Empire’s Cookie Lyon is known for many things, her spicy attitude, her razor sharp one-liners, and her killer business smarts, but when it comes to fashion she’s in a lane of her own. The man behind Cookie’s evolving style, Empire costume designer Paolo Nieddu spoke exclusively with ESSENCE.com on how to be a diva on a dime, Cookie’s style motto and what we can expect for the rest of the season. Also, click here to see him talk about his 7 favorite looks.
On dressing on a tight budget: “When you’re budget dressing you don’t need to spend $550 on a pair of black jeans. Go to Topshop, get those, and put your money on the blazer. You’ve got to know where to spend it.”
On who inspires Cookie’s looks: “We’ve definitely gone for Dynasty, whether it be Alexis Carrington or Diane Carroll, Dominique Deveraux inspired. She’s a little bit more Alexis, I would say.”
On Taraji P. Henson: “She can wear clothes so well and she can handle them. The best thing about her is the clothes don’t wear her.”
On Cookie’s style M.O.: “They always say when you’re going out the door to take one thing off, I think she puts another thing on.”
On what we can expect this season: “We will definitely continue to see her experiment and play with color and play with print. Now, we’re getting into fall, so we’re going to be hitting you guys with coats.”