Netflix’s new series Ratched which centers around the iconic nurse Mildred Ratched is a prequel to the movie “The One Who Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest”. The series stands out with its complex and tense storyline, as well as its strong costumes, vibrant color scale and reinterpretation of the 50s fashion trends. We asked Lou Eyrich, one of the architects of the characters’ signature styles, about the costume design process and their sources of inspiration for his show.
The “Yellow Suit” of Mildred is one of the key points of the show. How clearly was this costume determined when you received the scenario, and how did you find the right piece?
Ryan Murphy wanted Mildred to always be pulled together and stylish when in public. We wanted her to look polished and to stand out when arriving at Lucia Hospital, with the intention of being hired as a Nurse. The suit was custom made for Sarah Paulson and the bold color was chosen to both compliment and contrast the surroundings of the hospital.
The 50s is one of the most powerful decades of fashion. What kind of preparation process does it take to express this decade in such a fantastic way?
Ratched actually takes place in 1947. After WWII ended, there was a move away from the “make do and mend” necessity, and fashion was all about the “new”. We referenced a lot of movies made during this period, alongside massive research – to capture this new wave of fashion.
How much influence did you have of Cuckoo’s Nest while working on the costume?
Since Cuckoo’s Nest was a later decade and Ratched is a prequel to the movie, we did not reference it at all.
How would you describe the signature touch of Ratched’s style?
Strong shoulder & nipped-in waist. Bold colored accent scarves & accessories. Always buttoned up, well-tailored and well groomed.
Did working on the costume of a character that became iconic in cinema create extra stress?
Like mentioned above, we didn’t reference the character of Nurse Ratched from the movie, so luckily, it didn’t create that stress!
The character “Lenore Osgood” is the most colorful and glorious name of the series! What did you pay attention to while creating his wardrobe?
Ryan Murphy wanted Lenore to be a billionaire Heiress always dripping in diamonds, feathers & fur – even at home. Sharon wore the 1940’s silhouette so beautifully and carried it with both grace and confidence. We focused on strong color, accessories and her always matching attired monkey, Miss Petunia!