In The Mix

Styling the Stars: Luke Reichle

Veteran costume designer Luke Reichle, currently in his fifth season with ABC fan fave Castle, says television's new golden age has sparked lots more risk-tasking with stories and, of course, this is showing up in the clothes. 

Libby Slate

When it comes to crime series, not all costumes are created equal.

So says Luke Reichle, now in his fifth season as costume designer for ABC’s Castle.

“I can use a lot of color,” he says of the show, which combines lighthearted romantic banter with murder mysteries.

CBS’s Without a Trace, where Reichle worked for 7 seasons, “was much more serious. If someone’s husband, wife or kid is missing or dead, you can’t be so happy with the clothes.”

That said, the current explosion of cable and digital shows, Reichle adds, “has opened up the palette for everyone. A lot more risk is being taken with story and setting, and that’s showing up in the costumes.

There’s new opportunity to define character visually.

The idea that period has to be portrayed with a museum curator’s kind of fidelity has become less crucial, while on contemporary shows, we’re getting a heightened sense of realism.”

When it comes to Hollywood style away from the set, Reichle likes the resurgence “of hats on hipsters of all ages.”

The author of an e-book about attaining a positive body image, It’s Not About the Clothes, he has 2 more finished manuscripts awaiting acceptance by a traditional publisher; he wrote all 3 under his brand, Secrets of the Red Carpet.

Having dressed stars for the Emmy Awards since 1993, this wizard of wardrobe has seen some changes.

“The Emmy red carpet is far less casual than it used to be,” Reichle says. “Its glamour quotient has been upped, due in part to getting the kind of coverage and air time once reserved for the Oscars."

"That’s elevated the Emmy red carpet to the status of a marquee fashion event, on par with the Oscars and Golden Globes,” he observes. 

How will this year’s earlier Emmys telecast — August 25 on NBC — affect that all-important red carpet question, “Who are you wearing?”

“Glamour knows no season,” Reichle says. “You’ll see a lot of bare skin and fitted dresses no matter what."

"Brights are big right now — expect to see them being used in big blocks of color." Yet, he advises, "A smart girl who wanted to stand out would run against the pack and go soft in color and fluid in the silhouette." 

“There will be a few prints, likely of the bold, graphic, black-and-white variety," he projects. "If the past is any indication, Lena Dunham will lead the charge for kooky."

"Also," he continues, "I predict that Sofia Vergara will be all tight and curvy with a plunging neckline — but you don’t have to be psychic to know that.” 

From Emmy magazine issue no. 2014-06 • Buy the full print and digital editions here.