Empire’s second season has so far delivered an unmatched dose of hip-shaking drama and unforgettable cameos. And while last night’s episode once again nailed it on the head, we couldn’t help but focus on one thing: the show’s over-the-top fashion. To get the scoop on the carefully curated on-camera ensembles, we once more teamed up with Empire costume designer Paolo Nieddu for more details.
So what exactly caught our eye? First up, the guests stars. “Fallin’” singer Alicia Keys made her Empire debut as none other than Skye Summers, a bonafide pop star that may or may not have engaged in some flirty fun with Jamal. For her statement looks, Keys tapped her very own stylists, Rebecca Grice and Kat Typaldos. The beauty not only donned a red hairdo with a matching purple blazer (above), but also sported a sexy red Opening Ceremony coat with a black bustier and a Dolce & Gabbana rose-print pencil skirt for her recording session scene with Jamal (below).
Keys wasn’t the only one to make an appearance. Funny lady Rosie O’Donnell portrayed Pepper O’Leary, a bakery shop owner and a former jail mate that Cookie (Taraji P. Henson) finds to help narrow down her search for sister Carole in Philadelphia. O’Donnell rocks a green Old Navy jacket with a pale pink button down shirt and a spoon-patterned retro skirt. Meanwhile, Vivica A. Fox, who portrays Cookie long lost sister, slays in an Elie Tahari coat with a Reiss top and gray pencil skirt. “I really wanted her to play against Cookie’s hard, street look,” Nieddu told InStyle.
Cookie, of course, sizzles in a black and red Versace sweatshirt with matching pants and a textured black Comme des Garçons jacket, which Nieddu paired with thick gold Michael Kors cuffs. “It had an old-school hip-hop flavor—it gave me like a modern throwback look,” he says of her ready-to-fight ensemble.
But what was the most memorable fashion moment of the night? For the first time this season, Cookie gave us a major diva moment in an oversize fur coat worn, naturally, in the middle of the day (below). “It was early October and the weather was around 60 degrees, but it felt like 100,” Nieddu says of the day this scene was filmed. To match the red Georgine coat, Nieddu gave Cookie a pair of way above the knee black Stuart Weitzman boots and matching black Givenchy pants. He also threw on a braided Givenchy belt, black Jimmy Choo bag, oversize sunglasses, and a graphic MSGM blouse.
Fox, meanwhile, killed it in the same Tahari coat as before along with an Hugo Boss dress, Oliver Peoples sunglasses, her own Jimmy Choo pumps, a Kate Spade handbag, and one silk Hermes scarf. So what’s on deck for next week? We’ll have to tune in Wednesday for more action.