Sadly Bernadette Peters couldn’t make it.
Everything certainly did not go Brian’s way at his surprise engagement party in Shrinking’s episode 6, “Imposter Syndrome,” but it did give costume designer Allyson Fanger a chance to “create a palette” for the ensemble.
“I keep all the characters in a certain palette and I try to coordinate with production design and we work together because it gives a nice cohesive feel to the group. Our main cast then all feel relative to one another,” she exclusively told Us Weekly. “I think it gives a nice intimacy to the group and it shows their connectivity subtly.”
In the standout episode, which aired on February 24, Jimmy (Jason Segel) hosts best friend Brian’s (Michael Urie) proposal bash at his house after his daughter Alice (Lukita Maxwell) convinces him to. Other guests included Gaby (Jessica Williams), Sean (Luke Tennie), neighbors Liz (Christa Miller) and Derek (Ted McGinley) and a very high Paul (Harrison Ford).
“Gaby was sort of the accent color, that pop color, and we put it in. The flower arrangements and any kind of decoration in the house all sort of were cohesively in the same palette,” Fanger explained to Us. “It’s not something that you would notice as a viewer necessarily, but I think it permeates and even if you don’t recognize it, it’s there.”
The night, naturally, didn’t go as expected for Brian. (Or Kevin, if it was up to Paul.) Amid Brian’s serenade of “You Are So Beautiful” to boyfriend Charlie (Devin Kawaoka), Jimmy at the piano vomits all over himself from drinking too much. Fanger had to order multiple suits for Segel to wear pre — and post-vomit.
“I talked to the director Randall [Keenan Winston]. We always have the director meeting. I’m like, ‘OK you guys, how many times do you wanna do this because we need to have multiples,’” she told Us. “We had four suits for him. And as is typical, we end up never using all four, but we have to have them there because nobody really wants to change and start over that much. So we ended up using, I think maybe we used three. We probably used three.”
Jimmy is eventually escorted out of the room by Gaby, whose dress coordinated with his look.
“And that also was very deliberate because of the connection that they were forming together,” Fanger noted, referencing their eventual hookup. At the top of episode 7, “Apology Tour,” the aftermath of their night plays out. While Paul is downstairs sleeping clutching a bag of Doritos, Jimmy and Gaby are freaking out upstairs about having sex.
Williams, for her part, slipped into a lingerie set while Jimmy wore a shirt — and nothing else — in the morning.
“We had a lot of choices. Lingerie is another very intimate thing like jeans where we’ll go to the actor, ‘What are you comfortable in? What’s your brand for this?’ And then we go and get choices and we tried on I think six different sets for her,” Fanger told Us. “She didn’t have a lot of insecurity about herself, which is so beautiful. And it makes our process so much easier because even people sometimes with gorgeous bodies don’t feel confident. And so that makes it harder.”
Shrinking, which was created by Segel, Brett Goldstein and Bill Lawrence, was officially renewed for season 2 on Thursday, March 9. A new episode drops weekly on Apple TV+ and the season finale airs on March 24.
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Scroll below for Fanger’s breakdown on how she styled each character in “Imposter Syndrome”: