Cue the theme song intro — you know what I'm talking about — because "Beverly Hills, 90210" is coming back. Well, kind of. Because the much-anticipated "BH90210" stars the lead actors (except for Luke Perry, who tragically passed away in March) playing versions of themselves as they reunite nearly two decades later to plan a screen-within-a-screen revival of their hit '90s series.
The original "Beverly Hills, 90210" is considered the OG of aspirational teen shows. As the well-dressed predecessor of "The O.C." and the soon-to-be rebooted "Gossip Girl," the series featured fashion that was just as compelling as the envelope-pushing and addictive plotlines. Midwest transplant Brenda Walsh (Shannen Doherty) took sartorial risks in vintage menswear-infused outfits that were experimental and edgy for the era, Queen Bee Kelly Taylor's (Jennie Garth) ruled in her bright power-suits and matched sets and chaste Donna Martin (Tori Spelling) long held ambitions to become a fashion designer — even before she almost didn't graduate.
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Plus, the actors in real life are legit Hollywood bold names with their own personal style. In other words, costume designing the revival, made for a challenging, exciting and nostalgic — if not surreal — task.
"I was with Jason Priestley [who played Brandon Walsh] and I was rolling his T-shirt up on his sleeve. I was like, 'OK, I just need to say this, Jason: This is so weird!'" exclaims Mandi Line, over the phone. She joined the show after the pilot (designed by Seth Chernoff) to give the revival-within-a-revival her signature touch. You may be familiar with her fabulously extra (and definitely not high-school appropriate) pre-time jump outfits on another popular teen series, "Pretty Little Liars."
As already seen on Instagram, the "90210" alum will be revisiting circa-'90s iconic looks in some sort of capacity (and at what looks like Peach Pit?!), which required some creativity and resourcefulness on Line's part.
"Here's the scary thing: I'm actually dressing the person," she explains. "They're nice as they can be, but if it's not right, they get to look at the item and say, 'This was not it. I never wore this' because they're the experts." So instead of shopping similar pieces from the era, she selected specific outfits actually worn on the show to replicate. For Kelly's Betsey Johnson-esque baby doll dress, Line found near-identical fabric and, through a trial-and-error method, recreated Donna's techno-color look by drawing lip shapes onto bright iron-on bright fabric to sew onto the LBD.
"They got to set and the moment was so cool. They looked at each other and said, verbatim, 'Wow, I am tripping out,'" laughs Line, adding: "Everyone else got inspired. So Tori could say to the makeup artist, 'Oh my god, with this dress, I wore pink lipstick!' It took them back, too."
Although, sadly, a blue striped '90s jacket on Brian Austin Green playing forever freshman and then-aspiring DJ, David Silver, didn't end up on screen. "He's sexier in a T-shirt," explains Line, about the director's last minute decision. "So you'll see Brian in a white Hanes T-shirt. I'm gonna die."
As for the 2019 aesthetics of Kelly, Donna, Andrea, Brenda, Brandon, David and Steve, you'll just have to watch the show to find out. But, in the meantime, Line found time during a quick weekend break in Los Angeles to give a preview of the fabulous "BH90210" fashion that the cast will wear as "heightened" versions of their real and also fabulous selves.
"Jennie Garth" (Jennie Garth)
For foundational inspiration for the alterna-versions of the cast, Line referenced the production department's vision of the fictional and sure-to-be palatial Beverly Hills — by way of Vancouver, where the revival filmed — homes. But for Garth, she looked even further to another West Coast real estate fixation.
"I really jumped off of 'Big Little Lies' with her," says Line, or more specifically the power-player Renata, as played by the inimitable Laura Dern. "Jennie wears really sophisticated, high-end, gorgeous and professional pieces." Line focused on clean and elegant lines, but sans collars because that neckline makes Garth "look too business-y." Highlights include the above navy and leopard print wrap dress by Cushnie, plus high-waisted Victoria Beckham trousers and pieces from Brandon Maxwell, Johanna Ortiz and Istanbul-based Raisa & Vanessa.
Although, IRL, Garth prefers a more relaxed SoCal aesthetic of "jeans, T-shirts, sweats and flip flops." "She even said, 'This really steps up my game,'" says Line.
"Tori Spelling" (Tori Spelling)
"She's the Aria of '90210,'" says Line, comparing the "BH90210" Spelling to the feather earring-wearing, arty-boho character played by Lucy Hale in "PLL." Of course, fans of Lifetime's "True Tori" and Oxygen's "Tori & Dean" franchise know that the Hollywood scion already enjoys an existence literally made for TV.
"It's her life heightened," adds Line, who fittingly dressed Spelling in an eclectic mix of high-end designer, fast fashion and vintage store finds. "Her character puts things together so goofy and fucking loud."
Look out for a polka dot Dolce & Gabbana vest paired with a $15 thrifted lemon and leaf-printed skirt with Steve Madden shoes and a '70s dress with a Givenchy belt and Jimmy Choo heels. For a quirky profesh look in episode two, Spelling wears a Veronica Beard blazer jacket, a BCBG skirt and white Alexander McQueen boots, while above she wears a Western-tip collar and distressed tulle cap-sleeve blouse with suspenders and a mini-skirt with Stuart Weitzman knee-high boots — and lounging at the Peach Pit After Dark, naturally.
"She is so random," says Line. "People are going to be like what the fuck is she wearing?"
"Shannen Doherty" (Shannen Doherty)
"Somehow, Mandi Line got in Shannen Doherty's body and we split one mind," explains the costume designer of the duo's collaboration to create the on-screen "Shannen Doherty." "Her outfits are half her and half me. We come up with them in the fittings."
While Line prepares outfits for the rest of the cast, she and Doherty "organically" mind-meld during fittings to devise Doherty's eclectic and designer-stacked looks. "It's very rock 'n' roll, very high-end," says Line. "To the point, I was like, I don't know if I'll have a job tomorrow." She also leaves extensive jewelry options in Doherty's trailer for the actress to "pile on" whatever catches her eye. "I told her she's going to get a design credit for styling her jewelry," adds Line.
Doherty's wardrobe includes brands like R13, Nili Lotan and Alessandra Rich. The two also styled a men's Saint Laurent blazer styled into a chic belted-mini-dress (above). While Line didn't design the white meditation pajamas 'fit seen in the trailer, she did put her own twist on a Shannen Doherty-zen look. "I just put her in a full head-to-toe vintage sequin kimono for one scene of meditation," says Line.
"Brian Austin Green" (Brian Austin Green)
While Brian Austin Green is married to actress Megan Fox in real life, on the show he has a whole different setup as a stay-at-home dad to three kids. His on-screen wife Shay (La La Anthony) is the family breadwinner with her "hip hop/pop artist" income, per Deadline.
"If you were married to [Shay], she would dress you, so that's where I came from. I dressed him like his wife," says Line. "La La's clothes are off the hook."
So Green's "risk-taking, loud, printed" and "high-end skater"-influenced wardrobe includes a "lightning bolt shirt with a red leather tie, a vest and joggers" for a faux industry Upfronts moment, a spike-covered John Varvatos short-sleeve shirt with Jack & Jones jeans and Chucks (above with Doherty and crew) and an over-the-top flame-covered shirt.
"He's like, 'what is this?'" Line laughs. "He has jeans called 'Skittles' because it looks like you washed them with Skittles." But from the sounds of it, the real Green is totally game for whatever bonkers look the costume team presents to him. "We all fight over him, every day he comes in," Line says, about his visits to the wardrobe trailer. "He is your fashionista of the guys."
"Ian Ziering" (Ian Ziering)
Speaking of, the "Sharknado" franchise star and former West Beverly bro Steve Sanders, Ian Ziering, actually founded a menswear line in 2014 — inspired by his stint on the beginning of the end of American democracy, "The Celebrity Apprentice."
"Oh my god, he's a fucking diva," jokes Line, "But I have fallen in love with him because he knows clothes so well." She dresses Ziering in To Boot New York and "overpriced John Varvatos" boots, Paige jeans and "a lot of Zegna." "We just bought this $3,000 jacket for him," says Line.
From the sound of things, Ziering's specific suiting needs may be eating into Doherty's Saint Laurent budget. "They call him 'Two-Suits Ian' because his waist is so small that his buff shoulders do not fit the pants that come with the same size suit," says Line. "So we have to buy two suits for him to get him in one look."
"Gabrielle Carteris" (Gabrielle Carteris)
Gabrielle Carteris channels the zeal of West Beverly valedictorian Andrea Zuckerman in real life, as the actress currently serves as President of SAG-AFTRA. So clearly, the on-screen portrayal of a Hollywood power player called for an ultra-chic and professional wardrobe.
"She's all about the jackets — very simple, very sleek — but way different than Jennie," says Line. "She's more structured for sure." In the above video, she wears an RtA jacket over a Rag & Bone turtleneck and jeans with (unseen) Alexander McQueen boots.
The majority of Carteris's costumes, which include such labels as Max Mara, Theory, Aritzia's Wilfred, Judith and Charles and Atoir, were "reconstructed and redesigned" to fit her petite 5'1" frame. "She is 5'11" in her mind because everything she likes is for a tall person," says Line.
"Jason Priestley" (Jason Priestley)
"Pretty much I made all the guys a version of somebody I want to date," admits Line, about Priestley's "very edgy" casual looks, which include "a lot of leather jackets, T-shirts, dope motorcycle combat boots" and labels, including All Saints, John Varvatos and Jack & Jones for jeans. "He's got a little James Dean thing going on," says Line.
But wait. The James Dean reference immediately brings the much-missed Perry as his iconic Dylan McKay, the bad boy with a heart of gold, to mind — instead of Priestley's idealistic and student paper editor Brandon Walsh. But "[Priestley] schooled me," says Line. "If you look back, it was Dylan, but then Brandon kind of did it, too."
The longtime actor and director also dresses up for more formal and professional occasions in suiting by Hugo Boss with crisp white Kiton shirts. "I jump off George Clooney and Brad Pitt for him: very classic," adds Line. "He doesn't do any ties."
"BH90210" premieres at 9 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 7 on Fox. Follow Mandi Line on Instagram @mandiline.
Homepage image of cast, with costume design by Seth Chernoff: Shane Harvey/FOX