Hulu’s new comedy series Shrill hit TV screens last Friday, and fans quickly praised the show for being a breath of fresh air in how the media portrays plus-size women.
Lead actress Aidy Bryant’s character models a plethora of fashion-forward outfits — from a sequined number to patterned dresses — during the show making the actress the envy of anyone looking to update their wardrobe.
But costume designer Amanda Needham revealed she found it difficult to find clothing for the 31-year-old plus-size lead because there was nothing suitable available in stores or made by designers.
Fashion-forward: Hulu’s comedy series Shrill premiered last Friday starring Aidy Bryant. During the show, Aidy’s character modeled a plethora of fashionable clothes
Cute: The show strives to showcase Aidy’s character wearing fashion-forward pieces to show how plus-size women can celebrate their figures without feeling the need to hide them
Annoying: But costume designer Amanda Needham revealed she had to create outfits from scratch due to a lack of options in the fashion industry
‘Once you get to a certain size, people sort of want you to disappear,’ Amanda told Vulture.
‘What about the people who aren’t ashamed of showing their bodies, who want it to be more tailored and appealing stylistically?’
Amanda wanted how she dressed Aidy’s character Annie to be fashion-forward and hopefully inspire viewers that they, too, can embrace their plus-size figures.
Frustrated: ‘Once you get to a certain size, people sort of want you to disappear,’ Amanda said about the lack of options for plus-size women
‘You can be whoever you want, wear whatever you want, and feel confident in that,’ she said.
One of the pieces made from scratch was an incredible sequined dress created for a scene where Annie was attending a work event. The rainbow-colored dress hit just above the character’s knees and showed a fun side to her fashion sense.
Another outfit Amanda created from scratch was a blue button-up shirt Aidy’s character wore while attending a Fat Babe Pool Party.
The scene was an empowering moment on the show because it showcased how women of all sizes can flaunt their figures proudly in swimwear.
‘We really scoured, begged, and made so pieces,’ Amanda said.
‘It was such a beautiful scene to see these women feel seen and heard in ways that they didn’t. There was really options for them.’
The show also supported brands that catered towards plus-size women, Amanda revealed. For example, Aidy wore Savage x Fenty lingerie in specific scenes because of the brand’s commitment to making bras and underwear for everyone.
Empowering: One scene in particular featured Aidy wearing a blue top while attending a Fat Babe Pool Party. The top was created from scratch by Amanda
Important: ‘We really scoured, begged, and made so pieces,’ Amanda said about the scene. She felt it was important to show the options out there for plus-size women in swimwear
Priorities: The show also used clothing from brands including Savage x Fenty lingerie (pictured), ASOS, CoEdition and Nordstrom
‘It was really amazing to see bras and underwear in that size that weren’t just ugly,’ the costume designer said. Other brands used during the show included ASOS, CoEdition, Nordstrom and Mara Hoffman.
Aidy, who made her mark as a comedian on the set of Saturday Night Live, has previously opened up about her frustrations with being a plus-size woman in the industry.
When speaking to The Cut last year, Aidy talked about an experience she had during a photo shoot with SNL co-stars Kate McKinnon and Cecily Strong. She had to wear her own clothing for the shoot because of the lack of options for her figure.
‘This is a f***ed-up situation, and it’s purely because of my body,’ Aidy told the publication. ‘Not because I’m less funny — it’s my body. It’s the only reason that I’m treated differently right now. And it lit a f***ing fire in me.’
These situations have inspired Aidy to work on her own clothing line to help other women have access to fashion that fits and is flattering.
‘I’m just trying to get the things that I have access to out there for the masses — like when I wanted something cool to wear to a meeting or an audition or whatever and not just be wearing a black sack,’ she said.
Starring in the Hulu show is a breath of fresh air for the actress as the show made it clear the journey for the character was not about going be centered on changing her size. Instead, the story shows how the character gains confidence in her figure.
The wardrobe, with the help of Amanda’s leadership, demonstrated that confidence throughout the first season.