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Unleash your inner gem as we delve into the wild and hilarious world of The right gems where comedy, religion and family drama collide. The critically acclaimed HBO series has captured our hearts with its dynamic characters, captivating story, and of course, its glamorous fashion. The show’s unique costume designs have transformed along with the characters, reflecting their growth and the ever-changing dynamics within the Gemstone family.
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Christina Flannerythe brilliant costume designer behind all the looks in the third season of The right gems, has created a visual tapestry that pays homage to Southern megachurch culture while giving it contemporary flair. Her unique approach and attention to detail have given each character their own distinct style, contributing to the overall narrative and enhancing the immersive world of the show.
As the last episode of The right gems Season 3 is approaching Sunday, July 31, we sat down with Flannery to celebrate the incredible fashion journey that has accompanied the Gemstone family’s wild antics. Whether you’re mesmerized by Judy’s glitz and glam Gucci moments or Kelvin’s Hype Priest vibe, there’s plenty of inspiration to explore and embrace from this stylishly satirical world.
Stream The Righteous Gemstones on Hulu
Creating unique looks for the gemstone family
When dressing the Gemstone family, Flannery aimed to evolve the characters’ styles while maintaining a sense of familiarity from previous seasons. She drew inspiration from various aspects of Southern fashion, seamlessly blending accessorizing and opulence with the Gemstone family’s clothing. She also took inspiration from new stories, such as Judy’s return from tour, which added eye-catching elements to her outfits. She explains, “I wanted them to have an extra layer of pizzazz, and with three siblings now taking over the church, I also wanted Eli to lean on his retirement with lots of linens and cottons. It’s hot as hell in South Carolina in the summer, so these fabrics are a good testament to that laid-back southern lifestyle.”
Costume design in The right gems it not only adds visual flair to the series but also contributes to the overall narrative. Flannery points out how costumes, especially in flashback scenes and for new characters, help create the world they come from. Flannery shares, “For me, it’s like the costumes jump off the screen, and it really warms my heart to see what we were able to accomplish this season.”
The challenge of building the right wardrobe
Designing costumes for a show like The right gems comes with its own set of challenges. Flannery wanted elaborate construction, such as capes and pistol robes, to highlight wealth and class, but other costumes proved more complex. “The fabrics for young Jesse’s monster truck costume were sourced from New York and sent to be stoned and embroidered after my tailor built it,” Flannery begins. “Shipping our precious costume and relying on someone outside of my team to handle the accents was scary, but the reward was so fulfilling.”
Flannery boasts a Baby Billy Oyster costume, a nod to past singers like Wayne Newton and Liberace. “The immobile construction of the oysters was an added layer of fun, to make it a whole one-man show,” notes Flannery. It also highlights the introductory fire suit worn by Young Jesse. “It was a long process and that baby shines in the lights. I wanted to give a nod to that Southern culture of Dale Earnhardt, with an Elvis twist. It’s made of silk and spices and everything beautiful.”
Despite the challenges, Flannery worked closely with production designer Richard Wright and received tremendous support from the directors, allowing her visions to be realized without a hitch. “The payoff was huge, I think it looks so peaceful when you look at those scenes. Denia [McBride] is a very involved filmmaker and versatile presenter, so he was always game for new and weird things that popped into my head.”
Reflecting personality and development through costumes
Southern and megachurch culture heavily influenced design choices in the The right gems. Flannery aimed to strike a balance between accessibility and opulence in the characters’ clothing. “Judy, for example, wears Gucci consistently throughout the season, but it’s the glam and glam version, not the chic and elegant,” notes Flannery. She believes that Kelvin would like to continue to emulate the newest personification of youth pastors. “I could see his character building on that Hype Priest vibe that you see in this season. I did a lot of research on TikTok to see what the kids are wearing these days in these megachurch youth groups and the sneakers did not disappoint.”
Season 3 shows a new side of BJ and Judy. “BJ is trying to make a big difference in the community and build on what it means to be a gem,” says Flannery. His outfits reflected that this season.” BJ’s clothing matches his community-focused efforts, while Judy’s clothing evolves as her relationship with BJ faces challenges. “We wanted her to turn into a rock superstar. However, when things get bumpy with BJ, you see through the wardrobe a sink in and a shedding of that glow from the beginning of the season.”
Flannery delights in including subtle details that contribute significantly to character development and the overall mood of the play. From mismatched May-May buttons to Aunt Tiff’s pageant-inspired look, each character’s outfits tell a unique story. “May-May mixed match buttons to show that she took them from the church floor and sewed them into her vests. The cape and pistol holster are actually pistol holsters.” With Flannery’s attention to detail and creative vision, the costumes seen throughout the season not only entertain, but also provide a window into the unique world of gemstones.
Including the unique style of Fair Gemstones in your wardrobe
As a contemporary show, The right gems balances historical accuracy and creative storytelling. Flannery’s experience with period costumes and vintage style allows her to authentically represent different time periods. “In the past I have done many periods [costumes] and I owned a vintage store in New Orleans, so being authentic to a period is important to me.” Episode five in particular showcases Flannery’s attention to detail, featuring nods to past fashion trends like JNCO, FUBU and Southpole jeans, and pop culture icons like Justin Timberlake, 50 Cent and Eminem.
Channel the grand style of Baby Billy Freeman with a great lounge ensemble that pays homage to the singers of the past. Look for a vibrant, quilted blazer like the Holly Quilted Suit Jacket by Elie Tahari, sold in women’s sizes 2 to 16. Pair it with wide-leg suit pants for a complete ensemble. Add a whimsical touch with a unique oyster-themed accessory, like these pearl drop earrings from The Pink Reef. Complete the look with some show-stopping platform heels and embrace your inner entertainer.
To take a cue from Judy Gemstone’s rock superstar transformation, rock a glamorous and edgy look. Look for a sequined or metallic mini dress with intricate beading or fringe details, like this stunning disc embellished sequined wrap dress, sold in women’s sizes 0-10 at Asos. Pair it with ankle boots or stilettos like these Clear Heels, available in women’s sizes 5 to 12, for a better stance. Accessorize with chunky jewelry, like a simple brooch or oversized earrings like these Lapis Teardrop Earrings from Nest Jewelry, to bring out that rock ‘n’ roll vibe. Complete the ensemble with the Leather Motorcycle Jacket from Madewell, available in women’s sizes 2XS to 2XL and four colors, for a touch of rebellion.
For a more relaxed vibe, embrace Eli Gemstone’s leisurely retirement aesthetic with a sophisticated yet laid-back ensemble. Look for lightweight linen or cotton pieces like a relaxed-fit blazer or a sharp button-down shirt like the Relaxed Linen Shirt from Everlane, available in women’s sizes 0 to 16 and six colors. Pair it with comfortable chinos or relaxed pants like the Harlow Wide Leg Pants from Madewell for an effortless yet refined look. These pants are available in women’s standard, plus, long and slim sizes from 00 to 28 W. Complete the outfit with genuine leather or boat shoes from Sperry for a touch of classic elegance, available in women’s shoe sizes 5 to 13 in three widths and three colors. Don’t forget to accessorize with a Panama hat and stylish rectangular sunglasses to protect yourself from the South Carolina sun.
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