How do you tell Lady Gaga what to wear? For American Horror Story: Hotel, that was Lou Eyrich's job
'She’s got amazing taste, and she works with an incredible design team. I tried not to let it freak me out,' says award-winning costume designer for TV show, now in its fifth year
From her infamous meat dress she wore to the 2010 MTV Video Music Awards (it was made of raw beef) to the shiny red gloves she sported at the 2015 Oscars, Lady Gaga has always known how to make a fashion statement.
But on American Horror Story: Hotel, award-winning costume designer Lou Eyrich called the shots on Gaga’s garb.
The singer plays the well-dressed bloodsucking countess who owns the hotel on the fifth cycle of the Ryan Murphy-Brad Falchuck anthology series, which screens in Hong Kong on the FX channel (Now TV channel 524) at 10pm on Thursdays.
Eyrich says she had fun dressing the singer for the part.
“Lady Gaga is iconic, and she’s got amazing taste, and she works with an incredible design team. I tried not to let it freak me out because I’d heard wonderful things about her.
“I spoke with her on the phone first. She’d really done her homework – she’d watched a tonne of vampire movies. She already knew all her lines. She was so excited by the opportunity to test her acting chops. I was very impressed by that and that she had a very clear idea of who the Countess was. There was no friction like, ‘Oh, boy, this is going to be a challenge’. It was pretty much ‘OK, we are on the same page.’
“The whole thought process for the costumes came from the hotel setting, which has this very old Hollywood feel to it.
"And the countess has been alive for about 100 years, so we wanted to be able for her to span all decades easily with her outfits. Everything she wears is old but with a modern twist. The idea was old Hollywood glamour - ’30s and ’40s gowns, up-dos, diamonds. Just very elegant but at the same time eccentric. Like Gaga, the countess is also a fashion icon but in an old Hollywood way.”
Gaga even brought in items from her own fashion collection.
“She graciously brought in some beautiful pieces from her own archives, things we could never afford on our show. It’s been such a treat. There are a couple of original Alexander McQueen pieces that were made for her when he was still alive that I find the most breathtaking because he was my favourite designer.
“The highlight truly was the day she walked in to the first fitting. She came in just so absolutely normal and approachable, like a breath of fresh air with lots of ideas but yet such an open mind. She was willing to collaborate and discuss. It was a four- or five-hour fitting, and it was really fun.”