer Zac Posen has recreated the fashion of the Capote era for the characters portrayed by an all-star cast including Naomi Watts and Chloë Sevigny. Posen was inspired to take on the project by his friend Gus Van Sant, the director of the majority of the series. Initially, Posen planned to recreate the Charles James gowns worn at the Black and White Ball held by Capote in 1966, but the project eventually focused on Capote's unfinished novel Answered Prayers set in a later time period.

Posen's extensive research included studying photographs, illustrations, and texts from the era. He used this research to create boards for each character, taking into account their personalities and the competition between them. Posen had to use his imagination for some characters, such as Slim Keith, for whom no images from the event were found. With only four and a half weeks to create the outfits, Posen went on a "crazy swatching spree" to collect materials and textures. He even utilized the last remaining silk flower place in New York to find molds from that time period.

Posen constructed the outfits on mannequins sculpted to resemble each actress' body, building each character as if they were "evil aquatic birds." Show creator Ryan Murphy encouraged Posen to heighten and embellish the designs, giving him creative license to go beyond historical accuracy. Posen created unique outfits for each character, reflecting their personalities and styles. For example, for C. Z. Guest, he created a gown with 3-D flowers resembling equestrian prizes, paying homage to her as an equestrian and classicist. For Ann Woodward, a scandal-plagued character, he designed a psychedelic outfit with feathers and crystals to capture her Hollywood stardom and vulnerability.

Posen considered the overall fashion-as-competition element of the Capote era, creating dramatic and theatrical outfits. He paid special attention to each detail, down to the headpieces and accessories. The real highlight of the costumes, according to Posen, is Jessica Lange's portrayal of Truman Capote's mother, combining elements from different eras and representing the "black swan." Posen felt privileged to be able to theatrically costume Lange, creating surreal and ethereal designs.

Feud: Capote Vs. The Swans is not only a tribute to the fashion of a bygone era but also resonates with the present times. Posen believes that we are currently living in a time similar to 1966, with deep unrest and the rise of great wealth and self-made dynasties. Posen, who recently became The Gap's new EVP and creative director, has been exploring various creative pursuits, including producing and directing. His experience working on the series allowed him to feel deeply connected to the production and witness the magic of filmmaking.

Feud: Capote Vs. The Swans is now streaming via FX on Hulu.

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