‘Pose’ Team Reflects on Creating a Fairy Tale for a Flashback Ball

·4-min read

In the third episode of the third and final season of “Pose,” the FX period drama goes back to the beginning to show off the first ball performance by Elektra’s (Dominique Jackson) new House of Abundance. The theme was “once upon a time,” but the house that appears before Abundance is more “broke-down princesses” than fairytale couture, as hair department head Barry Lee Moe puts it. Conversely, everyone in Elektra’s family comes more than correct, from Candy’s (Angelica Ross) pillow headdress for Sleeping Beauty to Blanca’s (Mj Rodriguez) fairest one of them all, aka Snow White to Elektra’s Evil Queen. It was 10s across the board, naturally, and a statement on what such icons of beauty could and should look like.

“There was an order we wanted them to be introduced [in] and a particular emotional experience that we wanted the audience to have for each entrance. It was all scripted, but the final experience is always a collaboration between the departments and the actors,” says executive producer and episode co-writer Brad Falchuk.

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Twiggy Pucci Garçon
Choreographer
“This scene articulates what we would consider a ballroom production, which is additional props [and] people interacting with one another, which doesn’t happen during an average category. We gather from the looks what we cannot do, and that gives me a sense of direction for what moves to do smaller or larger. I’ll use Candy for an example: Candy has the bed piece with the pillow, but also the category is face. And this is perfect because it frames her face and [allows] her to play into the role that is Sleeping Beauty: You see her yawning; you see her selling bits and pieces of the ballroom face, which are lips, teeth, eyes. But it is also your job to get the ballroom to react, so you see that piece where she slowly steps forward really dramatically, that was choreo, because I couldn’t have a lot of motion, given what she has on.”

Analucia McGorty
Costume designer
“It was scripted that Candy would have a bed be part of the costume, and of course my first thought was Carol Burnett; it was a real curtains moment. So we were talking about how that could work because we always want to make sure that nothing we do inhibits the actor; it has to be something where she doesn’t have to worry about it falling. Similarly, when we were talking to Dominique about the Evil Queen, Dominique was talking about the movement she wanted: she wanted to have a reveal of her face because it’s the first time that the ballroom is seeing them as a house. We created these kimono sleeves and we wanted that pop of red that feels like a crimson, evil moment where she comes floating in. It was just a full fantasy, but it has to also somewhat feel realistic — like they could have made those things.”

Sherri Berman Lawrence
Makeup department head
“For Elektra, we wanted her face to basically be a crown jewel, so we used a lot of jewel tones, vibrant pantograph eyeshadows on her and made her eyebrows really exaggerated and different shaped on each side with Swarovski crystals. Angel had that really gothic Little Red Riding Hood costume. When she walks out she has her hood down, and when she lifts it up she has almost a half-mask with the Swarovski crystals and porcelain and metals and actual leaves. And Blanca as Snow White had the ribbon in her hair with butterflies coming out like they were flying out of her head, so her face applique was a trail of butterflies and flowers going up into her hairline, almost as if they’re releasing out of her head. We play off of each other and connect it all. You haven’t really seen a Snow White as a woman of color, so it was important for us not to just copy images but to make them beautiful and ethereal and fantastical.”

Barry Lee Moe
Hair department head
“Lulu’s Rapunzel look was by far my favorite and most complicated to put together. The background supervisors, Lisa Thomas and Rob Harmon, were able to create a 50-foot braid with 20 packs of braiding hair. On the morning of the actual filming day, I attached as many flowers, ribbons, butterflies and sparkles as possible with my trusty glue gun. Her hairstylist, Timothy Harvey, created a beautiful updo that was swept into a large French braid in the back. I then braided a large, stainless steel U-ring into the nape of the wig and sewed it down to create a strong base for the braid. It probably weighed 15-20 lbs. Once on set, I attached the braid to the hardware already sewn in the wig with a large bolt that secured it. I then incorporated the hair from her wig into long braid. I learned early on in my career that it’s essential to carry crafting supplies in your kit. You never know when you might need a glue gun.”

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