As Claire Underwood on Netflix’s “House of Cards,” Robin Wright plays an elegant, chic knockout who has pumps and dresses to envy. She stars as the wife of the ruthless opportunist President Frank Underwood, played by Kevin Spacey, in the addictive political drama.
Sound familiar? For “House of Cards” costume designer Johanna Argan, the parallels between President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump, a former model, are stranger than fiction.
“We didn’t even know he was the [Republican] nominee — we were way done [with filming],” Argan shared with Footwear News at the Costume Designers Guild Awards on Tuesday in Los Angeles. “I thought, ‘Wait, is life imitating art now instead of art imitating life?’ I started realizing things from the storyline were coming true. I thought, ‘Does Donald Trump realize he’s not Frank Underwood?’ ”
Netflix’s political drama returns for Season 5 on May 30, and picks up where President Underwood and his first lady begin a re-election bid.
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During the real-life presidential election campaign, there were plenty of style staples for the current White House and Trump Tower occupants: wide ties for Donald and Christian Louboutin So Kate pumps for Melania.
The first lady’s style scores high marks for Argan. “I have to say, I don’t hate Melania’s personal fashion style,” she said. “It’s elegant, form-flattering and not overly sexy. I can’t blame the woman for who she’s married to, but Ralph Lauren did some beautiful silhouettes on her, and I think she’s making good choices.”
However, President Trump doesn’t have as great of an approval rating when it comes to his look, she added.
“Somebody asked me if I could give Donald Trump a style tip, I said, ‘Pick better ties,’ ” she said. “The ties look really cheap, and they’re not flattering to his skin tone. I do a lot to flatter all of my actors with ties or silhouettes.”
Some of the silhouettes that’ll be new to the forthcoming season include turtlenecks and military-influenced pieces from the runway, Argan shared.
“I’m such a fan of turtlenecks. You can put it on Natalie Wood, Steve McQueen, and you can put it on Frank Underwood and Claire Underwood; it’s a classic silhouette,” Argan said. “You’ll see some velvet and some strong coats and blazers. There’s a lot of ivory and Aborigine coloring, and turtlenecks for my men — very Steve McQueen.”
As far as shoe style, Argan added, “It’s very classic for our show. I don’t go off more than a stiletto, and maybe a two-tone color. I do strappy shoes for Neve Campbell (LeAnn Harvey) that are black, and there’s a beautiful nude. I love to have all my silhouettes fade into the shoe.”