Just when it seems like there can’t possibly be any major secrets or surprises left in the Empire, Fox airs the latest episode of the scintillating soap opera and puts us on the edge of our seats with new jaw-dropping twists and guest stars. This week, Lucious drops a bomb regarding Lola's paternity à la Maury Povich, Malcolm finally gets a taste of the Cookie, and Andre receives treatment for his bipolar disorder with the help of his family and music therapist Michelle White, played by Jennifer Hudson.
Michelle’s opening outfit reflects her unique profession as both a doctor and a singer. “Michelle is a music therapist, so I wanted to make sure she looked like a doctor but still had a little edge since she is also a musician,” the show's costume designer, Rita McGhee, tells InStyle. “I put her in this neutral-colored, silk Theory blouse and Karen Millen fitted skirt (above) because as a doctor, Michelle needs to be polished and professional ... but as a musician she needs to be contemporary, sexy and fashion-forward. This look is professional but approachable,” McGhee says.
The entire Lyon family, except for Lucious, visits Andre at the medical clinic to support him as he receives music therapy treatment and comes to terms with his bipolar disorder. Lucious rejects Andre and refuses to acknowledge that his eldest son has a mental health disorder, leaving Andre depressed and despondent. In a flashback to his first psychotic episode at a Christmas party, we learn that Lucious has always swept Andre’s mental health issues under the rug when we see that he was more interested in singing with Empire Enterprises star Angie, played by Mary J. Blige, than he was in comforting his visibly disoriented and distressed son.
“In this flashback we meet Angie, who is much more than just a singing partner from Lucious’s past,” McGhee says. “Angie is a star and an Empire performer, but Lucious always saw a softness and a lightness in her, which is why I chose a white, fashionable, fringe Alexis jumpsuit (above) ... She looks angelic and fierce!”
We can't wait to see more of both guest stars in next week's two-hour season finale—be sure to tune into Fox next Wednesday at 9 p.m. ET!
1. SEASON 1, EPISODE 6: GUCCI DRESS, CHRISTIAN LOUBOUTIN SHOES
“Cookie tries on everything from bedazzled dresses and skirts to fierce animal prints,” McGhee explained of Cookie’s styling process, which included trying on this bejeweled black Gucci dress paired with leopard print Louboutins. “She wants to find a look that will not only make Lucious want her but will also make her feel and look strong and beautiful. It’s all about the art of seduction and for Cookie, an important part of that is feeling confident.”
2. SEASON 1, EPISODE 6: VICTORIA'S SECRET LINGERIE
After trying on several seductive looks, Cookie chooses a vintage purple fur coat with very little underneath—nothing but Victoria’s Secret lingerie! “She goes with fur and lingerie because she owns and embraces her femininity and her sexuality. She decides she’s really going in for the kill tonight,” McGhee told InStyle. “She went with purple because [that’s] Lucious’s favorite color—I mean, she pulled out all the stops. She was in it to win it.”
3. SEASON 1, EPISODE 6: GUCCI JUMPSUIT
“One of Taraji’s favorite looks so far was this black, velvet-crush Gucci catsuit that we borrowed from Monique Mosley…it is just everything,” gushed McGhee about the skin-tight jumpsuit Cookie wears in the club scene where Jamal first hears his song in public. “Monique’s husband, Timbaland, produces all the music for the show and Monique has been kind enough to lend us many of her personal pieces for Cookie’s wardrobe—she is our couture angel!”
4. SEASON 1, EPISODE 6: BCBG CAPE, ROBERTO CAVALLI DRESS, CHRISTIAN LOUBOUTIN SHOES
“The BCBG cape is great business attire but also a flirtatious, feminine fashion piece,” McGhee explained. Paired with this vintage Roberto Cavalli dress and Christian Louboutin booties, Cookie is ready to take on the day!
5. SEASON 1, EPISODE 6: DIANE VON FURSTENBURG JUMPSUIT, CHANEL NECKLACE
Cookie, who is one of Elle Dallas’ biggest fans, takes her on as a client and is ready to get down to business in her DVF leopard-printed jumpsuit. “This jumpsuit is Cookie’s way of doing the pantsuit,” McGhee told InStyle. “This look shows her sass and her sexiness but it also shows her power because it’s controlled. This is how a music woman does a business suit.”
6. SEASON 1, EPISODE 6: HAUTE HIPPIE DRESS
Elle’s diva nature is reflected in her opening outfit of a turquoise Haute Hippie dress and vintage fur coat. “She tries to hide the hot mess [she is] and her pain behind the big furs and the bling. Elle wants to show the world that she is still a star,” McGhee revealed.