September looks like a billion bucks with local telenovela Legacy airing Mondays through Thursdays on M-Net (DStv 101) from Monday 21, September. Forget the mansions and the flashy cars – you can tell the billionaires from the “commoner peasant” millionaires by the clothes they wear.
If you can see a designer label, you are swimming with the small fish. The more understated the gear, the more power in their pocket for the Price family. Now the Tshedza Pictures production team reveals how they worked their budget and dressed the best of Legacy, where characters don’t look at the price tag… because there’s nothing they can’t afford.
The Price is right
When you look at someone on the street or at a mall, can you tell if they are super-rich? What are some of the clear status markers that come across in your clothes?
We had to strike a balance between the characters that wear labels and the ones that don’t. For example, a character like SJ (Anton David Jeftha, playing the youngest of the Price children), who is young, trendy and out there, would be very showy when it comes to his fashion. He’s lived among fashionable people, probably attended New York Fashion Week a couple of times, and therefore has the confidence to dress up in that way. And then characters like Felicity (Mary-Anne Barlow, playing the eldest of the Price children) are more understated. You’re able to tell that their clothes are expensive, but they don’t wear branded stuff. Someone like Angelique (Michelle Botes, playing the first Mrs. Price) has had money for a while. She’s worked hard and is unapologetic about all the good things she wants.
What shaped some of your thoughts when it came to thinking about dressing the billionaire-level super-rich on Legacy?
Our wardrobe HOD Kgomotso Dipholo did thorough research from across different genres (reality shows, dramas… everywhere) to find inspiration for the characters.
In the first episode, characters were name checking Tom Ford, Burberry and Ralph Lauren. How did you bring that to the screen?
Some of these labels are worn by our characters, and are ubiquitous in their wardrobe. So naturally they would talk about them. But some clothes won’t be instantly recognisable as a specific designer’s brand – because that can sometimes put off viewers. The focus is in telling a story and using fashion and everything else to support and accentuate that.
Did you collaborate with real-life South African designers for Legacy?
Absolutely! We worked with Lungstar Creations, Gert Johan-Coetzee, Relevance for Men, Tina Dikotsi…
How did accessories like handbags, shoes, jewellery and glasses help you to make a statement about wealth?
Clothes in television often say a lot about a character before they themselves say something. They do the initial talking. So our job was to find clothes that would suit our characters’ personalities and differentiate them from each other, and as a show in totality.
How do you create a billionaire look on a telenovela budget?
Some of the clothes are bought, others are made, and some are barter deals made with the designers. You find the right balance.
Watch Legacy S1 from Monday, 21 September on M-Net (DStv 101) at 19:00 or on Catch Up
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