Costume designer Kameron Lennox spent his last years in the ’80s (Apple TV+’s ‘Physical’) and ’90s (Hulu’s ‘Pam & Tommy’). But his work on Apple TV+’s 10-episode comedy “Platonic” is gleefully, hilarious Now.
Starring Rose Byrne and Seth Rogen (and created, with Francesca Delbanco, by their “Neighbors” director Nicholas Stoller), “Platonic” sees estranged best friends Sylvia (Byrne) and Will (Rogen) fall back into their old ways when they they reconnect after her divorce. Sylvia is a bored stay-at-home mother married to a barrister Ken (Luke Macfarlane), while Will is the man behind the Arts District’s popular Lucky Penny bar, content to capitalize on his brewing skills and whatever prestige comes from co-owning a brewery in his forties. And both recognize each other immediately through their clothes.
“I’m from Los Angeles and Los Angeles is quite a melting pot, but wherever you live in the city, the way you dress is really nice,” Lennox told IndieWire. “(Sylvia and her family) live in Culver City, so they have some money. They are a bit close to Venice Beach. So I tried to target the designers and companies that people in that area would wear.
But Byrne’s Sylvia is a tightly wound ball of anxiety and frustration, a former lawyer who quit her job to have children and has since waited for someone to invite her back into the workforce. Even in driving and picking up her children, she was carefully put together.
“She wears Alex Mill a lot. Clare V. Like, suburban mom with style, if that makes sense,” Lennox said with a laugh. “She Not She wears leggings, oversized shirts and sweatpants. She had a career. And we didn’t think she would just throw it away without caring about her appearance. Also, she sends her kids to a liberal private school and there’s this thought like, ‘Well, she better get me together. I’ll see all those ladies in the parking lot.’ So that was another reason for her to have the purse and tuck into the shirt.
For Lennox, every new project begins with scripts and the creation of mood boards, even though she is very careful to make it clear to everyone involved in the production that those boards aren’t literal. “It’s more of a feeling. And oftentimes, I’ll screen capture from actual movies. It helps me see things live. Pulling things out of catalog photos looks very flat and very dead, and that’s not what I’m looking for. I am looking for a live person in what she wears. So I’m going to put some boards together and then show them to the directors.
The real work begins in rehearsals, where the character’s personality emerges and the way the actors move in the clothes worn by Lennox and his team. “Whatever starts working is kind of where we’re going to go,” she said. And that includes Rogen’s spectacular ensembles.
Rare is the series that pays such lavish attention to men’s fashion, but Lennox – who lives on the Eastside of Los Angeles – knew he needed to bring it for the brewmaster of Rogen’s Arts District. “I started thinking about a lot of designers who have boutiques and stores on the Eastside,” she said. “I really wanted anyone who lives there to be like, ‘Oh yeah, he’s that guy.'”
His work was greatly aided by Rogen’s ability to get everything done (and their existing relationship after working together on “Pam & Tommy”.) “The only thing he said to me – because he’s good friends with Jonah Hill – it’s, “You know, it would be fun if we brought an element of him in there.” And so that just opened the door for me. Jonah, he dresses in a very distinctive way, but it’s all very cool. It’s all by design The way she shapes it, it’s so clever.
Not that Will’s clothes — from boutiques and designers ranging from Marni and Jil Sander to Good AND Needles (not to mention Ian Charms for a candy necklace) – were a quick sell to the powers that be at Apple.
“I remember at one point Seth said, ‘Don’t worry. I’m going to talk to them,’ because they were really getting a little insecure about our choices,” Lennox said. “But it was also fun because we were finding a lot of smaller companies, and it was just nice, to give them some screen time. So I felt like we were paying off our neighborhood too.
And though Sylvia and Will are polar opposites who manage to complement each other (to the growing chagrin of everyone else in their lives), Will’s true opposite is Sylvia’s husband, handsome and muscular Charlie.
“We have this type of Westside, super conservative, super fit lawyer. The exact opposite of this downtown brewmaster.” said Lennox. “Luke is amazing. I mean, even when they go to the baseball game. I think in the script (he said) he’s wearing a jersey, and I’m like, ‘This guy’s not wearing a jersey. We need something very corporate for him to wear.’” And, in Macfarlane’s case, he fit the bill perfectly. “He works hard for that body!” Lennox said with a laugh.