“New money is more fun money” was the mantra guiding costume designer Kirston Leigh Mann on Apple TV+ comedy series Loot. Mann and Maya Rudolph’s seventh collaboration in a decade (including The Good Place, Forever, and Amy Poehler’s 2019 directorial debut Wine Country) also marked their most extravagant: Rudolph plays freshly minted billionaire Molly Novak (née Wells), whose divorce settlement from a tech CEO (Adam Scott) just made her the third-richest woman in the world.
Molly’s wardrobe feels like the actress’s real-world style — Loot even uses real red-carpet photos of Rudolph to illustrate Molly’s celebrity — taken as far as it can go. “Thanks to the budget, we could really dress Molly appropriately,” Mann says, filling her closet with fringed caftans, designer gowns, and feather-trimmed pajamas for lounging around the manse. And since Molly’s a California girl, she’s able to skew more whimsical with her sartorial choices than, say, an Über-wealthy family on a New York–centric show. “Maya is fearless with fashion,” Mann says, and that’s evident in the costumes’ eye-catching jewel tones, over-the-top florals, and extravagant silhouettes. Mann envisioned Molly as an important client in the fashion world. “If Gucci gets something new in, they’re telling their special people about it and they’re sending it over to them right away,” Mann says. “Molly’s one of those very elite people.”
Molly’s 45th-birthday outfit had to be as extravagant as the festivities themselves. After all, is the day she goes from “Jennifer Aniston to Lopez” on the “scale of ageless Jennifers,” according to assistant Nicholas (the just-as-fabulously dressed Joel Kim Booster). It’s also the moment Molly discovers her husband of 20 years is cheating with his much younger mistress, Hailey (Dylan Gelula).
Mann spotted the shimmery blue-and-green tie-dye Halston maxi hanging in a California store window and knew it was perfect for the moment Molly embarks on her journey of self-discovery. Not only because the bright colors looked amazing on Rudolph but for how the cool shades pop in Molly’s megamansion. “It’s so stark and cold,” Mann says of the $141 million Bel Air palace where Loot is filmed. “Maya warms it up.” Mann particularly loved how the lamé gown sways as Molly angrily storms off, eventually making her getaway in a neon-green sports car that complements her Halston. “I wish I could take credit for that car,” she says. “But some style choices are just happy accidents.”
Photo: Apple TV/Courtesy of Apple
Molly wears silk pajamas around her chilly compound, a nod to Mann’s at-home style. “When I walk in my own door, even if I’m going out at night, I get right into my pajamas,” she says. “It’s like Mister Rogers, who always had to put on his sweater when he came in from outside. It’s a chance to change.” It’s also an opportunity for Molly to make clear that her sleepwear, by brands like Olivia Von Halle and Bernadette, is opulent as anything else in her wardrobe.
Mann’s favorite set is a pair of Sleeper’s mint-green crêpe de chine pj’s with detachable ostrich-feather cuffs. The luxury-loungewear label’s “party pajamas” retail for $320 and are meant to be worn for more than sleeping, which makes them an inspired activewear choice for a stylish billionaire moping around the house post-divorce — or anyone looking to up their stay-at-home wardrobe. “After being in a sweatpants-at-home kind of zone, I feel like it’s fun to have fun with fashion again,” Mann says. “We can all throw away our gray sweatpants and take a page from Molly’s book.”
Photo: Apple TV
In the final moments of the premiere, Molly wears the Mrs. Ross fringed kaftan dress by Dubai-based womenswear brand Taller Marmo. The cerulean look, named in honor of music legend Diana Ross, is almost as out of touch as giving away Goop-esque gift bags at a ribbon-cutting for a women’s shelter — and that was the point. “Molly looks amazing in it, but it’s the wrong look,” Mann says. “The sleeves are kind of winglike, because she’s feeling kind of angelic at this moment, but it’s not about her at all and she has to come to that conclusion.”
The dress’s satin-tied high neck and waterfall hem with sweeping fringe contributed to Mann’s decision to use the bold look for Molly’s first of many aha moments this season. “In some ways, her work clothes are part of her disconnect from the real people she’s trying to help,” she says. “Molly hasn’t yet come around to dressing the part of somebody who understands this city. She’s still coming in a little too fabulous.”
Photo: Apple TV
Mann considers the overwhelmingly floral look Molly wears in episode two a testament to Rudolph’s “footloose and fancy-free” style. The designer initially thought the matchy-matchy multipiece outfit from Milanese brand La DoubleJ was a little too extra, even for a billionaire. But Rudolph was game to try it all: the stretch flares, the oversized shirt dress, and the matching headband and purse. “You could say, ‘Oh, you don’t have to wear the pants with it,’ and she’s like, ‘Let’s try it!’” Mann says. “Maya’s never trying to hide.”
It would certainly be difficult to lay low in the brand’s head-to-toe Selva Bianco pattern, a mix of cheerful flowers named for the Italian white wine. It’s also Mann’s favorite look of the season. “It brought us all so much joy on set,” she says of the $1785 outfit Molly wears on her private jet flight to Miami. “DoubleJ is a fun brand for a casual billionaire.” The label also made the purple palm-leaf caftan Rudolph wears in the Loot’s opening shot: “It’s such a vibe.”
Photo: Apple TV/Courtesy of Apple
In episode six, Molly receives a prestigious award for her humanitarian work, which she proudly accepts in a ’20s-inspired raspberry-red pleated cape dress. With its ruffled high neck and sleek silhouette, it looks like haute couture from one of the finest fashion houses. It’s actually the work of Theia Couture, a line of minimalist eveningwear whose fans include Rudolph’s BFF Amy Poehler, Taylor Swift, and Khloé Kardashian. “We were all laughing because in some places we spent a lot of money and in others we saved a lot,” Mann says, noting she had to buy so many costumes for Loot that she eventually lost count. (“Let’s just say it was a lot.”) This fabulous gown cost less than $1,000 and ended up being one of their biggest saves.
Throughout the ten-episode series, Mann used big-name designers for the more important moments. “I was conscious of the fact that if something was very expensive or super-fabulous, I wanted to use it for a bigger scene,” she says, citing Alexander McQueen, Prada, and the Vampire’s Wife as some of Loot’s bigger gets. It’s why Mann almost didn’t bring the Theia dress to her fitting with Rudolph, worried it wasn’t big enough for such a featured moment. “It was one of the big surprises where Maya put it on and I was like, Oh my god, that’s the dress!” Mann says. “Maya’s not label conscious. She only cares about how it looks and is so willing to help young and up-and-coming designers.”
Photo: Apple TV/Courtesy of Apple
In episode nine, Molly gets hit with a cream pie (for reasons we won’t spoil here) while wearing a blue puff-sleeved Alexander McQueen dress. The thought of staining the fabulous zipped faille mini was almost too much for Mann to bear. “Believe me, I wanted to cry,” she says at the thought of ruining even one version of the $2,250 dress. To be safe, Mann tracked down ten versions of the dress, no easy task during the pandemic. “It wasn’t like you can just go to Bloomingdale’s and buy ten dresses,” she says. Her team had to scour Net-a-Porter and other consignment websites to find multiples in the same size for Rudolph and her stunt double. But thanks to Alan Yang, Loot’s co-creator and this particular episode’s director, they didn’t need nearly that many McQueens. “There are some directors who would have you throw ten pies and stain ten dresses, but Alan made it so we didn’t have to throw as many,” she says, estimating they got the shot in two or three takes. “He’s so fashionable himself that he had his eye on our dresses. But we were prepared to literally get slammed.”