Zac Posen Breaks Down Those Masquerade Looks (PHOTOS)


[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for Feud: Capote Vs. The Swans, Episode 3, “Masquerade 1966.”]

Feud: Capote Vs. The Swans brings the writer and his socialites together for a very special occasion in the season’s third episode, “Masquerade 1966,” as he hosts a black and white ball.

Based on a real party held over 50 years ago, viewers are whisked into the excitement of it all through the Maysles brothers’ lens as the documentarians are the framing device capturing Capote’s (Tom Hollander) epic soiree behind the scenes. Similar to the black and white theme, much of the installment is also captured in the contrasting colors until the final moments when Capote’s mother (played by the entrancing Jessica Lange) takes to the dance floor, unveiling her showstopping black ensemble sure to rival all others seen in the minutes leading up to her reveal.

But these gorgeous ensembles aren’t just your average designs as fashion icon Zac Posen stepped into the metaphorical driver’s seat for this grand onscreen journey, helping put together the key looks for this event. “It started as a dinner with Gus [Van Sant], the director, who’s a good friend. He was location scouting, and then it led to a meeting with Lou [Eyrich] and then a by-chance run-in with Ryan [Murphy] on a food line at a dinner after an art exhibition,” Posen explains to TV Insider.

Chloe Sevigny as C.Z. Guest in FEUD: Capote Vs. The Swans - 'Masquerade 1966'

(Credit: FX)

“Ryan and I have wanted to work together for a long, long time, and he knew about the project and he said, ‘Let’s set up time to meet in a few weeks.’ And then I got a call that said, ‘Come to set.’ And I came to set and they were filming a scene with Calista [Flockhart] as Princess Lee Radziwill in the Kenneth Hair Salon.”

It was during this set visit that Posen was asked to present his concepts within a week and a half around Thanksgiving. So it was a quick turnaround. But the frocks fabulously worn by the show’s glamorous stars were anything but a rush job.

“I create a vision that works with Ryan, and then it is my job to present that to these actors,” Posen says. “And there the collaboration begins in the fitting process. After [more than] 25 years in fashion and working with many of these actors… that trust is built.” Despite having dressed many of the stars in the past, Posen points out, “This is an elevated costume version, but we treated it as a couture process, like a real fitting process with every detail where we start with a muslin and tweak it and move lines. That’s how I work with any client or customer.”

Still, he had to treat it “in a very quick, speedy time,” considering the circumstances of production. In the end, it all came together seamlessly onscreen. Below, Posen breaks down the finer details of the Swans’ masquerade looks from the episode.

Feud: Capote Vs. The Swans, New Episodes, Wednesdays, 10/9c, FX (Next day on Hulu)

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