Emmys: How David Bowie Inspired 'Vinyl's' '70s-Era Glam Looks

7:30 AM 8/22/2016

by Cathy Whitlock

Hair and makeup department heads from 'The Knick,' 'Masters of Sex' and more nominated series reveal the tricks they used to create faces from the past.

Vinyl S01E06 David Bowie Still - Publicity - H 2016
Courtesy of HBO

Vinyl S01E06 David Bowie Still - Publicity - H 2016

  • The Knick (Cinemax)

    "Steven Soderbergh uses such minimal light that we had to compensate more in color than in the amount of makeup we put on. I had my group copy portraits by the American Realists. They tried to learn the color the artists used to compensate for the darkness and applied that to the makeup for the women."

  • The People v O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story (FX)

    "The People v. O.J. Simpson had such a vast cast. It was important that everything looked similar to the people they were portraying without it being distracting and taking the viewers away from the famous actors portraying the real people. There is a very fine line stepping into real peoples’ actual look, so nothing was over the top. MAC Cosmetics contacted us and sent the colors from their collection from 1992 to 1994, which were brown-based lipsticks, eyes shadows and blushes. The colors didn’t translate well to HD cameras, which weren't around in the ‘90s, so we had to adjust."

  • American Horror Story (FX)

    "Every year is different, with new fresh ideas. One of the most challenging things was that Sarah Paulson was playing both Sally on AHS and Marcia Clark on The People v. O.J. Simpson at the same time Sometimes she would show up with bruises [from AHS that had to be covered for O.J.]. Her vampire AHS character was directly influenced by Courtney Love and the grunge period. I also wanted to her be high-fashion. She always looked as if she was crying all the time so we smudged her eye makeup. Vampires are cool and iconic and I didn’t want to copy anything or be too heavy-hitting."

  • Vinyl (HBO)

    "We did a lot of glam rockers like David Bowie, who was always into something artsy in terms of makeup. I was a fan of '70s music photographer Mick Rock, who did labels for Queen and took all these amazing photos of musicians performing onstage, and used that as a reference. Olivia Wilde’s character was a big Warhol '60s girl and a responsible Connecticut mom. I looked at Jean Shrimpton and a very young Lauren Hutton [for inspiration]. We chose a sophisticated color palette, which included every color except pinks and purples since they felt too much like the '80s and '90s."

  • Masters of Sex (Showtime)

    "For research, I looked at Barbra Streisand for Betty's [Annaleigh Ashford] little bob. Brigitte Bardot, Ann-Margret and Life magazine were my go-to's for background characters, along with old Simplicity pattern books. They had great drawings of hairstyles."

  • All the Way (HBO)

    "Bryan Cranston's look was directed by the overall silhouette of scale of Lyndon B. Johnson. All of LBJ's features were big — his nose, chin, shoulders and ears. He basically had a square head so we had to take out 50 percent of Bryan Cranston's hair. Melissa Leo [Lady Bird Johnson] is such an organic actress and really wants to live with parallel, so we ended up coloring and cutting her hair. Jackie O. was so iconic and fashion-forward in the White House. Lady Bird was always secondary to her husband; by the time she is the Lady Bird that we know, her hair is quite big and became a big old helmut. I actually got to speak to her original hairdresser in Texas, who gave me a little guidance as to what she was like."

  • The People v O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story (FX)

    "The biggest challenge was to not make the hair a parody and to blend the actor with their character in way that would make it super believable to the audiences while staying respectable to the horrible story we were telling — getting everything as right as possible. I was lucky enough to have tons of research and such a collaborative process with Sarah Paulson [who played Marcia Clark] we really dug into the looks together and it was helpful for me to get it from her perspective. We tried to get [Clark’s perm] as close as possible in doing the really tiny curly waves. The wigs were all hand-done and [our wigmaker] had to do each individual curl and it took hours. The moment when Marcia walks in to the courtroom [after the hair salon visit] is heartbreaking, yet so exciting to see we got it right. It's a really terrible moment of humiliation for her because of the [curly] hairstyle. We wanted to make sure it’s as truthful as possible without commenting on the look. In the end, Sarah wore four wigs throughout out the show."