Lady Gaga in American Horror Story: Hotel.
American Horror Story is as well known for its style as its insane plot twists. So when Ryan Murphy announced that Hotel would star none other than Lady Gaga, the collaboration seemed almost inevitable in retrospect. But for the show's costume designer Lour Eyrich, the significance of having to dress one of the most recognizable fashion icons of this generation didn't sink in right away. "We were in New Orleans shooting Scream Queens and it's such a different show; I was up to my ears in pastel fur coats and knee-highs. So when Ryan said it, I was so busy I was like, 'Yeah, yeah, yeah,'" Eyrich recalls to TVGuide.com. "Then when it got closer and we started having our meetings, I was like, 'Oh, boy. This is going to be big.'"
Rather than worry over the momentous task ahead, Eyrich was simply excited to help Gaga discover The Countess, the singer's first major acting role, and establish a separate fashion identity for the character. This proved to be a delicate balancing act for the pair, since Gaga's style has all but covered the entire fashion spectrum. "So of course you're going to hit on it. It's about finding a rhythm and a tone for The Countess and staying with it," Eyrich explains. "It's more of a thing between Gaga and myself, where we will say, 'Oh, that goes too Gaga,' 'Oh, that feels like The Countess.'"
"I kind of leave it to her," she adds, "because she would know better than I what makes her feel like The Countess."
In creating The Countess' look, Murphy instructed Eyrich to draw inspiration from old Hollywood glamour, but give it a modern twist. "It's always a challenge when he gives me those broad strokes, but at the same time I knew exactly what he was talking about," says Eyrich. Ultimately, MGM costume designer Adrian and artist Daphne Guinness became touchstones for The Countess' elegant style, with accessories helping the looks span across the character's century-plus lifespan.
"If it's a modern dress, we'll do vintage jewelry from a costume house, like old rhinestone necklaces and bracelets," Eyrich says. "And then if it's a vintage dress, we'll put new fresh jewelry and big clunky rings and a cool Alaia boot to update it and make it more modern."