It’s Not Dress Up, It’s Bravery: The Fashion Of ‘Inventing Anna’

Brunette woman wearing large sunglasses and an overcoat standing next to a pool.

Photo: Netflix

As fans of Inventing Anna know, the world of Anna Delvey, whose real name Anna Sorokin, was closely connected with the world of New York fashion.

The role of accurately exhibiting the outfits worn by the deceptive socialite fell to award winning Costume Designer Lyn Paolo. The Emmy winner sat down with Stacey Wilson Hunt, journalist and host of Inventing Anna: The Official Podcast, to discuss the challenge of recreating Delvey’s unique style for the mini-series.

“I feel that designing and completing costumes for dramas that take place in modern life are actually harder to do than costumes from a period piece,” explained Paolo. “There is much more nuance to it, and everyone knows what to expect.”

The costume team also got to have a bit of fun and play with the different Annas seen throughout the show. As Paolo points out, everyone thought they knew the real Delvey, so her wardrobe and style would sometimes change dramatically from scene to scene.

“It was such an interesting process because we were trying to match exactly what Anna wore on her Instagram and in the courtroom,” Paolo said. “It was a heavily researched show.”

Apart from the show’s focus on Delvey’s fashion, the costume design team worked to make sure other characters wore clothes fitting for their roles. "Vivian Kent" wore nice but well-worn clothes and shoes to show her busy life as a reporter. Other characters, especially the friends surrounding Delvey, had their wardrobe changed throughout the show to demonstrate the effect Delvey was having on their lives.

“I think everybody that was around Anna in real life and on the show were influenced by her,” said Paolo. “She was able to almost hypnotize people and bring joy to their lives.”

All nine episodes of Inventing Anna are streaming on Netflix. To listen to the full discussion on the show’s fashion, check out "Dressing Anna with Lyn Paolo." Inventing Anna: The Official Podcast has new episodes every Wednesday.

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