HomeTv“Poker Face” Natasha Lyonne Hair and Clothes
“Poker Face” Natasha Lyonne Hair and Clothes
February 4, 2023
Costume designer Trayce Gigi Field and Head of Hairdressing Marcel Dagenais talk about the iconic look of Lyonne’s main character, Charlie Cale.
The “Poker Face” stands in the middle of a colorful Venn diagram. This is a series of seven mysteries steeped in nostalgia in the tradition of the detective shows of the 70s and 80s, a road trip show with an ever-changing cast, and the star vehicle of Natasha Lyonne, who plays a human lie. Charlie Cale with a detective, and a distinctly modern black comedy that combines murder, class customs and touches of the absurd.
Lyonne’s “Poker Face” character, human lie detector Charlie Cale, is similarly eclectic. He is a fish out of water, but adapts to any situation; he’s the coolest person in every room he walks into, and yet often the person with the least power. Much of the character’s unique coolness comes from Lyonne’s performance, of course, but Charlie It looks like a bit like solving an accidental murder Mr. Timewith a style that is exactly where the contemporary overlaps with the timeless.
That’s exactly where ‘Poker Face’ lives, with a tone, structure and visual style that combines earlier bangers with a dry, post-ironic sense of humor, and it’s no wonder why. We follow Charlie episode after episode after a scam goes horribly wrong and Adrien Brody’s casino debacle makes him very unwelcome in the state of Nevada. A character like this can’t look any less iconic, even if it looks a little different during the journey.
The first step to accomplishing this mission is obviously getting Natasha Lyonne to play Charlie. But it took a lot of finesse, done very quickly by the show’s hair, makeup and costume departments, to set Charlie’s visual style. According to head of hairdressing Marcel Dagenais, the first and foremost challenge was to ensure that Charlie was visually distinct from Nadia, Lyonne’s character in “Russian Doll”.
“Rian always envisioned the character as blonde. So we went back to her blonde color, which was a feat because she had dyed her hair red for so long and it was such a tight turnaround to make her blonde. I think I had four hours. So my friend Joy and I hit the bleach and luckily the color came out,” Dagenais told IndieWire. “We wanted her to be this Nevada woman who lives in a trailer park and is a cocktail waitress. So we never tried to do anything super fancy,” Dagensais said.
From there, Charlie’s look became a cross-departmental collaboration to find the right reference points that are a little old, a little off the trend, but give Charlie the lived experience and sharp-eyed observation that continually helps him solve murders. “We really took a lot of references to Stevie Nicks from the late ’70s, early ’80s, where she had this mullet, between the curly and the straight texture, and it looked very raw and real. in a way, Dagenais said.
Costume designer Trayce Gigi Field approached Charlie’s clothes in the series with a slightly vintage feel, even if those choices are limited by what Field would justify keeping the cocktail waitress in her trunk or finding at a Goodwill. Interstate. “Natasha’s also a big fan of vintage, so her initial mood board was ’70s meets Western meets desert girl, you know?” Field told IndieWire. “So we tried to combine these three moods. I try to keep it interesting by mixing and matching pieces and you will see that there is some repetition (pieces) throughout. For me, it feels really real.”
Field’s choice of costumes also helped Dagenais nail Charlie’s signature hairstyle. “I really wanted to kind of throwback to the ’70s, especially with what Tracy was doing, acting out her designs and creating this ’70s character,” Dagensais said. “(The hairstyle) wasn’t completely locked and then I put in these extensions. I was like, “let me try this.” I threw them in. And Rian and Natasha both said, “Boom, that’s it.” That was the a-ha moment.”
Adjusting Charlie’s look is nowhere near the end of the work on “Poker Face,” however. Both Field and Dagenais enjoy working around Charlie, having to suggest a different part of the country geographically or even a different time period from episode to episode. “For me, it’s the backdrop, it’s your instant overview of where we are,” Field said of the series’ need to move as much as its protagonist. “So when we’re in Texas, you have to have some Western style(s), and when we were in Laughlin, it had to be touristy. I think that’s such an important part of visual storytelling.”
In the show’s fifth episode, set at a seniors’ center where the Charlies have found work as custodians, the costume and make-up departments felt bland, the cookie-cutter backdrops giving them permission to inject color and really have fun with the look. S. Epatha Merkerson, Judith Light, and the elderly who begin to die around them.
“It’s always fun to do flashbacks because you don’t really commit to an entire episode, so for example, I might make (S. Epatha Merkerson’s character’s afro) a little bigger than someone would naturally do, just because it’s a cartoon from the past, of a memory, so you can make things a little bigger or a little exaggerated,” Dagenais said. “If you ever go to one of those, like a nursing home, there’s always the ladies who still have it, you know?” The guys who have had the same clothes since the 60s or 70s but have the look. I feel like it’s a place to have fun,” Field said.