There are good scripts. There are great story lines. There are gorgeous clothes. There are gratifying performances, there are genius actors and there is a gentleness to grieving. Red Tape had all of these and more. I would hope that next year at about this time Miss Kyra Sedgwick is nominated for and wins a Best Actress Emmy for this episode and Miss Mary McDonnell is nominated for and wins for Best Supporting Actress in a Drama, because after all TNT, The Closer and I know drama. Oh, and of course, I hope to be nominated and win an Emmy for, Best Costumes in a series...but since that will probably not happen, I'll be happy accepting the fact that Red Tape had some award winning work by actors, writers, director, crew and cat!
Mary McDonnell as Captain Rayder shows up at the crime scene in a Midnight Blue Loro Piana trench coat from Neiman Marcus. When she meets up with Deputy Chief Johnson at the hospital the sheer genius of her midnight blue coat next to Brenda's now legendary pink Ralph Lauren trench coat was well, a costume moment...divine, simply divine. Then to pair the yin and yang of Brenda and Rayder, the next morning, both in dresses, Rayder in a black Armani jacket over a black Armani crepe sheath dress and Brenda donning a black vintage Irene jacket that featured a stair-step collar, hard to see on the small screen and her seasons ago pink and cerise floral print wrap dress, so very Brenda compared to the severity of Rayder.
Andrew Lawrence who played Eric and was mostly seen in a hospital gown was a blast from my past. In 1995 I costumed Andrew as just a little guy in a movie of the week, Deadly Web that starred Andrew, GiGi Rice and Ted McGinley and now some 14 years later we work together again he as a young adult, me as an....adult adult!
Irene, should have been included in my opening paragraph, as in, there are glamorous designer suits from the 1940's by the gifted Irene, and this caramel wool jacket was magnificent in it's architecture and details. The collar was notched in the front and draped into a deep shawl collar in the back. The center front featured a dozen buttons and there were half moon pockets at the hips outlined in the same buttons and then when the lucky lady wearing the jacket turns to leave the room, there, on the two back vents, are more buttons. Irene knew how to make a woman look glorious entering a room and memorable when leaving, so that when Brenda comes and goes and sashays about the hospital or promenades through the murder room she is a vision wherever the camera catches her. A true Hollywood classic, thanks to my choice of Irene and Kyra's brilliance in wearing Irene. I had the tan, blue and yellow floral print skirt custom made with a flared and gusseted hem so that the whole movement was a symphony. I wanted Rayder to be the direct opposite of our southern belle Brenda and had her wear a Ralph Lauren navy pin stripe pants suit. I have always been respectful of Mr. Armani and Mr Lauren and sometimes their seasonal collections are hit or miss. When Miss McDonnell was cast and she and I chatted about her character she said Armani fit her well, and thank the gods of couture the Armani spring collection both in collezioni and couture were perfection in fabric and cut and Mary literally walked into the suits with little or no alterations!
So, since my world revolves around the esoteric elegance of a costume, often in the past, I was more concerned about the beauty of a look, a silhouette, a color or hue, but I have also liked to add the element of history or sentimentality to a costume change, and in this case, when I read the final scene and realized that Kitty was dying, I paused and thought and took a walk around the studio and pondered the importance of losing a central character, even one with four legs. My first dog, Little Prince, a silver poodle was 18 years old when he had to be put to sleep, out of duty and respect for a life of love, my next dog, a miniature schnauzer, Totie died of cancer. Then there was Blanche, a black and white parti poodle, almost 17 when she told me the day she needed to be helped to sleep away, you just know when you have to help them, just like Brenda and of course it's never easy, never ever, collectively as a crew we wept, for Kyra's brilliant performance that was from her heart and soul, but also because we've all been there in that very moment. I knew that with my sentimentality for the pilot skirt, this costume change had to have an importance, a reverence, an almost absent mindedness of choice. I chose a very soft sand cashmere cardigan with a pastel lilac camisole and then found in Brenda's closet the very same floral skirt that Brenda wore in Season 1 when she met Kitty after the Russian prostitute was murdered and she first laid her eyes on and lost her heart to him/her...Kitty. So, my first Fashion File was dedicated to my late mother, and this Fashion File is dedicated to all of those four legged angels that we have loved and lost and helped to sleep away. We know that they are running endlessly in fields of heavenly clover, sleeping on fluffy white clouds where there are no bad dreams, and eating all of the biscuits or friskies buffet their little tummies can hold. Sleep well Kitty.
The opinions expressed are solely those of the writer/speaker and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Turner Entertainment Networks, Inc.