How the 'Lovecraft Country' Costumes Give an 'Exclamation Point' to the Thrilling Story

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Dayna Pink takes us through the costume highlights in the HBO series, including, Jurnee Smollett's Twitter-breaking fringe dress, and how they speak to American history.

Each episode of "Lovecraft Country" is almost like its own movie, with the thrilling sci-fi mythology threading throughout. But the day-to-day dangers and brutalities of racism are the real horror story in the Jordan Peele, J.J. Abrams and Misha Green adaptation of Matt Ruff's 2016 novel, which turned the works of known racist and anti-Semite H.P. Lovecraft on its head.

"With her, [her outfits is] exactly what she wants you to see her as," Pink note. "You don't know what she really is. But she's telling you who she wants you to think she is." Pink began designing the bombshell look based off Leti's scripted movements during the eventful evening, which started with close dancing with another partygoer . She found a "crazy French fabric" to drape for the scoop-neck bodice, then looked to a '50s-authentic long column gown for the audacious fringe.

But, of course, even Leti's functional outfits — like the pale yellow jumpsuit she wears in for the midnight mission in Boston, in episode four — aren't your standard utilitarian wear. Inspired by a similar vintage '50s piece, Pink custom-designed and made 10 versions of the zippered, short-sleeve boilersuit to account for all the action Leti, Tic and Montrose see during their search for the missing pages from the "Book of Names.

Ruby's vibrant, body-celebrating looks also contrast with the conventional '50s fit-and-flare black and white dress she dons later, after deciding to partake in William's — erm, Christina's — shape-shifting potion. "I enjoyed my entire day using the only currency that I needed: whiteness," as Ruby says to William, after her day of experiencing the privileges of being a white woman in Jim Crow America.

 

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bestofjurnee In the history of entertainment, nobody has looked better than jurneesmollett did in that green dress on that episode of Lovecraft Country

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