It’s a Bluth family reunion! There was plenty of costume drama when the cast of Arrested Development reunited for Entertainment Weekly’s Reunions Issue, on newsstands now.
“It was kind the craziest, most manic fitting I’ve ever had in my entire life,” says stylist Sean White, who outfitted Jason Bateman, Portia de Rossi, Will Arnett and the rest of the cast for the shoot. “But also the most brilliant and fun.”
To help the kooky clan recreate portrait artist Johan Zoffany’s “The Family of Sir William Young,” White used a mix of rented costumes and custom pieces to create the ensembles, which were paired with custom wigs by hair stylist Eusebio Aynaga. We asked White to walk us through the thinking behind each character’s look.
Lindsay (Portia de Rossi): “Lindsay is kind of the princess of the whole situation, so she obviously had the iconic sort of pink and purple, girly Marie-Antoinette getup.”
Tobias (David Cross): “His character is an actor and takes himself way too seriously, but he’s just kind of an idiot. The cape is overly dramatic and the sash is kind of just ridiculous, as is the hat. I wanted his wrists to have big ruffles because his hands are up, he’s playing a flute.”
Buster (Tony Hale): “The only person whose outfit I changed from what I was planning in my head was Tony. I wanted [Jason Bateman] to wear the blue outfit because I thought it was the most iconic and [since] he’s the one who’s looking at the camera. But actually Tony was like, ‘My character is childlike and sort of a doofus. Do you have anything like a little boy blue kind of outfit?’ It actually made more sense [for Tony to wear the blue outfit] because he’s playing the cello and the one in the painting who’s playing the cello is wearing the blue outfit.”
Gob (Will Arnett): “Gob is sort of like a darker character. He’s the only one who has a ruff, which is that clownish collar. They wouldn’t wear that in this era but because he’s like a jester or an entertainer kind of character, I thought it would be appropriate for him to have a ruff. His cape is flying out from his arm, it’s a little bit more dramatic than the others.”
George Sr. (Jeffrey Tambor): The patriarchs in these types of family portraits wore a sash to represent the family colors, so I wanted him to have a sash and big jewelry to establish his role. He’s kind of golden too, [which] evokes a sense of richness.
Lucille (Jessica Walter): The matriarch is usually in all white in these types of paintings. Her skirt was actually just a piece of fabric, a piece of white taffeta that I threw over the skirt. The skirt that came with the dress was a bit too ruffly.
Michael (Jason Bateman): [We] didn’t get to do a fitting with Jason. [We] threw that outfit on him. I loved it basically because of the color scheme. I re-lined the cape in lavender to match the lavender sash that I made around his waist and added the lace collar and customized his shoes. His outfit fit like a glove, perfectly to perfection when I put it on him. It didn’t need to be tailored or anything. His costume is just kind of lavish. There’s not anything specific about it, it was just about the color.
Maeby (Alia Shawkat): I kind of wanted her to be a counterpart of Portia, so I put her in blue because Portia was in pink on the other side with giant feathers in her hair.
George-Michael (Michael Cera): He’s the iconic figure in a red, sort of a cavalier kind of look. I found that costume and it fit him perfectly. The color was great.
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