The Costumes and Coats of ‘Daisy Jones & the Six’3 min read
The vibe for costumes in Amazon’s “Daisy Jones & the Six” ranges from boho chic to lots of denim and earthtones oozing ‘70s California vibes. Costume designer Denise Wingate spent many weekends scouring thrift shops and flea markets to build the wardrobe that consisted of over 1500 changes for the series based on the best-selling novel by Taylor Jenkins Reid.
Riley Keough stars as Daisy Jones, the lead singer of the rock band The Six, which is shown as it climbs the music charts. Showrunner Scott Neustadter wanted the visuals to look “realistic and not costumey,” says Wingate, who started by putting together individual mood boards for the principals.
She explains the ideas for each character, with authenticity being the key. “For keyboardist Karen Sirko (Suki Waterhouse), Karen was tougher and inspired by Patti Smith, Suzi Quatro and Chrissie Hynde. Camila (Camila Morrone) was her own separate animal. She was inspired by Ali McGraw and Bianca Jagger. But it was helpful to have the boards as a starting point to look at and say, ‘Maybe this character could look like this,’ and every actor brought their own personality into it.”
Meanwhile, Daisy’s style was inspired by Linda Ronstadt and Stevie Nicks.
For the Diamond Head Festival performance in episode four, which shows when the band really arrives on the scene, Wingate put Keough’s character in a flowy outfit. “When you look at someone in a fitting room, they’re standing up straight and they’re against a wall, but when they’re on stage twirling around, that’s another thing.” She adds, “We also started her off in cowboy boots because I had seen that Linda Ronstadt wore cowboy boots and short shorts and I loved that look. It was easy for Riley to move and cowboy boots looked really great on her.”
However, as the band’s success grows, Wingate transitions Daisy into “Stevie Nicks-inspired platforms. They looked amazing, but they were really hard to perform in. They were breaking and falling apart, and the heels were too high. So, Riley got to the point where she took them off and was singing barefoot. That’s something she brought to the character because she wanted to be able to move around.”
When Wingate watched the series, she was surprised all over again at the coats. “I didn’t even realize we had so many coats until I started watching it. I’m like, ‘Wow, we had some great coats.’” She teases, “I saved the good coats for last.”
The coats were inspired by photos from the era. “I saw a lot of stars like Brigitte Bardot, Patti Hansen or any of the Rolling Stone girls, they always had long Penny Lane style coats,” Wingate says referring to Kate Hudson’s iconic coat in “Almost Famous” with lush shearling collar and cuffs. “Not everyone could carry it off, but pairing that with the shorts and knee-high boots looked so good on Riley.”
Her search for perfect coats extended online. But it was a reluctant move. “I hate buying stuff online because you can’t see and feel it. Or sometimes items smell like mold,” she admits.
However, Wingate struck gold with the black fur-collared coat featured in episode 10. “I found it online at a shop in Paris, and so I took a risk on it. It’s pricey but it was gorgeous and it ended up being perfect. It was one of the first pieces I bought and I saved it for that moment,” she says.
Wingate also worked with Love Melody, a designer from the ’70s who worked with Elvis Presley. Melody’s recommendation came from Levi’s when she was searching for vintage and archival pieces. “They said I should call this woman who did really cool clothing from the ’70s and that she was the real deal. She asked me ‘Who’s in your show?’ and I said, ‘Riley Keough.’ She goes, ‘Oh, I made jumpsuits for Elvis.’ Isn’t that crazy?” Keough is Presley’s granddaughter.
Melody made two coats for Wingate that Keough wears, a rust leather piece and a denim leather patchwork coat. Says Wingate, “It’s a full circle moment, and I love stuff like that.”