Walking into the wardrobe room at The Good Fight is like being transported to a couture fairy land. Rows upon rows of glamorous finery stretch across the entire floor of this warehouse building in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, featuring labels like Fendi, Gucci, Dolce & Gabbana, Armani, and more. The attorneys at Reddick, Boseman & Lockhart — including Diane Lockhart (Christine Baranski), Liz Lawrence (Audra McDonald), and Lucca Quinn (Cush Jumbo) — are probably the best-dressed lawyers TV has ever seen, and it’s all thanks to one man: Dan Lawson. The Good Fight costume designer has been dressing Baranski-as-Lockhart since the days of The Good Wife, and his work has become an integral part of the universe created by husband-and-wife showrunners Robert and Michelle King. “Robert and Michelle create these amazing characters and then they let me make the costume be part of that character,” says Lawson. “Sometimes it almost doesn’t [just] support what the actor’s doing — it helps shape what the actor is doing, and I love that!”
During a recent visit to the Good Fight set, Lawson gave EW a guided tour of the wardrobe room — and allowed us to get up close and personal with some of season 3’s most gorgeous lewks. First up, this incredible Fendi jacket with mink cuffs:
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Tell me about this jacket.
DAN LAWSON: Well, this is a pink and very light beige houndstooth, which is— whoever thought of putting hot pink into a houndstooth? With a mink cuff, and it’s double-breasted. Our show is always very sophisticated to begin with, but now Robert and Michelle are sort of upping the ante again. That’s why I think our audience keeps coming back and why we get new audience members, because this show — from Good Wife right into the Good Fight — we just continue amping up the show as far as content and visually.
This season, we’re really playing with color. We’re helping direct our audience’s eyes to things that we want them to focus on — whether it’s the vase in the background or the big pink Fendi mink jacket. So we have this wonderful through-line in the first episode with Christine Baranski’s character, Diane Lockhart, that involves pinks and reds and magentas, and we carry that all the way through the episode. There’s a swatch of light in the background on the wall that echoes the pink, or a folder is the same color, and we see that red or pink folder carried through until it’s handed to the pink-armed lady.
When we’re out shopping and looking at things, we ask ourselves, “Is it too far? Did we go too far?” And in fact I remember when we put this Fendi on Christine in the fitting room she was like [makes skeptical face]. “I think we’ve just jumped the…” And I was like, “No, no, no…” And then when she saw it in the scene she said, “No, it’s great, it’s exactly what we needed to do, you’re right.”
Do designers ask to be on the show?
Some designers do. Like, newer designers are more interested in that. Companies like Lafayette 148 New York are really interested in working with us. Akris is amazing; they’ll call us and say, “We’ve got some great new things, we thought this would be great for Diane or Liz.” They realize what we’re trying to do and they understand the characters that we’re building.
Diane Lockhart will don this metallic brocade Dolce & Gabbana jacket this season
Michael Sheen joins the cast this season as a morally bankrupt lawyer named Roland Blum. What can you tell us about his wardrobe?
He really is a rake, he’s such a little devil. And we really tried to create this character who’s really out there. Suitsupply was my fabulous find for him. [Pulls a black suit with white pinstripes from the rack] So these fabulous double-breasted huge peak lapels, and then we’ll put a Prince of Wales plaid vest underneath. Or maybe he wears a white moleskin suit and then we put a metallic brocade vest underneath.
With him, excess is best, more is more, but he’s rotten at the core — I mean, he’s debauched. So these amazing clothes play against— he’s got this wild curly hair and he’s got this big unruly beard, and in my mind, the character of Roland Blum, he doesn’t wear underwear. His shoes, they’ll be plaid spatted boots, or they’re red Ferragamo double-monk strap buckled shoes. He wears this big furry lamb-fur collar on his coat; he has [the coat] draped on his shoulders, and then he just shrugs it off and one of his assistants is always there to catch it.
They did write in the script that when we first meet him, he’s in this nightshirt. And I thought, “Who wears a nightshirt?” And I’m like, “You know what? I bet he wears a nightshirt as his dress shirt.” So I had all these custom nightshirts made. When it’s all buttoned up it looks like a regular dress shirt, but then he drops his pants and you realize he’s got a nightshirt on.
Do you ever reuse pieces?
I do, I reuse a lot of accessories like shoes, shirts, camisoles, things like that. Men’s suits get reused. Every so often on Good Wife, we would repeat because we did 22 or 23 [episodes] a year, and Julianna [MargulIes] or Christine, they love repeating clothes, because they said it made them feel real. Like, “Oh yeah, right, I love this jacket, and in real life if I loved a jacket I’d wear it again.” But then I’m faced with the reality on this show, we’re 10 episodes, 13 episodes, we want to keep it interesting, so I don’t repeat much.
What I may do is, I may drop an Easter egg in every now and then, I may take something from Cush from the last season of Good Wife and use it on her somewhere maybe this season, or something from Christine from season 4 of Good Wife and drop it in.
The very first season of Good Fight, I went back and mined some pieces because, well, two reasons: One, because I wanted to keep our audience guessing, like “Oooh, do I recognize that?” And also her story — she had lost her money, she wasn’t buying new clothes, so she would go deeper into her closet to make things work.
A peek inside the Good Fight wardrobe room
Everything here is so gorgeous — do clothes ever just disappear from set?
Our actors are great — if they want to borrow something, they let us know. I do remember years ago, we would work with Stockard Channing [on The Good Wife]. She’s so amazing. She would love the stuff we would get her, and she would be heading out the door carrying a piece, and she’d be like, [mimes waving goodbye] “I’ll give you my credit card number!” And she would! We still joke [about it]. “I’ll give you my credit card number!”
The Good Fight season 3 premieres Thursday, March 14 on CBS All Access.