Last night was The Good Wife‘s season finale, which means a lot of us are experiencing what is commonly referred to as Florrick Withdrawal. Luckily, you can channel your inner Alicia while you await season seven with a little help from the show’s costume designer, Daniel Lawson. He shares with PEOPLE his favorite looks of the show (it’s actually not one of Alicia’s stunning suits!) and his tips for dressing stylishly to the office, whether you’re a classic Alicia or an edgy Kalinda.
The veteran costumer designer (he also worked on shows like Lipstick Jungle) and clothing designer (he has his own line of business attire, 35DL), has created such a stylish character in Alicia that even the First Lady has taken wardrobe tips from the fictional lawyer! But out of all the character’s structured jackets and killer skirts, Lawson has a special place in his heart for an outfit in season four. “I do have a favorite look, but it’s atypical to the show, so maybe that’s why it stands out to me,” he says. “I put her in the most magnificent [Lanvin] ballgown. It was really comfortable for her, she wore it for like nine days straight. I will say by the ninth day she was like ‘Get me out of this dress!’ but she just looked so beautiful.”
Considering it’s torture for many of us just to wear a gown for a few hours, Lawson explains that the inner structure is key to strapless success. “So often, people make the mistake of wearing strapless evening gowns really tight through the torso, and instead you want to make it really tight around the waist to hold it up,” he advises.
As for the show’s other memorably fashionable character, Kalinda Sharma (played for the last time Sunday night by Archie Panjabi), he’s taking her departure as hard as you are. “I will really miss playing with that sporty-hard-soft thing that we did with her. I really will miss it,” he tells PEOPLE. “We really created sort of an iconic look with her.”
Kalinda’s look, Lawson says, was really a collaborative process with Panjabi herself. When Panjabi arrived for the pilot episode, she insisted on wearing jeans and a black leather jacket, while Lawson fought to put her in a skirt. “We worked together to combine a strength and femininity and we really created this look that utilized chiffon and georgette and we put them right next to leather,” he says. “And you know she’s a real sort of dichotomy, you never knew what was coming with her.”
No matter which character’s style you identify more with, Lawson has three style tips to help channel the impeccable detail he brings to all the characters. First, it has to fit well (“that’s huge”), it has to be age-appropriate (“If you’re 40 years old, your skirt shouldn’t be up to your thigh”) and you should follow the adage to take one thing off before you leave the house. “For women, I think that if a big day is ahead of them, they armor themselves and put on a strong suit that’s loud in color, or a big necklace and big earrings and a bracelet,” he says. “They put these things on that try to make them look powerful. It just looks chaotic and sort of out of whack. I think it’s better to have just that one strong piece that says ‘power,’ and then let everything else support it. I think when they do that, it ends up actually creating a stronger presence and a more unified look.”
Which character’s style is your favorite? Will you stock up on Lawson’s style staples? Share in the comments below.
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