When costume designer Jill Ohanneson and “Revenge” creator Mike Kelley got together to discuss the wardrobe for the ABC series, they wanted to give each of the female leads a distinctive look.
Whereas Victoria Grayson (Madeleine Stowe) is the grand dame of the Hamptons and dresses for effect, Emily Thorne (Emily VanCamp) is new on the scene, and her clothes are more subtle.
“Emily is simple but elegant,” Ohanneson says, “and you never can quite pin her down. We want to kind of keep Emily clean so that nobody ever expects that she is doing what she is doing, so we put her in a lot of light colors.”
One of the main inspirations for Emily’s look is Grace Kelly, whose ladylike glamour remains in style years after her death.
“We sometimes do that silhouette but sometimes just the feel of Grace Kelly with the neckline,” she says. “Emily has a beautiful long neck and really nice shoulders, so we try to show those off as much as possible.”
A dressed-down Emily still is perfectly put together.
“Emily is always elegant even when she’s in shorts,” Ohanneson says. “It’s a pair of nicer shorts and a blouse. She is very feminine. Emily can wear a very fitted, tight, stretchy dress but also a gorgeous, floaty chiffon dress. It’s always beautiful, graceful fabric with good drape.”
Ohanneson uses a variety of high-end designers to dress Emily, including Jason Wu, Zac Posen, Azzedine Alaia, Michael Kors, Lela Rose, Fendi and Gucci.
“We’ve also used Oscar de la Renta twice, and Valentino,” she says. “The great thing is that these are designers who were around back in the day so they have designed for some of the most beautiful women in the world during a ladylike time.”