Thanks to a new costume designer on the HBO comedy series Veep, Vice President Selina Meyer has gotten a wardrobe makeover just in time for season 3.
“She was a little bit more conservative last season. We’re trying to move her a little more [fashion] forward,” says wardrobe designer Kathleen Felix Hager, who has incorporated pieces from edgier designers like L’Wren Scott, Bottega Veneta, and Alexander McQueen into the character’s closet. “The [term] we keep using in fittings is ‘chic and sleek.’ That’s our goal — to keep her modern yet timeless.”
In an exclusive sneak peek photo from season 3 (above, right), Meyer rocks a Victoria Beckham dress, Gucci T-strap heels, and a Céline handbag. “Selena and her entourage have traveled to California to go to a Google-esque company. This is her attempt to look a little California and a little younger, because she’s going to meet this company that’s run by a 25-year-old kid,” hints Felix Hager, who says that Michelle Obama — specifically her toned arms and willingness to wear color — has had a major fashion influence on the character. “This is her attempt to be a little more fashion forward.”
The First Lady inspired her updated style, but is Meyer’s new look a sign that she’s gearing up for a presidential run?
From boxy coats to hat hair, the Vice President has had her share of wardrobe malfunctions, but Felix Hager says that’s about to change. “[It] was a big decision because this is my first season designing the show. It was an intentional shift,” explains the designer, who won’t confirm or deny that the character’s updated wardrobe means that she’s set her sights on the Oval Office. “I think the show itself [wanted] to move Selina in a different direction. We’re trying to keep her still true to her character, but updated.”
No matter what’s to come, one thing that won’t change is the character’s allegiance to Cathy Waterman jewelry. “She’s been wearing the same stack of gold link bracelets and rings, because I think in real life people have jewelry that they love, their go-to pieces,” says Felix Hager, who also notes that Meyer has definitely developed a taste for pricey heels and purses. “The character is quite wealthy and she loves fashion, so why wouldn’t she have a Céline bag and Gucci shoes?”
Felix Hager says collaborating with actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus has been a dream job. “We hit it off immediately. She’s one of the rare actresses that actually loves fittings. She’s very generous with her time,” the designer says of her often hours-long fittings with the Veep star. “We built the closet up, and she’s great about coming in to adjust things and tweak things. She’ll come to me, or I’ll go to her hotel. She’s a really hard worker.”
Despite the long hours, there’s one thing that makes Felix Hager’s job easier. “[Julia’s] got a great figure!”
See more of the inspirations behind the looks of TV’s most powerful Washingtonians and more stylish movies and TV shows in this week’s issue of Entertainment Weekly, on stands Friday.