Speaking to Popsugar, Eyrich explained how Ryan Murphy's vision for the film came from the eccentric colour palette of the logo.
"Ryan Murphy always has a vision and a tone that he wants to represent in the show or film we're working on. For this one, he really loved the colour palette of the film logo. There was a raspberry pink and a really vivid green, purple, and an aqua turquoise colour. So that was kind of our overall colour palette," Eyrich explained.
In an interview with Refinery29, Eyrich also elaborated on how and why the costumes differentiated in colours between the Broadway group and the rest of the cast.
“[Murphy] talked about the feeling of a big Hollywood musical and bright colour palette of purples and pinks, aqua and greens [for the New Yorkers],” Eyrich revealed. “The rest was a neutral colour palette to show the difference between the glitz and glamour of Broadway and real life in the Midwest.”
WATCH BELOW: The Prom Trailer
The Sequinned Outfits From The Film Represented The Glitz And Glamour Of Broadway
Continuing on the Broadway theme, Murphy's idea for the foursome came from a vision he had of the group walking down a street in Manhattan, according to Eyrich.
"We had a big meeting in the beginning of filming, and [Ryan Murphy] just saw [the cast] walking down the street in Manhattan on Broadway in those flashy colours, all sparkly so it picked up the lights. All we had to do was figure out who was going to wear what colour so that they were coordinated," she revealed in an interview.
"With the overall umbrella of those four colours in mind, we implemented a plan with the principal characters," Eyrich admitted. Meryl Streep's character, Dee Dee, wore an outfit that was sequinned by hand from head to toe while Nicole Kidman's character, Angie, slipped into a dress that Eyrich found from a company in London. "It was so perfect, she walked right into it. The shoes had to all be custom-made because of the dance numbers, and in the rain, we had to make sure everyone was safe," she explained.
Dee Dee's Wardrobe Was Based On Icons Like Shirley MacLaine, Mitzi Gaynor And Lady Gaga
Meryl Streep's character, Dee Dee Allen, is a famous Broadway actress who hopes to revive her career by supporting Emma's fight for equality in Indiana. While she does reference her humble origins, she always embraces her fame and accomplishments when given the opportunity. Opening up about the creation of Dee, Eyrich explains how certain heavy-hitters were the inspiration behind the character.
Speaking to Refinery29, she revealed that “Dee Dee’s just a confident grand dame of the theah-tah.” She went on to explain how her “huge mood board” for Streep's character included some famous icons, such as Shirley MacLaine, Mitzi Gaynor and Lady Gaga.
“Ryan really wanted her to be bold and brassy, and just grander than she really is. Being kind of a washed-up theater actor, but she still has a lot of bravado.”
However, when it came to behind-the-scenes, Eyrich turned to Streep to help her create Dee Dee’s dramatic cape signature, which Murphy also famously loves. “Meryl loves to play with clothes, and comes into costume fittings just wanting to play,” Eyrich revealed. She also admitted that she custom-built half of Dee Dee’s wardrobe and elevated certain pieces with fur trims, fluttery feathers, tassels, and opulent embellishments.
The Rainbow Outfits In The Final Prom Scene Were More Intentional Than You Think
One of the most iconic musical moments in the entire film, the final dance number was riddled with symbolism and it's all thanks to Eyrich.
"Besides the cast being there, there were also two other big groups, including a full dance troupe that worked throughout the movie to train dancers. They all had to have a specific colour palette and sparkly outfits as well. And then you have all the speciality background roles that we had to dress. There were hundreds of people all coordinated at once in this final look. It was a puzzle—a big, sparkly, shiny puzzle," she told Popsugar.
As for each of the film's lead character, they each had their own fashion moment in the spotlight. "We knew Barry (James Corden) had to be in a silver tux with a teal-y turquoise accent because it was scripted and matched the tux he wore when he was in high school."
"Then, almost everyone else had a custom design except for Trent (Andrew Rannells). His aqua, shiny blue suit was purchased. Dee Dee (Meryl Streep) was in a Dolce & Gabbana top that was actually a dress we cut into a tunic. Then we made her custom capri pants to dance in. Angie (Nicole Kidman) wore a purchase, and Mr. Hawkins (Keegan Michael-Key) wore custom."
Emma's Style Was A Realistic Ode To Upcycling Fashion
Growing up with her grandmother in a small town in Indiana, Emma didn't grow up with a lot of luxury. Played by Jo Ellen Pellman, Emma can be seen sporting an array of ties, stripes, layered jewellery and collared shirts, with accents of mustard coming through.
To stay true to the roots of the character, Eyrich confirmed in an interview that most of Emma's wardrobe was thrifted. "Our inspiration was that because she was raised by her grandmother and they didn't have a lot, living in a small town in Indiana, she was a thrift-store girl. Jo Ellen loves to thrift—she's always shopping vintage clothes in her personal time—so she had a lot of input, and it was really fun working with her because we both share a love of vintage."
She continued: "She'd wear maybe a sweater from Urban Outfitters, but the shoes are from a thrift store and the shirt is also something she's had in the closet for a while. We wanted to keep it realistic, so we just kind of threw the odd pieces together to show that she didn't mind owning her unique self." However, Murphy had a special request when it came to her ties, asking Eyrich to mould her wardrobe as a modern-day Annie Hall, "mixing the boy with the girl in her own way."
And Her Neutral-Toned Wardrobe Was Intentional To Show Her Conservative Side
For those paying close attention, you would have noticed that Mrs. Greene wore an incredible amount of pink. Confirming that the colour choice was intentional, Eyrich also admitted that it was implemented to show her conservative side.
"We had a colour palette for everybody," she revealed to Popsugar. "For Mrs. Greene, it was this blush tone—and just that polished, very put-together look. Her nails were always glossed, her purse matched her shoes, and she demanded that exact same perfectionism of her child, who tried to mimic her. So we had Alyssa in a lot of pink as well."
Mrs. Greene's Gucci Dress At The Inclusive Prom Represented Her Change Of Heart
And of course, Mrs. Greene's (Kerry Washington) acceptance of her daughter wasn't simply through her words, but was also present in her colour palette throughout the film. From her ode to neutrals, Mrs. Green turned up the final dance in a multi-coloured rainbow Gucci gown to show her support, Eyrich confirmed:
"What we did there was incorporate all of the colours into one dress like the Pride rainbow to represent the LGBTQ+ community."