Costume Designer Dan Lawson looks back on seven seasons of style hits on The Good Wife.
Although The Good Wife may have ended, its fashion will live on as a testament to the power of clothing. Costume Designer Dan Lawson spent seven seasons outfitting the show's characters played by the likes of Julianna Margulies and Christine Baranski. Now, Lawson is making the primetime show's clothing available at DC boutique Julia Farr, as well as turning his sartorial sights to comic-thriller BrainDead, a new 13-episode summer series airing June 13 on CBS.
We caught up with Lawson to talk about what it was like dressing the stars of The Good Wife and what he thinks of DC fashion.
The leading ladies of The Good Wife—Alicia Florrick (Margulies) and Diane Lockhart (Baranski)—each had their own distinct style on the show. How did you approach the sensibilities of their characters? DAN LAWSON: As a storyteller, it's important for me to delineate each character's look to help tell and propel the story forward. In the case of Alicia and Diane, I had two women who are actually quite different from one another, even though they are both lawyers. When I put together the costumes, I paid close attention to the unique qualities that helped separate Alicia and Diane. I've always said that Alicia had a classic but modern style while Diane was very much Madison Avenue meets Park Avenue. As I selected costumes and accessories, it became quite clear which piece was for which character. Then, there was the added layer of situation and emotion within each episode that also dictated what choices I made.
Your latest project is the new DC-based political sci-fi drama BrainDead. Can you tell us about the fashion? DL: We are creating a very well-dressed DC, emphasizing silhouettes set against the stunning limestone and marble monuments throughout the beautiful city. Of course business wear is prominent in the show, but the business wear is elegant and incredibly well tailored. My leading lady, played brilliantly by Mary Elizabeth Winstead, is a bit of an outsider in DC, so her wardrobe is more edgy and fashion forward. She definitely stands out against all the politicians.
Can you tell us a little about the collection you have available at DC boutique Julia Farr? DL: Both number35 and 35DL are incredibly important elements I used on The Good Wife and currently use on BrainDead. The elegance and high end style of number35 and 35DL makes them a must use for me. Some of the most popular looks on The Good Wife were from the brands, which I'm very proud of. Number35 and 35DL provide effortlessly chic looks that convey confidence, power, and femininity—perfect for the shows I have been working on! They are ideal for American businesswomen as well as women in general who are seeking a chic, elegant style for their wardrobe.
Would you say there are various regional fashions in the U.S.? How would you describe the women of DC and their style? DL: I definitely think there are regional fashions. The U.S. is huge and made up of so many different types of people and climates. That's one of the things that makes America so great—its diversity. I always think of DC women as being elegant and classic in their style—well-dressed, well-tailored, very tasteful.