How Dynasty’s Costume Designer Conjures the 1980s

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Photo: Mark Hill/Mark Hill/The CW

Could there be a more appropriate time to bring back the over-the-top ’80s soap opera Dynasty? Sure, the American public has its own power-hungry family dynasty at the wheel, but at least we’ve got a taste of escapism thanks to the Colbys and Carringtons, who are back on the CW as a younger, fresher, but no less brash crew. Of course, it wouldn’t be Dynasty without iconic outfits drawing inspiration from the best of ’80s fashion, and for that we have to thank designer Meredith Markworth-Pollack.

Markworth-Pollack, whose previous work includes Reign and Hart of Dixie, worked closely with co-stars Elizabeth Gillies (Fallon Carrington) and Nathalie Kelley (Cristal Flores) on their characters’ specific looks, which run the gamut from power suits to jumpers and back again. Markworth-Pollack’s work pays homage to the original Dynasty costume designer, the late Nolan Miller, while putting a 21st-century spin on the iconic TV wardrobe.

“The two female characters are so different, so we’re really setting up these two different stories, these two different worlds,” Markworth-Pollack told the Cut. “Fallon is bolder. She’s less afraid because she’s born into this money and therefore has the liberty to be many different things,” she explained. Cristal, on the other hand, is “a little bit older. She’s a working woman, so she’s more aware of her role in the family, of her role in society, and I think she puts more thought into what she wears. She’s slightly more refined in some ways than Fallon.”

Markworth-Pollack and Flores worked together on selecting Latinx designers specifically for Cristal, since that’s a choice her character would make. “It’s been a really fun experience so far, and I have really loved the actresses,” the designer said. “We’re all sharing references and talking through the characters together.” Click through the slideshow to hear about key costumes from the first five episodes.

Dynasty airs Wednesday nights on the CW at 9 p.m.

How Dynasty’s Costume Designer Conjures the 1980s