'Petals on the Wind': Heather Graham, Rose McIver rock '70s fashion and family dysfunction

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And you thought your family was dysfunctional?

Mom locks her kids in the attic, incest is a way of life, and Grandma poisons a grandson. In Lifetime's "Petals on the Wind," airing Monday, May 26, betrayal is high art.

But just because the adults are felonious and creepy, it doesn't mean they shouldn't dress well. After all, they have appearances to keep up.

In January's "Flowers in the Attic," the mother, Corinne (Heather Graham), was a widow with four children. Her kids thought they had no family, since that's what they had been told, but Mama takes them to Olivia (Ellen Burstyn), her very wealthy mother.

Their saga continues in "Petals," as Corinne resumes the life of luxury quite easily. Despite hideous private lives, they look great in public.

Corrine is a socialite, and she dresses the part in this metallic number she wore to a Christmas party at the mansion.

"The dress is almost, to me, timeless fashion in a sense," costume designer Mona May tells  Zap2it. "The style of dress was popular in the '30s. It is a crisscross in the front, and it was important to pile her up with the jewelry. All of her wardrobe was a little over the top.

"It was important to convey the shell that she put on for everybody," May says. "She was taking pills and trembling on the inside, and the jewelry on the outside, the high fashion -- very, very tailored and meticulous in everything she wore."

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The new film jumps ahead four years to 1972 and three locales, all with different sensibilities.

"I wanted to show this time period, the early '70s, just before everything got crazy and polyester and flowers," May says. 

"What I felt when you watch the film is you will want every outfit."

Most of Corrine's outfits hold up. This tan suit and cream-colored turtleneck would work as well in most offices today - perhaps with the lapels altered.

Cathy (Rose McIver) "comes from the South and more of a closed society," May says. "When we meet her, she is not fashion-forward in any way. When she goes to New York City, she sees the big world."

The clothes are vintage, and that white knit sweater with the lace-up neckline was extremely popular in the early '70s.

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The suit was also important for Bart Winslow (Dylan Bruce), who looks as if he should sport a few gold necklaces. A lawyer usually in three-piece suits, he's wearing this sharkskin blue suit with pink shirt, a look May says is inspired by Steve McQueen.

"It was all about parties, going out, and all his clothes reflected that," May says.

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Just as everyday clothes have evolved in the decades since this was set, so have ballet togs. Here, Cathy wears a Capezio leotard, tights and filmy ballet skirt -- even the cut of the leotard is spot-on for the early '70s.
Photo/Video credit: Lifetime