So have you guys tuned in to Fox’s new Show, Empire? It’s juicy, must see TV!
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The music infused series centers around Lucious Lyon aka Terrence Howard, a former drug dealer who has created his own hip-hop music Empire. The show opens as his ex-wife, Cookie (played by Taraji P. Henson) emerges from jail after serving 17 years. Cookie’s sacrifice– $400,000 and a stint in prison–were key to Lucious’s success–and she plans to get what is rightfully hers. To add another layer of drama, Lucious is diagnosed with ALS, and is given 3 years to live. He’s tasked with choosing a successor from his three sons: Andre, the business minded eldest brother, Jamal, the exceedingly talented homosexual middle child, and Hakeem, the youngest and a rising rap star. All three brothers vie for their dad’s affection and a chance at running the multi million dollar company.
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With Timberland as the music producer, the soundtrack is sickening, and the fashion is Hot! So I was juiced to talk to Rita McGhee, the show’s costume designer, about her vision for each character.
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Taraji P. Henson aka Cookie is by far my favorite to watch.
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Rita says, “Cookie is bold. She loves skirts, she loves all types of prints, she wears anything body conscious, but is still conservative in her own way. She’s not over the top or too ostentatious. Because she has it, she’s gonna wear it now.”
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You’ll see Cookie in black and silver beaded Balmain gowns, Gucci cocktail dresses, lightning bolt decorated Christian Louboutin shoes, and loads of delectable vintage furs.
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Lucious is a business man with swagger. Though he runs a company, his roots are in the hood, so he goes for slick and tailored. McGhee says, “He is refined and he’s suited. He’s boss. He’s very calculating and manipulative and knows what he wants. His style is consistent. He’s not gonna veer off and wear Timbs to go to a business meeting. He’s going to maintain authority. His colors are royal green, blues, burgundies, purples, yellows, and reds.”
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You’ll find Lucious in labels like Bulgari, Domenico Vacca, Hugo Boss, and Gucci.
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As for Lucious’s current girlfiend, Anika Calhoun, played by Grace Gealey, Rita goes for conservative looks.
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She says, “[Anika] is solid and refined, and classy, and demure. She does solid colors–she doesn’t do prints or patterns. She does red, green, cream, burgundy, and blues. [Her look is] structured, refined, and high class. Think debutante.”
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Eldest son Andre is a Wharton graduate and works in Empire’s corporate office. For him, Rita pulls suits from Boss and Suit Supply.
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Middle brother Jamal is very laid back and casual, and his day-to-day uniform is generally a t-shirt and jeans. But not just any old t-shirt! McGhee says, “We’ll get him tees from John Varvatos and GAP.”
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And lastly, Hakeem has a very interesting look. The flashy youngest son can be spied in anything from Céline chain link shades to Givenchy floral camo pants and Giuseppe Zanotti sneakers.
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McGhee explains, “Hakeem is the flashiest and the youngest. He’s 2015, all the way turnt up. He likes all the name brands. He just wants to stay looking that way all the time. He’s like Justin Bieber and Kanye where the clothes are a character, they’re the soundtrack, and they represent who you are. He does Gucci, Prada, Saint Laurent, Givenchy, Guiseppe, Nike.” Sounds fabulous, no?
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The next episode of Empire comes on tonight at 9pm on Fox, and I encourage you to watch!
In case you’ve missed Episodes 1-4, watch Full Episodes on Fox.com.
You’ll love it!
Learn more the show at Fox.com/Empire.
What do you think?

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