‘Minx’ Costume Designer Talks the Show’s Authentic ’70s Style
The 70s and 80s have a moment on the big screen or, more specifically, the computer screen. Over the past few months, nearly every major streaming service has touted a show based on one of Netflix’s two decades. Halston to Apple TV+ Physical, showing the many facets of late 20th-century American culture in a limited-edition format. For those nostalgic nostalgic for when they were young, or Zoomers convinced they were born in the wrong time, these shows offer an escapist look at the past. But for costume designer Beth Morgan, they created quite a problem.
When Morgan set out to dress the actors for his latest project, HBO Max’s Naughty, she found herself surrounded by others with similar goals. “As we were turning NaughtyI think there were four other ’70s-based shows in production,” Morgan said. W The fish out of water story follows a Vassar-trained feminist journalist who is forced to compromise her vision and values in order to see her magazine come to life. His dreams of creating the next M/s. magazine are crushed when she realizes that the only way to reach the top is to create a pleasure publication for women. Naughty is set in Los Angeles during the ERA-steeped 1970s, which placed it smack in the hot spot of today’s television and created a challenge for Morgan to find costumes no one else was using. “It’s necessary to make sure that your characters are individualistic and that you don’t put your leads into something that’s been in american unrest,” she says.
Fortunately, at this point in her 20-year career, Morgan is a pro. Thanks to her time in Netflix’s wardrobe department Shine, she has a lot of experience in finding authentic pieces for period comedies. But at the same time Glow’s 80s decor called for ruffles, spandex and leggings, Naughty is set in the days of bangs, bell bottoms and a whole lot of pussy-bow blouses.
“There’s something about wearing ’70s clothes that makes people feel more confident than other periods,” Morgan said. “I think we all have this idealized version of what people’s lives were like in the 70s and it seems like such a fun time. Everyone was doing drugs, living freely, listening to amazing music. And I think that when people wear the clothes of the era, they can’t help but feel what it represents.Below, Morgan breaks down the looks of the four main characters from Naughty and the stories behind some of his favorite parts on the show.
Ophelia Lovibond’s Joyce isn’t afraid of what she wants in the world. She wants gender equality, the making of her feminist magazine, and apparently, enough pussy-bow blouses to last a lifetime. (So far, only three episodes have aired, and we’ve barely seen Joyce in anything else.) While she may hold many of the same beliefs as her bra-burning feminist contemporaries, she’s not ready to rock the bell bottom jeans and tight t-shirts that became the uniform of many notable female voices during the decade.
“She’s not your typical feminist,” Morgan said of Joyce. “She is always sheltered and pretentious. She’s a bit stuck up and still a vassar girl.
With Joyce, Morgan wanted to portray the specter of feminism at the time. In many ways, the movement was very fractured, especially when it came to how women presented themselves. With her tailored suits and blouses, Joyce’s ideas of power are clearly still very ingrained in relation to men. Instead of creating a new type of professional dress code, she wants to join the already established one.
Her stuffy outfits also underscore the disparity between Joyce and her new employer. “Bottom Dollar is a very laid back place,” Morgan said of the porn publishing house portrayed on the show. “We wanted it to still feel like this wasn’t the house Joyce expected to end up in. She’s a real contrast to all the people there.
Don’t expect Joyce to stay in her costumes, though. Morgan explained that Joyce’s wardrobe helps illustrate “a trajectory” the reporter takes throughout the season. “She’s not able to relax on the show for long,” Morgan said, but as Joyce continues her journey, she begins to see some of the “flaws in her path,” her overuse of a rainbow -sky hopefully being one of them. .
If Joyce is addicted to pussy-bow blouses, entrepreneur Doug has a similar relationship with wild-print shirts. Normally Morgan prefers to hire a designer to create a costume, so it is original and has never been seen before. But the need to use authentic fabrics for the time made it impossible for Naughty. She went to save money, especially to her favorite destination, Recess, a consignment shop in La Brea.
“We had so much fun tracking them down,” Morgan said of the quest to dress Jake Johnson. “We always made sure that the jersey theme had meaning for his character.” Often, a break from programming is needed to truly appreciate Doug’s animated tops, which would stand out greatly in almost any other setting, but blend in with Bottom Dollar’s patterned employees.
While Johnson’s shirts were authentic, his own styling touches often weren’t, which concerned Morgan during filming. She pulled her pants up to where men wore them in the ’70s, several inches higher than the current custom. “He would walk away, put his hands in his pockets and pull his pants down because he hated him so badly,” Morgan recalled. “I was really worried that it would ruin the look and that I would tell him all the time, but I feel like that was overlooked.”
It’s possible the audience won’t notice the height of the pants because they’re too distracted by Doug’s onslaught of bling. “As the season progresses, [Johnson would] be like, ‘I need another bracelet. Can I get another ring? ” Morgan revealed. “At the end, he has four bracelets with seven rings.” And that’s not even mentioning the giant gold medallion that surrounds Doug’s next one throughout the series, a piece that Morgan put a lot of thought into.
“It was this genuine piece that we found spared and I decided his mother gave it to him,” Morgan said of the necklace, which features an angel, a hanging heart and an amethyst. “I like to think it’s a piece that has a lot of sentimental meaning for Doug.”
Then there’s Tina, Doug’s right-hand man who can even manage to wear more bosses than his boss. While Tina is clearly the basis of Bottom Dollar, an observant wallflower who keeps the whole operation together, her clothes are anything but muted.
Take the gold mesh dress she wore to the country club pitch meeting in episode two: “She can’t help but let her essence shine through in all those beautiful patterns she chooses and the amazing necklaces she chooses. ‘she wears,” Morgan said of Idara Victor’s Tina. . “We wanted to make sure his personality was fighting.” Even in the office, where Tina sticks to classic work silhouettes, she “has a touch of individuality” in the patterns and fabrics she chooses. She almost sits in the middle of Bambi and Joyce, showing her clear experience of walking the line of effortless professionalism and originality.
Speaking of Bambi, it’s interesting to look at his character compared to Joyce, because both women are so aware of the male gaze, albeit in very different ways. While Joyce works tirelessly (and fails in many ways) to free herself from it, Bambi doesn’t know how to define herself without her, which shows in the way she dresses and how she changes throughout. the season.
“I think she was really happy,” Morgan said of Jessica Lowe’s Bambi and her outlook on life at the start of the story. “And it wasn’t until Joyce came into her life that she considered other options.” Because of this, Morgan said Bambi “starts to dress more for herself than for men”. As the season continues, it doesn’t lose what makes it uniquely Bambi. “She always wants to be happy and loose in some way,” Morgan said. This led to the costume team having some real fun with the actress, putting her in lots of fringed and wraparound dresses, making her the true poster boy (or centerfold) of the 70s.