This Is the Deal With Lady Gaga's 'American Horror Story: Hotel' Glove
Countess Elizabeth is looking to kill, and she'll do it with her crystal-embellished mechanical hand. Here, designer Michael Schmidt details how the glove came together.
There's been nonstop buzz over Lady Gaga's onscreen debut on Ryan Murphy's American Horror Story: Hotel, and on Wednesday evening, viewers finally got a chance to see the pop star as the bloodthirsty hotel owner Countess Elizabeth (and that foursome). Much like Gaga herself, her character is dressed to kill — literally, at least on the show. And she does so with the help of an elaborate glove crafted by Emmy-nominated designer Michael Schmidt.
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"The Countess and her minions crave human blood and kill with the aid of this outrageous glove concealing a stiletto-like blade," explains Schmidt, who was approached by Murphy and the show's costume designer, Lou Eyrich, about creating "an elegant glove befitting a chic immortal, but also with a rock 'n' roll flair."
According to Schmidt, the glove described in the script was a nod to the famous gauntlet designed by Shaun Leane for Daphne Guinness.
"As a friend of Daphne's, I wanted to respect her individuality while striving to design something unique to Lady Gaga and her character," says Schmidt, who counts Madonna, Katy Perry, Rihanna and Janet Jackson among his clients. "The aesthetics notwithstanding — the 11,000 crystals and elaborate sterling silver scrollwork, all done in my studio — the standout feature is the concealed mechanism that allows the Countess to draw blood at the flick of a finger."
Schmidt — who has worked with Lady Gaga in the past, including designing the custom crystalized wheelchair in her "Paparazzi" video and the plastic bubble ensemble for her Rolling Stone cover — worked with Eyrich and the show's prop department to create a method where the blade appeared with "a subtle yet satisfying flick."
"The most exciting and challenging part about designing the mechanical hand was perfecting the internal mechanism that delivers the blade," says Schmidt, who noted that the glove took two months to develop in his downtown L.A. studio. "I wanted Gaga to be able to kill with nothing more than an elegant, albeit lethal gesture."
In addition to the glove, Schmidt's Swarovski-encrusted mesh pieces from his handcrafted jewelry collection are also seen on Gaga's Countess character. Said Schmidt: "I'm as excited as everyone to see where this remarkable cast and crew take us this season!"
Check out details to the glove below.
Photos courtesy of Michael Schmidt.