Rule No. 1: Only chic footwear — especially high heels — will do for Los Angeles-based self-help author Abby McCarthy in Bravo’s scripted series “Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce.” The fashion-forward comedy returns today at 10 p.m. for Season 3, with series heroine-in-heels McCarthy without a man and without a job. But with less baggage comes more room in the shoe closet.
“Most of the time I have the most beautiful shoes on, and about 75 percent of them are incredibly painful,” actress Lisa Edelstein said of her lead character. “If it were real life, I don’t think I could survive that way. It’s like having magical powers.”
Footwear News joined Edelstein and costume designer Cynthia Summers in L.A. when the cast of the comedy-drama shot new scenes. We got a first look at the head-to-toe storytelling that unfolds for the stiletto-loving protagonist.
Footwear News: For Season 3, what character developments have influenced Abby’s wardrobe?
Cynthia Summers: “Abby ended last season at a new job. She starts off this season losing this job, so she goes back to what she wore when she was working from home in Season 1, which meant jeans, a great pair of heels, tops with graphics and a jacket. Her look is swung back to Season 1 because she’s reinventing herself. We stuck with Balmain — it’s structured and fits her so well. Her look is swung back to Season 1 because she’s reinventing herself.”
FN: What are some brands and styles that are featured?
CS: We went deep into the Valentino shoes for her. I think it’s the tan color that he put out with the midway heel; that’s her nude shoe. Abby always needs a shoe that’s transitional and goes with anything. She also wears Dior and Jimmy Choo in every color, patent, with the side cut out, because that fits her foot really well.
FN: What are the rare occasions Abby will wear a flat?
CS: Even though we do baseball in Season 3 for the entire season, she never goes onto the field in flats. The first time we see her on the field she is in heels; they’re laceup and they are red because of her son’s team colors. The one time I managed to get her in sneakers at baseball, she’s wearing a pair of high-heel wedge Converse. Even at home, she’s in a pair of Miu Miu wedges — they are nude and a 4-inch wedge. When she goes to yoga she’s wearing sneakers — and those are Phillip Lim (available for $169). It’s that or barefoot, it’s heels or nothing; never a Nike, Adidas or anything athletic.
FN: How do you use footwear to help elevate scenes?
CS: “The first time we see her on the baseball field — for me, when I saw the shoelacing, it reminded me of baseball. They’re Malone. You can see where the shoe sunk in the mud, and everything about that was intentional — it was to make her feel awkward, but make her feel like Abby. Even though she’s in this baseball scenario, she doesn’t conform. There’s a great scene where the coach chews sunflower seeds. He’s not looking at her and spits out a seed and it hits her skin and the open toe [Malone shoe]. There’s a slow-mo of it traveling and hitting her foot. It lent to the comedy of the whole thing.”
FN: Where do you source your wardrobe?
CS: “We were just at H. Lorenzo and came out with 12 pieces. We sweep the big three: Barneys, Neiman’s and Saks, because you can get a lot of different designers in one swoop. We were at Intermix looking for a bag, but they do have a great shoe collection. Matches Fashion is one of my favorite websites for finding items that aren’t typical in the United States or Canada.”
FN: What are some shoes that are go-to styles for the characters?
CS: “For Delia we have a Jimmy Choo two-toned sparkle shoes — that’s her nude shoe. This is her everyday, all-day nude shoe. It’s a beautiful shoe and goes with everything she wears: trousers, dresses. It works at night or daytime. She’s sparkly, so her shoe is, too. She’s a great character to dress.”
FN: What’s the “Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce” fashion philosophy?
CS: “It’s the ‘Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce,’ but it’s not about divorce — it’s about relationships. So that translates into wardrobe and clothing every day. We approach their day and add a bit of sparkle. I’ve had comments on Delia (Necar Zadegan), from lawyers, who said they’d never wear it to work, but would want to. It’s fun to heighten the whole aspect.”