Have you noticed that Shane and Andrea are looking a lot sexier these days on ‘The Walking Dead’?
Maybe not, given all the gut-wrenching drama and intense zombie apocalypse action surrounding them. But it’s all part of Eulyn Womble’s job: to help deliver the themes and character development of AMC’s smash series through her work as costume designer.
She recently discussed her approach to dressing a few characters – living and dead – and how wardrobe affects the show overall.
After having Rick (Andrew Lincoln) ceremoniously put his sheriff’s shirt away in Season 2, Womble decided his look should convey “wisdom” and that there is further development to come. “We went for a very fitted look on him,” she says. “I can’t reveal too much, but he does have a signature jacket,” which she predicted will be as identifiable with him as the sheriff’s shirt.
Lori’s (Sarah Wayne Callies) pregnancy and the group’s move to Hershel’s farm dictated a change in wardrobe for Season 2. “She’s trying to assimilate and blend in with that very religious family,” Womble says. “I didn’t think tank tops with bra straps showing would be appropriate inside the house.”
But those who love looking at Callies’ shapely arms need not worry. Womble says she believes those tank tops will make a return.
“Everything just fits better, to show off his great body,” Womble says of Shane, played by Jon Bernthal. “I (also) changed his hat (to) a police cap like in the comics.”
ith Andrea (Laurie Holden), “I just wanted a hot, blond bombshell on the show. She is such a beautiful woman. I think it was fun that she could have evolved from all the flowery, cutesy shirts and the casual women’s outfits (in Season 1) into the – bam! – sexy fighter we saw this year.”
For Sophia (Madison Lintz), “I wanted her to look like a little girl. She’s always carrying the doll.” This makes the eventual discovery of her in Hershel’s barn all the more painful.
Carl’s (Chandler Riggs) wardrobe reflects a boy who has had to grow up too fast, and one still conflicted about the father figures in his life. “I dress him sometimes like Shane and sometimes like Rick,” Womble says. “(Sometimes) he’ll have Rick’s hat, and then he’ll have cargo pants like Shane. I’ve given him boots like Shane. He doesn’t really know who his hero is yet.”
Dressing the dead starts with getting pictures of all the zombie portrayers, along with their sizes and ages. Then there’s a discussion as to how long each has been dead, to determine the proper amount of rot to convey.
“I want the audience to smell how rotten and decayed the flesh is,” Womble says. “All zombie costumes are not created equally, as you find out every Halloween. Ours are really carefully done. … It’s not just a bunch of shredding on the tops of the pants and cutting holes; it’s a long process of aging the fabric.”