When a best-selling novel like Daisy Jones & The Six gets picked up for a TV series, fans have thoughts about how the characters they have pictured in their heads should look on the screen. And for Daisy Jones & The Six specifically, the number one show now streaming on Amazon Prime, expectations were high. Taylor Jenkins Reid’s 2019 novel following the rise and fall of a Fleetwood Mac–esque band is overflowing with allusions and details that bring the height of ’70s rock culture to life, fashion included. This is especially true for the women in the cast, beginning with the gifted but troubled lead singer, Daisy Jones.
Costume designer Denise Wingate was up for the challenge of getting Reid’s characters dressed for their onscreen tour. She describes herself as an equally ardent fan of the book; the last thing she wanted was to disappoint fellow readers by overlooking a major style moment from the novel. “I felt for sure that Taylor was very specific about her outfit descriptions”—like the men’s shirt Daisy wears with nothing but boots for a recording session or a fluttery caftan that dives into the Chateau Marmont pool with Daisy while she’s on a bender—“and we had to address them,” Wingate tells BAZAAR.
There’s more to Wingate’s approach than fan service, however. “I wanted to make it look really authentic, like a documentary, because it reads like a documentary. I didn’t want it to look, like, costumey—with people dressing up for the ’70s,” she says. She captured the decade through copious research, input from the cast, and no shortage of mood boards; her office was filled with several for each character (Linda Ronstadt, Debbie Harry, Donna Summer, and, yes, Fleetwood Mac lead Stevie Nicks were among the icons of the era she kept in mind). The pieces themselves were sourced from all over. Some were vintage; others were custom-made. A few pieces came even from the bohemian HQ for present-day shoppers—Free People.
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COVID-19 halted production for a few months, but this worked to the costume designer’s advantage. Style directions changed as the cast became embedded in their characters. Sometimes, pieces intended for one character would go to another. “There were things that we tried on Riley [Keough, who plays Daisy Jones] that ended up going to Suki [Waterhouse, who plays keyboardist Karen Sirko] and vice versa,” Wingate says. “We were lucky to have the time.”
Between the central cast and hundreds of extras, there were thousands of outfits to assemble and track over the course of filming. “I’m gonna probably cry a few times at the things that never made it to screen,” Wingate laughs, “because I know they have to edit. There are going to be outfits that I just loved that never made it.”
Ahead, Wingate gives us a closet tour for each of Daisy Jones & The Six’s four leading women and the looks that have made the final edit so far. With this show’s potential to kick-start a full-blown ’70s revival, we’ve added pieces inspired by each character. It’s such a faithful interpretation of the book, you’ll want to try the pieces yourself. At least, that’s what Wingate hopes for: “If I could bring a resurgence of ’70s style [with the show], then that’ll make me happy too.”
Daisy Jones: The Free-Spirited Front Woman
Daisy Jones draws a lot of comparisons to Fleetwood Mac ringleader Stevie Nicks, since the band was a huge inspiration for author Taylor Jenkins Reid. Wingate says the legendary singer somewhat inspired Daisy’s onscreen looks, too, but the costumes were never going to be copy-and-paste re-creations of her wardrobe. There are Nicksian influences in the prevalence of kimono-like tops with billowing sleeves and semi-sheer performance caftans (more on those shortly). The mood board also included ’70s legend Linda Ronstadt and the rock groupies of the Sunset Strip—manifested in the short shorts, cowboy boots, and crop tops Daisy wears for her earliest performances.
But one of the biggest influences on Daisy’s wardrobe was the actor playing her. “I feel like Riley [Keough] is a lot like Daisy in that Daisy is very free thinking and aware,” Wingate says. “The way Riley performed really was instrumental in how we dressed her—she kind of floated like a butterfly. Her energy and movement made the clothes come alive.”
Some of Daisy’s most noteworthy outfits in the book are faithfully re-created for the TV series, like the oversized men’s button-down she wears as a dress to her first recording session with The Six and the hoop earrings constantly swinging with her hair. Other looks capture her “I do what I want” attitude without going line for line from the book, like the fur-trimmed coats she wears over tiny tie-front crop tops and coordinating pants in the (presumable) heat of Los Angeles. Wingate says her opulent coats are a form of armor when she’s feeling vulnerable. At the same time, they’re a sign of her independence. “It’s completely bizarre to be wearing [those coats] on Sunset,” Wingate laughs. “But she doesn’t care—she’s Daisy.”
And then, there are the caftans: staples of Daisy’s onstage performance wardrobe. “I do think that she morphed into a different character when she was doing big stadium shows,” Wingate says. One pivotal performance in a later episode that begins a dark period for Daisy features a sheer black caftan spangled in sequins—which Wingate sourced from Free People. (Conveniently, a collaboration with Free People inspired by the series will be available to shop on March 13.) “I was open to using anything from anywhere if it looked right and fit the scene,” Wingate explains. In this caftan’s case, “I liked that it was dark and it was black, because she really hits the bottom of the barrel [in this episode].”
The most anticipated of Daisy’s looks is saved for last: It’s the outfit she wears for the band’s final performance. Halston is name-checked as hanging in Daisy’s closet in the novel and ends up credited as the last designer she wears on the Aurora Tour. The precise outfit was a collaboration between Wingate and the series’s star: “[Riley] had called me on the phone and she said, I’m listening to ‘Gold Dust Woman’ on the radio. That’s what we should do for the final outfit—it should be ‘Gold Dust Woman.’” They achieved the look with a Halston that was cut down the middle and made into a cape, layered over a 1930s gold crochet dress from Palace Costumes. “It’s sort of like going out in a ball of fire,” Wingate says of the look.
Camila Alvarez: The Bohemian Rock Star’s Wife
Camila Dunne, née Alvarez, has one of the most expansive wardrobes in Daisy Jones & The Six: Wingate says one episode included 56 outfit changes for Camila alone. (A chunk was part of a montage—but still!) It’s a reflection of the dramatic style evolution Camila takes on her journey from small-town photographer and girlfriend of a garage band’s lead singer to the glamorous and underappreciated wife of global sensation Billy Dunne, co-front man of Daisy Jones & The Six. Visually, “she was the one who really had to have the arc,” Wingate explains.
There’s an element of innocence in Camila’s early looks. She’s an Ali MacGraw figure in peasant tops, flared jeans, and easygoing maxi dresses, with middle-parted hair flowing down to her waist. Moving to Laurel Canyon from Pittsburgh with the band—one of several major plot changes from the book—Camila’s style becomes more boho, Wingate says, with an even bigger emphasis on flowy, floral maxis.
The band’s ascent in later episodes—and the sharpening of a love triangle between Camila, Billy, and Daisy—pushes her wardrobe in a more grown-up direction. “It’s full Bianca Jagger,” Wingate says: tighter-knit dresses, huge glasses, knee-high boots. “She was a fashion icon; like, everything she wore was amazing. And that’s Cami [Morrone] in real life,” the costume designer explains. “Camila [Morrone] embodies that, and she felt like she could play both of those inspirations very well.”
Look out in later episodes for one of the most anticipated scenes from the book—the Aurora record photo shoot—where Camila’s evolved style is on full display. “It was important to us that she show up at the Aurora photo shoot and that she looks full-on Bianca Jagger with a scarf [tied around her head] and the big glasses,” Wingate says.
Simone Jackson: The Underground Disco Icon
The world of Daisy Jones & The Six isn’t all rock and roll. Simone Jackson, Daisy’s closest confidante throughout the novel with a more robust backstory in the TV series, is on her own upward trajectory in the world of disco that takes her from the Sunset Strip in Los Angeles to the underground LGBTQ club scene in New York City.
“I went down a big rabbit hole with [Simone],” Wingate says, “and I was really influenced by Chaka Khan and early Donna Summer—women who were pioneers in that whole disco movement.”
Simone starts the series performing in sueded fringe tops, leather minis, and knee-high boots—disco in a somewhat subdued palette. (It’s a reflection of her state as a character: She’s closeted and more than cautious about revealing who she really is in a time where homophobia could torpedo her career.) By the time she’s a star of the New York City club scene—in love and fully embracing her identity—she’s dressed for performances in matching sets with extra fringe and embellishments, sometimes in brighter colors. One look that combines a fringed bra and coordinating hot pants, both in striking white leather, were inspired by an exact outfit Chaka Khan wore in the ’70s.
Accessories are also a big part of Simone’s wardrobing later in the series, from feathered earrings to turquoise-accented necklaces to Tibetan pieces from Wingate’s own archives.
Karen Sirko: The Rock-and-Roll Keyboardist
Onscreen and in the novel, Karen Sirko is the lone woman onstage as a member of The Six for its early years. And from the beginning, the odd-woman-out position affects how she presents herself. She auditions for the band in a collegiate T-shirt and denim in the novel, because, she says, “I knew they’d see a girl. And I wanted them to see a keyboardist.”
Dressing Suki Waterhouse for the adaptation, Wingate stayed true to the character’s edgier look with dark flared jeans and black turtlenecks—a little early Patti Smith, a little early Christine McVie (Fleetwood Mac’s keyboardist and songwriter). The clingy turtlenecks were essentials that came straight from the pages. “It was very specific that she’s wearing a turtleneck at the opening of the book—and we had to stay true to that,” Wingate says.
Karen’s looks evolve in a more ’70s glam direction onscreen as the series continues and chronologically concludes at her documentary scenes in a white shirt, black necktie, and black jacket influenced by Debbie Harry and, later, Patti Smith. It’s in part because of the band’s growing fame and the wealth that came with it. (Karen’s documentary jacket, Wingate says, is 1990s vintage Gucci.) But her onstage looks also had to evolve for visuals’ sake. The lighting for performance scenes could be tricky, and dressing Karen in straightforward black looks could make her blend into the side of the stage. Enter: hints of metallic shimmer and darker jewel tones that could catch the light while Suki performed as Karen. “I just had to have some level or sparkle or shine so she would stand out,” Wingate says.
Episodes 1 through 3 of Daisy Jones & The Six are now streaming on Amazon Prime. More episodes will be added throughout March.
Halie LeSavage is the fashion commerce editor at Harper's BAZAAR. Her style reporting covers everything from reviewing the best designer products to profiling emerging brands and designers. Previously, she was the founding retail writer at Morning Brew and a fashion associate at Glamour.