THE STAND COSTUMES
Costume Designer by Angelina Kekich
I was thrilled to get the news that I would be designing the costumes for CBS All Access’ new limited series “The Stand” based on Stephen King’s book. The 1970 s epic was to be jettisoned into the 21st Century. I immersed myself into King’s characters , studying the fine details of the novel and new scripts. By digging into each character’s psychological and physical state I was able to create costumes that were true to life as a worldwide Pandemic unfolded!
During the research process, we created 500 visual boards for the series, to produce a timeline for each of the complex characters, mapping out their personal journeys before and after Captain Trips struck. In addition, speciality looks were then developed with Illustrators to depict the more fantastical costumes seen in New Vegas. I drew upon a large department of talented costume technicians, pattern-makers, tailors, leather workers, milliners, beaders, dyers, breakdown artists that all worked together to bring the costumes from conceptual images to reality on screen.
In Episode 8 “The Stand,” developing Sin City / New Vegas was a challenge. The Dark Man’s Cathedral would be filled with images of wild and lustful debauchery. Outfits for the main cast and 500 background performers needed to be vibrant and eccentric to compliment the lavish black, red and gold sets.
I pulled together a small team of expert US costumers to powershop in the real Sin City and Los Angeles, bringing back to Vancouver a wide variety of vintage apparel from the 60s right up to early 2000s, including original Las Vegas Showgirl Costumes. Contemporary and Vintage were then mixed together creating a timeless quality.
The Dark Man / Randall Flagg (Alexander Skarsgard)
Flagg is seen in the iconic all-American denim look, drawn up on from The Stand’s original artwork..This denim look would play for much of the series. It was an outfit that would require as many as 30 multiples to accommodate the main cast, stunt performers, special effects and visual effects. The fitting room was filled with many options of denim jackets, jeans and shirts sourced in Los Angeles, NYC and Vancouver. The final choice was our first and favourite one, which was inspired by Wranglers 70’s collection. The costume was then tailored close to the body allowing his sexuality to emerge. The look was completed with a symbolic handcrafted gold and ruby encrusted “Scorpion”belt buckle. We applied many layers of aging and overdye to enrich the “Denim Tuxedo” reflecting his mysterious darkside.
Dark Man levitates, looking out over the nightlights of Vegas dressed in an elegant jacquard smoking jacket (homage to Old Vegas and Frank Sinatra) .This custom built look, complemented Skarsgard’s already imposing physique. Black underlayers made up of a modernized kimono silk shirt and draped wraparound pants helped to preserve Dark Man’s towering, elongated silhouette.
Dark Man’s Queen / Nadine (Amber Heard)
We see Nadine’s baby undulate violently beneath her sheer white dress. I sourced an amazing silk wedding dress from the Rue De Seine Bridal Collection. The gown was a translucent floral chevron silk lace wrap with a semi fitted bodice, dramatic bell sleeves that flared out from the elbow and a full skirt with a train that flowed like a waterfall. The piece was perfect. The dress was able to convert from ethereal bride to haggard overly pregnant woman fighting for her life against a demon growing inside her. The wedding dress served to amplify the visual images during Nadine’s dramatic suicide. The Queen descended, as if an angel falling from the heavens.
Rat Woman (Fiona Dourif)
Rat Woman is Dark Man’s ring mistress, a skilled manipulator, a chameleon who serves the dark side with intense orgasmic pleasure. Her costumes were inspired from images of provocative bondage, punk, goth, metal rock, all mixed in with elements from past centuries. In Episode 8 Rat Woman had four elaborate costumes made in-house.
Rat Woman as the Judge wears an embellished headdress. I took an original 1960s Native American show girl headdress from Las Vegas and converted it into a statement piece, adding rams horns, antlers, and a black feathered mohawk centered around a rat skull symbolizing death and immorality. Rat Woman’s accouterment further impresses us wearing a black leather one shouldered cone bra bustier, a leather waist cage, accessorized with a white leather jabot, distressed fishnet stockings and high gothic boots. She stands out, a powerful official able to provoke the shocking execution of a prisoner.
Rat Woman’s Nurse costume was multi-layered and composed of a full length black tulle dress with high ruffled collar, cinched in using a bold, black and white striped leather corset. The white pvc pinafore apron, blood red latex gloves and black goth nurse’s cap produced a liquid sheen as Rat Woman picked up a formidable syringe with menacing intent.
Trashcan Man (Ezra Miller)
Trashcan was infatuated with fire using fire to cause destruction. His purpose in life was to serve fire. His body was the womb allowing the flames to develop and grow. A stripped down, cobbled together, paramilitary style costume emerged. The core piece of Trash’s wardrobe was a custom built utility vest which housed a wide array of tools and equipment, each item considered carefully before being given a placement on the costume. Heavy duty knee and elbow pads, military parade boots and nomex briefs were a dded to complete his minimalist tactical gear. As much skin as possible was left uncovered exposing an endless cycle of burnt flesh and scarring.
Lloyd/Dark Man’s Right Hand Man (Nat Wolff) and Julie (Katherine McNamara)
Lloy and Julie are New Vegas’s modern - day Bonnie and Clyde! I collaborated with Wolff and McNamara to create their signature ruthless looks. In the courtroom, Lloyd is all Vegas business in a glossy two piece self-stripe suit with a bold greca key motif silk shirt ala Versace, flashy accessories and gaudy designer shoes completed his outlandish attire. New Vegas offered Julie unlimited shopping, materializing looks that said “Small Town Girl goes Vegas Glam.” In the Courtroom Julie is found casually draped in a 70s vintage fire gold fox fur coat, wearing a scarlet red sequined catsuit, delicate diamond choker cascading down from her neck to rest between her breasts, fingers bejewelled and playful leopard print stilettos.
During Larry and Ray’s Execution Lloyd wore a bespoke red leather suit inspired by Eddie Murphy in Raw, devilish red and gold ankle boots with over the top Hip Hop Bling. Julie presents herself as the TV Host appearing in a sexy black body-con dress with jacquard pattern (made in-house), finished off with stilettos and a diamond choker, confident in her ability to manipulate Lloyd and the raucous Vegas crowd.
A lot can be said by what characters choose to wear.
It was an honour to be a part of the newest telling of Stephen King’s The Stand.