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HomeCraftsCostume DesignTed Lasso Costume Designer Jacky Levy On Kicking Up Season Three Designs

Ted Lasso Costume Designer Jacky Levy On Kicking Up Season Three Designs


Ted Lasso costume
Jason Sudeikis and Nick Mohammed in Ted Lasso (Apple TV+)

Over the course of three seasons of eleven-time Emmy award winner Ted Lasso (Apple TV+), which translated to story as three years of watching AFC Richmond footballers go from being the underwhelming underdogs to contenders for the Premier League title under the tender leadership of Ted Lasso (Jason Sudeikis), Beard (Brendan Hunt), and assistant coach Roy Kent (Brett Goldstein). In the 12-episode series finale, we also find the women, team owner Rebecca Welton (Hannah Waddingham) and PR maven Keeley Jones (Juno Temple), continuing their vibrant and powerful roles with the addition of a new female boss, Jack Danvers (Jodi Balfour).

Since the series’ debut in August 2020 and through 33 episodes, costume designer Jacky Levy has been the creative force behind their wardrobe, from authentic kits for the footballers to designer-inspired fabulous frocks and funky get-ups. Levy is from London, England, where the action of Ted Lasso takes place and where she was schooled in fashion design. She has designed for both film and television for such British-based productions as The Girl in a Cafe, Traces, Grace, Primeval, and Years and Years for HBO.

Below the Line spoke with Jacky Levy via Zoom video from a rented apartment, or “flat” as she called it, in Manchester, England, where she is doing costumes for an upcoming Netflix series, For Me Once. Levy, getting a bit choked up at times, talked about the evolution of what each character wore and getting to fully express their uniqueness, especially Keeley Jones, portrayed by Juno Temple, whose style can be described as quirky, colorful chic.

Below The Line: The costumes in this season, especially Keeley’s (Juno Temple) clothes, were off the charts. Was the motto, let’s go for it?

Jacky Levy: It was more a progression of where her career was going. She’s starting to be successful. She’s got more money to spend, and she’s sort of mature. I mean, not in the way that a lot of people mature, but in a Keeley sort of way, you know? We just had fun and tried to up it from the previous seasons. We’ve had fun with the color. We’ve never really had a color palette for her, actually. We’ve just gone with what we feel is right at the time—more textures, shapes, and things like that. Juno loves clothes and fashion, and obviously I do as well, so it’s good fun, and she wears things very well. Not everybody would be able to wear things like she does.

BTL: Can you elaborate a little bit more on how her style evolved over the show? 

Levy: From the first season on, she was still sort of fashionable. She loved fashion, but it was not expensive fashion. The second season she started working at the club, and this season she’s got her own company, so we wanted to show how she was becoming more professional, but we also wanted to keep that very kooky, unique, sassy look. We’ve done a lot of mixing of designer stuff, a lot of new young designers, and vintage bits that we’ve picked up, and we’ve put it all together. It’s an eclectic mix of things that may be expensive but are also less expensive.

BTL: What would Keeley never be caught dead wearing?

Levy: Well, she does wear sweatpants, but they’d be Agent Provocateur sweatpants. She’d probably never wear something from Gap, something from a supermarket, or Walmart. She’s got to have a little label somewhere, whether it’s contemporary or vintage; there’s always a little nod to fashion.

BTL: Where did that pink fur coat come from? 

Levy: That was from Top Shop. It doesn’t exist as a shop anymore, but you can still buy it online. That was a very inexpensive jacket. Although I say she likes her label, she’s not all about the label.

Ted Lasso costume
Juno Temple in Ted Lasso (Apple TV+)

BTL: There is a scene between Keeley and Jack Danvers, her new boss played by Jodi Balfour. What inspired those designs?

Levy:  That was a Pretty Woman sort of take on Keeley and Jack when they went to the Crazy Golf when they were supposed to be going to the Polo. We loosely based it on Pretty Woman, when Julia Roberts and Richard Gere go to the Polo. Finding that spot dress—that’s very Keeley.

BTL: When it comes to labels, Rebecca Welton is almost always dressed to the nines.

Levy: Hannah would never be caught not dressing absolutely to perfection. There are a couple of instances in this season where she kind of lets her hair down, you know, literally falling into an Amsterdam canal. She had to let her hair down. (laughs). We see her shower in this strange man’s boat and put on a dress that she would probably never have bought in Rebecca’s world, but she had to, and it sort of transported her to other places, really. So we ran with that.

There’s another occasion where she’s slightly more dressed down at home when she’s talking to Ted on the other side of Richmond Green. We wanted to show little glimmers of her just letting her hair down—not too much, but just becoming at one with life, I guess.

BTL: How would you describe Rebecca’s style? 

Levy: It has a wealthy look, but it’s still accessible. We didn’t want to make her so unaccessible that nobody would like her. We wanted her to be very professional and just appealing—attainable, I guess. We tried to put unusual colors together or pairings that maybe most people wouldn’t think of or do immediately, just to give her some style. Of course, with Hannah’s stuff, everything’s tailored to her shape. There are very few things you can buy that are absolutely Hannah’s shape, so everything is completely tailored. I just make her look chic.

BTL: Let’s be frank, she has an amazing figure. Aside from like the little nighty that you mentioned, I don’t feel like she wears anything that’s not skintight.  

Levy: No, she doesn’t. A lot of skirts were made for her. We take everything out, so if they’ve got pockets, they come out, and any extra layers of fabric inside just come out so that they look very smooth and sleek, and that’s what she likes. Although we always love pockets in real life, Rebecca does not need pockets. (laughs)

Ted Lasso costume
Hannah Waddingham in Ted Lasso (Apple TV+)

BTL: Let’s talk about the men in the series, and designing for them. Do they give you input into how their characters should dress?

Levy: I think they do leave a lot to me and the makeup to devise to help characters grow. They do have a say, but everything has to be passed through Jason. You know, looks and so on. Sometimes he will have specific ideas, and sometimes he’ll just give you some pointers on where to go. You know, right at the beginning, for the footballers, for instance, he said, “Maybe pick a footballer for inspiration for these characters, run with that, and collaborate with the actor if there’s a footballer that they want to use as inspiration.”

We did it with a couple of them. For Jamie Tartt (Phil Dunster), for instance, we used Premier League club Manchester City’s Jack Grealish as a bit of inspiration at first, but once the characters start forming, they take on their own path. You can go down a path with them; luckily, all the footballers have very different characters and are from all different parts of the world. It wasn’t difficult to make them all look individual.

BTL: Were their footballer kits modeled after any teams?

Levy: Well, this year, we luckily had Nike on board. We came up with the color schemes that we wanted, and they provided the kits for us in collaboration. Although we had to get all the embroidered badges put on afterwards and all the printing done on the backs and so on, that was a great collaboration.

The players absolutely loved the Nike kit. They felt really professional about it. Originally, the colors of the home kit were based on Crystal Palace [a football club based in South London], just because we used the stadium quite a bit to film. So, that’s where the red and blue originally came from.

Ted Lasso costume
Billy Harris and James Lance in Ted Lasso (Apple TV+)

BTL: You mentioned the players were from all over the world. What about designing for the character Zava and that fabulous fur coat? 

Levy: He was great fun. Actually, we did have some inspiration for him from Swedish soccer player Zlatan Ibrahimovi. He had that sort of arrogant personality, although he did have a kind of softness in a weird way with all the meditation and stuff that he did. We’ve kind of loosely based it on Zlatan, so it’s a little bit brash, very slightly out of date, and a little bit behind. He thinks he’s very on point in fashion, but it’s off and a little bit too brash with his jewelry, his Versace, and his T-shirts.

That was a great coat [you mentioned]. I added the fur collar to give it a little bit more when he arrived, and I think it worked quite well. Also, you have to wait to meet the actor because not everything is going to work on every actor. You can come up with an idea, but it doesn’t always work for the actual actors. There’s a lot of collaboration. We definitely had fun with Max [Osinski], and I definitely had fun playing that character.

BTL: Roy Kent is looking very spiffy in that leather jacket.

Levy: The brand is Schott. It’s a well-known, very good brand of leather jacket. They do some really good stuff. He has had leather jackets, but they got just a bit nicer each season.

BTL: What about Jason’s look? What input did he have from the beginning?

Levy: Jason’s look was totally his idea. We’re sort of buying new stuff for him along the way, but it’s always in the realm of Ted. Ted has a specific look, whereas all the others have moved on in their wear of dress. Ted is always the same. It’s all about the cardigan sweater, the shirt underneath, and the khaki pants.

BTL: Are you hoping for a new season, even though this has been said as the definitive end? And if so, how do you think the characters’ style would continue to grow? 

Levy: I don’t know whether there’ll be a new season. Nobody knows at all. I think everyone’s hoping, but we don’t know. If it does continue, it depends on what year we do it. If we do another year, it depends on what happens in their lives within the script. You can’t really say until you know what direction they’re going in their personal lives and their professional lives within the show. I think you’ve got to leave it until the scripts are written before you think, “Oh, well, that person would definitely wear that.”

All three seasons of Ted Lasso are available to stream via Apple TV+.

Robin Milling
Robin Milling
Robin Milling is an Entertainment Reporter and Producer based in New York. Robin has a wealth of experience as an Entertainment Reporter covering film, theater, television, and music. Her style is conversational and candid, discussing personal issues as well as professional topics with celebrities. She is a writer/producer and host of the podcast Milling About™ with Robin Milling, which can be heard on Amazon Music, Apple podcasts, and seen on YouTube, featuring her provocative conversations with the hottest names in Hollywood.
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