Choosing one episode to represent a costume designer’s work from an entire season for a Creative Emmy nomination is often a nerve-wracking, nail-biting, judgment call. Take Glee costume designer Lou Eyrich, who was initially leaning toward “The Substitute,” the episode that introduced Gwyneth Paltrow as a temp teacher in Fox’s hit musical series. “Because it shows the broadest range of all our kids and it breaks them down so you see what they are like character-wise,” Eyrich initially told Deadline just four days before the Creative Emmy submission deadline. She was especially fond of the scene in which Will Schuester (Matthew Morrison) has a fever and hallucinates that his students are identically-attired toddlers. And there’s also Gwyneth Paltrow’s and Lea Michele’s Chicago number, plus the mash-up of “Singin’ In The Rain” and Rihanna’s “Umbrella.”
But after Eyrich started shooting the season finale in New York, she changed her mind — now her submission is that episode, just in time for the April 29th deadline. “It was just so fresh, different, and fun for me. We popped all the color, and there was such excitement from the adrenaline of shooting there. Ryan Murphy loved what the kids were wearing. He and the director were really excited, and some photos even ended up in People magazine. Another reason I chose it was that we had just one day to dress, fit, and alter everything and get it boxed up by midnight and sent overnight to New York. So it was one of the most challenging episodes. And we pulled it off.”
Emmy-nominated for Glee last season and for Nip/Tuck in 2005-2006, Eyrich believes her most memorable fashion moments in the season finale this year consist of: Rachel (Lea Michele) in a Mary Tyler Moore-ish brightly-colored, striped vintage jacket (rented from a costume house), a beret (Hollywood Hatters), and bright yellow shoes (bought at Anthropologie) with cinnamon colored tights; another Lea look: vintage dress, capelet and gloves, that were very Audrey Hepburn and Doris Day, for a Big Apple date with Finn (Cory Monteith); and the different sets of costumes for three show choirs: the New Directions, Vocal Adrenaline, and an a capella group.
Even so, why not choose the episodes everybody was talking about: the buzzed-about kink of the “Rocky Horror Picture Show,” or the wow factor of the extravagant “Britney Brittany”? “We were inspired by the original costumes of the Rocky Horror movie,” explains Eyrich. “I didn’t get to create the costumes. Same with ‘Britney,’ I don’t feel I created those costumes. I was just paying homage to someone else who created the costumes.”