She feels that as viewers we are very familiar with the looks of the 1920s, 1930s and 1960s, for example, but when looking at period costumes from the 1800s we are often less familiar and as such , “It can be very difficult to feel that instinctual excitement. I am always absolutely faithful to the silhouette of an era and to the social consequences of each choice made. But, at the same time, I felt the need to filter our modern perception of this period into outfits, to inject our understanding of what is truly exciting. To prepare for L’Age d’Or, she studied the “structures, colors and art of the time, but it was about reconfiguring the colors and the geometry of the forms and taking what it was powerful at that time, that is to say the organic drapes and the small sizes”. and intense femininity. I wanted to take these things and play with them. Each costume is based on historical reality but everything is slightly enhanced to create exciting play.
Walicka-Maimone then says when designing outfits that she is influenced by both the character and the actor who plays them, sometimes having trouble separating the two. “We were very lucky to have this powerful cast of incredibly talented people who brought so much and I’m always driven by the characters – it’s my job to do that – but the actors who play them bring these incredible influences. I meet each of them separately and they still influence the character they embody and bring so much to the table. When you meet them, the drawings change a bit
bit. What I’m doing is just adding a skin to their representation. The films are extremely collaborative.
When asked if she has any particular favorite characters or outfits, Walicka-Maimone is reluctant to say so, only replying that she feels “just as excited about designing the minions as the main characters themselves.” themselves; men’s clothing had a classic, understated contrast to women’s extravagance, and servants were incredibly important to portray in the right way because they said so much about the social dynamics of the time – street vendors and passers-by – every person was important that ended up in front of the camera and every person received undivided attention, no matter how small their role. This methodology is very important and requires a lot of time and attention. I’m hesitant to choose a favorite because I was as obsessed with what the extras wore as I was with the main characters. From what we’ve seen of The Gilded Age, that attention to every detail has absolutely paid off.
The Gilded Age arrives on Sky Atlantic and the NOW streaming service on January 25.