Costume Secrets Behind the Upcoming Seasons of 'Girls,' 'The Americans,' 'Broad City' and More

Plus, the Hitchcock-inspired style in James Franco's "11.22.63" and a new costume designer for "Daredevil."
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Sarah Gadon and James Franco in 11.22.63. Photo: Alex Dukay/Hulu

Sarah Gadon and James Franco in 11.22.63. Photo: Alex Dukay/Hulu

Fashion week is off and running, but don't forget that there's about to be plenty of brand new sartorial innovation and creativity on your small screens and you don't need an exclusive invitation to access it all. (In a couple of cases, you will need a streaming subscription, but technicalities.)

While you're enjoying the drama and dresses on "Downton Abbey," the time jumping on "Pretty Little Liars" and '90s throwback fashion on "The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story," make room on your viewing schedule for six more costume-y shows, including the dreamy '60s fashion in "11.22.63," more superhero suits in "Daredevil" and hipster wedding apparel on the penultimate season of "Girls." 

Read on for teasers from the costume designers themselves:

11.22.63

In the upcoming Hulu series based on the Stephen King novel of the same name, "11.22.63" stars James Franco as Jake Epping, a high school English teacher who travels back in time to stop the assassination of President John F. Kennedy (which took place on November, 22, 1963, see?). But don't expect perfectly replicated '50s and '60s style. "It’s our interpretation of what that era is, along with the characters," says Roland Sanchez. 

But, the costume designer enjoyed researching images from both eras, along with watching a slew of Alfred Hitchcock films. Sanchez referenced the classic "North by Northwest" in a finale scene featuring Franco in a rust colored suit and his librarian love interest Sadie Dunhill (Sarah Gadon) in a silvery blue gray suit. Hitchcock muses Tippi Hedren and Eva Marie Saint also inspired Sadie's strong-yet-feminine looks. "As [Sadie and Jake] cement their relationship you see it through their wardrobe," Sanchez hints. As you can imagine, the multi-hyphenate Franco was pretty game for anything costume-wise. "We never had to have that many fittings with him," he says. "Basically we would put things in his room and he'd [put them on and] walk onto the set. At the end, he's such a wonderful guy."

Follow Roland Sanchez on Twitter @rsdiablo"11.22.63" premieres on Monday, Feb. 15 on Hulu.

THE AMERICANS

Season four of the retro spy drama kicks off right where season three ended: April 1983, when President Reagan declared the Soviet Union "the evil empire" and Paige (Holly Taylor) ratted out her spy parents to her pastor. "Everyone’s in crisis and I think they feel that they’re fighting for their survival," says costume designer Jenny Gering, who established the looks and direction for season four. (She co-designed the first episode with Katie Irish, who took over for the rest of the season.) Hence, a darker, cooler palette for Elizabeth (Keri Russell) and more leather. "In regards to what's going on in her life, I think she needs to feel protected," Gering adds. "She's being, in some ways, attacked from all sides. These fabrics, these textiles are her armor." 

Last season, a morally conflicted Philip (Matthew Rhys) said he wanted out of the spy game. "He is craving normalcy, so he seems a bit more flustered and perhaps less focused," hints Gering. "I think it's possible that there could be some wardrobe slip ups with him." And we know those covert operative disguises are critical elements of Philip's missions. On screen, there's no break going from season three to four, but in real life, months had passed — presenting a new challenge to the costume designer. "Over the summer, Keidrich Sellati, who plays their son Henry, grew six inches," Gering laughs. "So that meant, of course, a totally new closet for the kid."

Follow Jenny Gering on Twitter @jennygering. "The Americans" season 4 premieres at 10 p.m. on Wednesday, March 16 on FX.

BROAD CITY

As New Yorkers Abbi (Abbi Jacobson) and Ilana (Ilana Glazer) continue adjusting to adulthood, in season three, they're finally getting a little bit of direction. Well, maybe. "Don't get me wrong," laughs costume designer Staci Greenbaum. "They still misstep and are exploring and figuring things out." But sartorially speaking, Kelly Ripa BFF Abbi ventures outside of her comfort zone to start "embracing her cooler femininity" with more color combinations and arty-flair. Weed enthusiast Ilana, on the other hand, will continue "playing up that fun factor," but in "an odd way." (Did we expect any less from a girl who pairs a fringed striped tank and biker shorts to rollerblade through Prospect Park?) "Maybe it's not as crazy loud," Greenbaum muses. "Well, no, that's not not true. It's totally crazy and loud."

Fans of the show will enjoy a special election year cameo from Hillary Rodham Clinton. While the Democratic presidential candidate wore her own clothes for her appearance on the show, her team did receive a request from Greenbaum. "I thought, what is more iconic than a colorful pantsuit?" she asks. Of course, Ilana — not expecting to meet Clinton — wasn't so buttoned up. "She's just in her very typical Ilana outfit," Greenbaum says about the already-Instagrammed crop top and vintage striped leggings ensemble.

Follow Staci Greenbaum on Twitter @staci_greenbaum"Broad City" season 3 premieres at 10 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 17 on Comedy Central.

DANCING WITH THE STARS

As the juggernaut celebrity dance competition show enters into its 22nd season, Daniela Gschwendtner is readying herself for the breakneck pace. The costume designer handles the outfits for all the female contestants and pro-dancers ("the men, I've delegated a bit now," she says) and the prep starts first thing Tuesday morning immediately after the weekly live competition and goes straight through Monday dress rehearsals. Then it happens all over again.

For the upcoming season, Gschwendtner is excited to incorporate more fashion influence into the dance costumes. The Pinterest addict keeps her eye on the latest from Elie Saab and Dior and wants to translate the lingerie trend from runway to dance floor with pieces from Agent Provocateur, Victoria's Secret and Wolford. "Sexy interesting bodices or basics that we can either put a panel in that stretches to make it danceable or rhinestone it," she explains. Originally the pro-dancers were skeptical about this fashion-forward dance-wear. "They were freaking out because it felt different from what they were used to and it took a little while for them to be like, 'I looked really great in it and it felt really great and I got so many compliments,'" says Gschwendtner. "Eventually we got more daring. Then we got better with making it workable, so we're at a point where we can do a lot more than we ever could." 

"Dancing With the Stars" season 22 premieres at 8 p.m. on Monday, March 21 on ABC.

DAREDEVIL

Despite debuting his crimson supersuit in the very last episode of season one, by season two, Matt Murdock (Charlie Cox) already required some tweaks to his Daredevil armor. "We made it more tactical and, I would say, a little bit more 'street' looking," says costume designer Lorraine Calvert, taking over from Stephanie Maslansky who designed season one (and fellow Defender, "Jessica Jones"). 

This season we're introduced to a new slate of nemeses: assassin Elektra Niatchos (Elodie Yung) and fellow vigilante The Punisher aka Frank Castle (Jon Bernthal). With Elektra, Calvert needed to contrast her elevated background from ex-boyfriend Matt's gritty Hell's Kitchen, but also allow for those kick-ass fight scenes, too. "She has many stages to her look: a stage where she first comes back on the scene and a stage where she has a fighting costume," Calvert teases. The costume designer enjoyed the challenge of finding the perfect marriage of stylistically pleasing and action-scene functional ensembles for the entire cast, including reinforced crotch — or "gusseted" — H&M MC Hammer-style sweatpants for the ninja army. "So they could move all over and go upside down and do flips and turn around and not break out the crotch of a pant," she explains. Cox, who wears lots of suits for courtroom scenes this season, also enjoyed the extra-support treatment. "In fact with Charlie, there is actually a scene where he does some of his stunt stuff and we actually gusseted one of his suits to help him do that," Calvert laughs. "So gussets were our best friend. Put it that way."

"Daredevil" season 2 premieres at 12:01 a.m. PST/3:01 a.m. EST on Friday, March 18 on Netflix.

GIRLS

Despite Desi's evident douchery, Marnie (Allison Williams) moves forward with an earthy-looking wedding day — as spoiled by the Internet and season five trailers. Although we always envisioned her in a classic Vera Wang tulle confection (or maybe custom Oscar de la Renta), costume designer Jenn Rogien and creator/star Lena Dunham decided to channel Marnie's character evolution with a "more relaxed, bohemian, indie music-inspired vibe." So the costume designer took inspiration from Etsy, vintage looks and slimmer-fit silhouettes from the '30s and Dunham's referral to Stone Fox Bride.

The costume designer also selected the bridesmaid dresses for Hannah (Dunham), Jessa (Jemima Kirke) and Shoshanna (Zosia Mamet) with the script in mind. "We knew that there was going to be some comedy with Hannah potentially mis-organizing, I'll say, the dress," laughs Rogien. She eventually landed on a convertible style in a mauve-y hue that "Marnie would have really liked" and offered the maximum opportunity for sartorial misinterpretations. (See: the twisty bandeau, belly-bearing iteration that Hannah wears while placating a sobbing and overly made-up Marnie in the trailer.) Also, "the big irony being Marnie is a staunch believer in bras and undergarments and, of course, that one dress disallowed for bras on any person who was wearing it," says Rogien.

This season, Hannah enjoys stable employment and a cute boyfriend named Fran and her wardrobe starts settling down, too. "We shied away from alterations that made the clothes look intentionally less good," explains Rogien. "So there were a few alterations this season that actually made clothes fit better than they did off the hanger, which is a first for her."

Follow Jenn Rogien on Twitter @jennrogien and Instagram at @jennrogien"Girls" season 5 premieres at 10 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 21 on HBO.