'666 Park Avenue': Vanessa Williams sells her soul for high fashion
Eclectic yet still on trend.
Costume designer Caroline Duncan couldn't have asked for better casting than Vanessa Williams as the rich and mysterious Olivia Doran in ABC's new supernatural drama "666 Park Avenue."
"What I love about the character Olivia for Vanessa is that she is very moneyed and comes from a wealthy background so obviously has access to high fashion elegance," Duncan tells Zap2it. "She is very chic and subtle, with architectural lines and beautiful, feminine jewelry."
The softer silhouette allows Duncan to push the envelope in ways that appear timeless and iconic.
"We've had fun with trends such as peplums, leather and lace interwoven with silk and brocade, and baroque fabrics that are really in," she says. "We just play -- she'll mix leather with fur. Olivia has sophistication and ease because she grew up with these luxurious things and has the confidence to put them together."
Olivia wears the kind of high-end fashion that most women can only dream of, including Fendi, Alexander McQueen, J. Mendel, Carlos Miele and Carmen Marc Valvo.
"Vanessa has exquisite taste, and everybody in the fashion world loves her," Duncan says. "She has the kind of rare pull where people just want her to wear their wares. What's great about it in this context is some of the things that we find that way are rare and special pieces you won't find in Saks. She probably has pieces built for her overseas."
Here are some examples of Olivia's eclectic style:
"The dress is Roland Mouret, those are Sergio Rossi shoes, and her jewelry is Judith Ripka. We work with Ripka a lot to outfit her in gorgeous diamonds, sapphires. She always wears precious and semiprecious stones. She wore this dress in the pilot, and there is a really cool asymmetry to it. It's a gorgeous fit and has this really great architecture to it. It's got an artistic flair because Olivia has a strong affiliation with the arts on the show -- she is a strong supporter of the symphony and ballet and opera. The black patent leather platforms are classic -- every girl should have a nice black patent shoe."
"The purple dress is Yves Saint Laurent. It is just a beautiful crepe wool dress, and we paired it with Judith Ripka cut sapphires. ... Vanessa is blessed with an amazing physique, so she is very easy to dress in that respect. Every color and cut looks great on her. We like to have really open necklines on Vanessa because she has such an amazing neck and decolletage."
"This white dress by Victoria Beckham is very fitted with a fantastic exposed zipper in the back. It's more sophisticated than a plain white sheath dress with the peekaboo element, something you aren't able to look away from, running up the back of it. That episode centered on a lot of grief and we made a conscious decision to put her in white in opposition of it. The jewelry again is Judith Ripka."
"She looks like a Golden Globe statue here. This dress is a gorgeous very deep green tinged with blue. It's J. Mendel, and it's paired with jewelry by Judith Ripka and a belt that is encrusted with rocks, crystals and cut mirrors by Carlos Miele. This was a high-end black tie party and I wanted her in a really feminine classic Grecian silhouette that felt fresh and new. A traditional silhouette in a dark saturated color was how we accomplished that. The clutch is VPL."
Photo/Video credit: ABC
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