Meredith Markworth-Pollack, the costume designer of The CW’s “Dynasty” reboot, which debuted Oct. 11, is honored to follow in the footsteps of Nolan Miller, who created memorable looks for the women on the original incarnation of the ABC primetime soap that conveyed power, wealth and glamour.
“His work on ‘Dynasty’ was iconic, and he was truly one of the greatest trendsetters of the ’80s,” Markworth-Pollack says. “I love the palettes he created for the characters, as well as the silhouettes.”
Krystle (Linda Evans) and Alexis (Joan Collins) were the foes — and fashion icons — of the original series. Today, Markworth-Pollack, who was costume designer on The CW’s historical fantasy series “Reign,” is dressing a new generation of rivals: Fallon (Elizabeth Gillies) and Cristal (Nathalie Kelley). Cristal weds Fallon’s father, Blake (Grant Show), in the series opener, a modern-day reimagining of the original, centered on the uber-wealthy Carrington clan.
Cristal’s style is feminine, organic and softer than Fallon’s; her fashion muse is Bianca Jagger, says Markworth-Pollack, who favors pieces from designers such as Tom Ford, Brandon Maxwell and Stella McCartney for the character. “The white suit is becoming her staple, and we also love to use hats on Cristal — wide brims and berets,” the designer says.
By contrast, Fallon’s fashion inspiration is model Gigi Hadid. Her style is louder and more outrageous than Cristal’s, and she wears a lot of Gucci as well as Marc Jacobs, Dolce & Gabbana, Thierry Mugler and Alexandre Vauthier. “She dresses for the moment and for herself,” Markworth-Pollack says. “Since she was born into the wealth, there’s a confidence in her bold choices that Cristal wouldn’t be comfortable with.”
The biggest challenge for Markworth-Pollack in dressing both women is in acquiring luxe looks on a TV series budget. “We have a budget that doesn’t even come close to what the real people would be spending, so I have to be resourceful,” she says.
We have a budget that doesn’t even come close to what the real people would be spending, so I have to be resourceful.”
The costume designer splurges on labels at high-end stores and online luxury retailers Farfetch and Moda Operandi, but she also finds deals at consignment stores in Atlanta, where “Dynasty” is set and shot, as well as discount designer stores such as Neiman Marcus Last Call, Saks Off 5th and Outnet.com — Net-a-Porter’s outlet site. “I love a good hunt,” Markworth-Pollack says of her bargain shopping.
She also sources pieces from vintage dealers around the country. One of the designer’s greatest joys is making unique, custom clothes. “After coming off ‘Reign’ for four seasons, where we made everything, I knew I wanted to work on a show where I could still build pieces,” says the designer, whose creations for “Dynasty” include a memorable gown Fallon wears to an ’80s-themed party.
Markworth-Pollack works closely with Gillies and Kelley to ensure they feel comfortable in their alter egos’ wardrobes. “My relationship with the actors I’m working with is very important to me,” she says. “I see it as a collaboration.”