If there's a song in your heart, it will get in her head. Jane Levy stars in this high-concept drama as Zoey Clarke, a whip-smart computer coder forging her way in San Francisco. After an unusual event, Zoey, who always preferred podcasts over pop songs, suddenly starts to hear the innermost wants, thoughts and desires of the people around her - her family, co-workers and complete strangers - through popular songs. At first, she questions her own sanity, but after getting some guidance from her musically adept neighbor, Mo, and making a breakthrough with her ailing father, Zoey soon realizes this unwanted curse may just be an incredibly wonderful gift as she connects with the world like never before. In its second season, Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist continues to explore the feelings we keep buried on the inside, the human impulse for connection and the undeniable healing power of music and dance. Following a tragedy, Zoey and the Clarke family begin to recalibrate and navigate their new normal. As she finds herself in a new dynamic at work and in her love life, Zoey’s musical powers will continue to both awkwardly complicate and inform her worldview as she attempts to rediscover joy and connect with those around her. The series stars Jane Levy, Skylar Astin, Alex Newell, John Clarence Stewart, Andrew Leeds, Alice Lee, Michael Thomas Grant, Kapil Talwalkar and Mary Steenburgen. Featuring inventive musical performances set to hit records from a variety of genres and time periods, Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist won the Emmy Award for Outstanding Choreography for Scripted Programming in its freshman season.
Zoey (Jane Levy); Maggie (Mary Steenburgen); Mo (Alex Newell); Max (Skylar Astin); Simon (John Clarence Stewart); David (Andrew Leeds); Emily (Alice Lee); Leif (Michael Thomas Grant); Tobin (Kapil Talwalker).
Create a world where the characters stand out, and the audience can suspend their disbelief that Zoey hears other peoples’ inner thoughts through song and dance.
THE LOOK IN A FEW WORDS
The lead characters are heightened with color and some quirky character looks to make you feel a part of Zoey’s world. The everyday people Zoey hears singing are dressed in less stylized clothes, so the song and their movement is highlighted.
SYMBOLIC WARDROBE MOMENTS
Zoey’s signature look is collared blouses under sweaters or cardigans in bright colors (reds, pinks, fuchsia). It is a world with a lead who has a super (hero) power. Her cardigan is her cape. In an episode from season one where Zoey was the only person to sing “Zoey’s Extraordinary Glitch”, a tan trench with a fuchsia lining was used and revealed in the dance number.Zoey’s neighbor and confidante is Mo, who moves through the world with a fierce sense of confidence that he shows through the whimsy of his dress. Zoey’s neighbor Mo, who helps her navigate her “secret power,” dresses in eclectic looks that follow his current mood, in odes to Rosie the Riveter, Salt-N-Pepa, and Old Hollywood glamour.
THE COLOR PALETTE
A bright color palette lends itself to the vibrant inner world Zoey sees in song and dance. All the lead characters have a strong sense of style that follows the heightened reality of the show. Color palettes are created for many of the group dance numbers.
We use pattern on pattern, and things like embroidery to make the looks more textured.
THE PRINTS + PATTERNS
Lots of tonal pattern on pattern for Zoey sometimes, particularly when she is confused or sad. Eclectic looks for Mo who dresses to please himself and enjoys creating many “lewks”.
KEY ITEMS + ELEMENTS
Zoey: cardigans, collared blouses, Gucci loafers or brogues, pink/fuchsia and red color combos; Maggie: pretty silk blouses by L’Agence, Vince, wide legged denim trousers by Nili Lotan, some interesting fabrics to show her Berkeley, California roots; Max: sweaters and form fitting shirts, Interesting jackets, with APC or Sandro to transition his character from working in tech to now being a restaurant owner; Simon: this season his character went through a big character arc that we mimicked in his dress… during season one and the first few episodes of season two, he wore Eton dress shirts and blazers with shinier finishes in corporate shades of blues and grey. As Simon began to speak out about racism in the workplace we transitioned him into earthier colors and used Mahershala Ali as a style icon. We dressed him in hand tailored suits in natural fabrics like wools with texture in colors like browns and tans. He also wore a lot of “shackets”.
Zoey wears gold huggy earrings. Maggie wore a hand made boutonniere with dried flowers on the lapel of her jacket when she went back to work without Mitch--- as a touchstone to her husband. For Max, Skylar wears jewelry in his personal life and we purposely don’t have his character wear any man jewelry. He comes from the tech world, so no watch, and always a cellphone instead. Simon always wore a pocket square until he went through his character arc.
THE BRANDS + RESOURCES
Zoey wears Kate Spade, Rachel Comey, Staud, Rag + Bone, Marc Jacobs. Mo wears Eloquii, 11 Honore, Asos, Jibri. Other brands include Vince, Paige jeans, Eton, Common Project, Sandro, Gucci, L’Agence, Mokuyobi, G-Star, Nike, Tommy Hilfiger, Michael Kors, Paul Smith, Saucony.
NOTES ON THE PROJECT
I love the show because I am able to create a world with strong character styles and color. I love collaborating with choreographer Mandy Moore to visually enhance the dance numbers. It was also really fun to stand on set (masked!) and watch people dance and sing especially during the pandemic when there were no live performances to attend. -Costume Designer Heidi Higgenbotham
A lot of the planning in costume selection is spent taking into account how the actors will be able to move in the choreography. We remove lots of sleeves, add elastic to shirt tails, and sew collars onto sweaters to keep the actors costumes light weight and easy to move in. There is a Reddit Group dedicated to Tobin’s color blocked sweatshirts. We photoshop the clothes with Jane Levy’s head to show costume looks, because we get very little costume fitting time because of her busy filming schedule.
HOW TO GET THE LOOK
Be Bold! Wear color! Take a cue from Mo’s character and actor Alex Newell… be confident in what you wear and have fun with clothes. That is the secret to looking great in what you wear.
COSTUME DESIGNER HEIDI HIGGINBOTHAM
Heidi has a degree in International Business from UC Davis and went on to study fashion at Otis Parsons in Los Angeles. She started her career in apparel, working first in mens sportswear and then in womenswear. She always loved film, and made the transition to film and television in her 30’s. She worked in film for many years as a costume supervisor, and then transitioned to designer. She worked on the sitcom Cougar Town for six years, and still has a soft spot for sitcoms and comedies.
Story + Rain illustrator Daisy de Villeneuve recreated Zoey’s signature style, a typical Mo head-to-toe “lewk”, and SPRQ Point’s other-worldly office space.