'Dallas' fashion continues to be 'very aspirational, larger than life'

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If someone says, "Shoulder pads, sparkles and cowboy hats," only one word rightfully follows: "Dallas."

The TNT reboot, airing Mondays, stays true to its iconic 1978-91 fashion roots and does a great job of moving that look to today and capturing Dallas style.

Costume designer Rachel Sage Kunin recalls the original fashions as "very aspirational, larger than life. It was fun and exciting and it was a sign of those times, not just Dallas, but around the country."

As wonderful as shoulder pads one might see on the gridiron are, Kunin presents the modern Dallas woman.

"The women here are especially classic and modern, and they like to have fun with fashion," she tells Zap2it. "They are also very appropriate and a very art-driven community.

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"I like to find pieces that Elena (Jordana Brewster) would find on sale," Kunin says of this red Valentino dress trimmed with textured braid. "She wants to fit in and wants to look like she belongs and so she comes to Neiman's Last Call and finds these amazing deals.

"The goal for her is she looks like a million bucks because she is playing with these people and needs to be taken seriously by these people that actually have a million bucks," she says.

The hat, leather accessories and Nha Khanh dress [above] make for more of a cowgirl look than Linda Gray's Sue Ellen Ewing usually sports. Some of her clothes come from Stanley Korshak, a Dallas high-end boutique.

"Linda said they used to really have these barbecues to bring out their Western roots and get kind of costumey with it," Kunin says. 

"This is first time Sue Ellen has worn a cowgirl hat in 10 years."

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Emma (Emma Bell) is a rich girl who shops for every event and usually frequents Neiman's and Tootsies, a Dallas boutique.

"This outfit in particular really needed to take her from two extremes," Kunin says. "One was she had a scene that she needed to placate her father and be a good girl, and then she goes right to John Ross, and it needed to be able to unbutton in the front so there are little buttons to go all the way down and needed to be very physical and climb on top of him."

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In her navy, charcoal and dove Carolina Herrera blouse and tailored charcoal slacks, Judith Light's character, Judith Ryland, gives off an aura of authority.

"She is so lavish, and I love putting her in silhouettes, and she is so much fun to dress," Kunin says.

The belt is from Nordstrom, where "Judith would never actually shop," Kunin says. "I am such a method costume designer because I like to shop where the character would actually shop.

"I think what is so interesting about these characters is we are seeing them at their highest highs and lowest lows," Kunin says. 

"We are going on that journey with them, and for me to be able to create that mood of the journey is really special and quite my passion."
Photo/Video credit: TNT