Costume Designer Ruth Carter Breaks Down the Most '70s Looks in 'Dolemite Is My Name' (Exclusive)

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"Polyester could have a real comeback after this."

So says Oscar-winning costume designer Ruth Carter (Black Panther) of the threads she pulled together for the cast of Netflix's '70s-set Dolemite Is My Name. "This is a big endeavor. We dress every single person that you see onscreen," Carter explains in this behind-the-scenes featurette, debuting on ET. "Pimp, hoes, you name it."

Now, Carter -- who Eddie Murphy calls "the best in the whole business" -- is once again in the Oscars conversation for her work dressing Dolemite. Watch the featurette above and, below, she reveals the secrets behind the movie's most iconic looks.

Eddie Murphy as Rudy Ray Moore

Murphy stars as the aspiring comedian Rudy Ray, who became a '70s Blaxploitation phenomenon and the godfather of rap after adopting the alter-ego Dolemite, a raunchy, dressed-to-kill, kung-fu master.

"We had to make Rudy stand apart from everyone else and still be in the '70s," Carter notes. "We bridged the gap with leisure suits. We made suits out of patterns [and] we used a lot of texture so not only would he have the '70s look, but he would have his own '70s look."

Da'Vine Joy Randolph as Lady Reed

Randolph co-stars as Lady Reed, a single mother trying to make ends meet who becomes Rudy's right-hand woman and co-star in the "Dolemite" movies. Her costumes, the actress explains, are a "little bit louder, a little bit brighter."

"We really wanted to give Lady Reed an arc. We see her in the beginning in a house dress, where she finds her husband cheating on her at the club," Carter explains. "And then with Rudy Ray Moore, she becomes a queen. Full figured, in bright colors, well-fit, ready to be onstage."

Wesley Snipes as D'Urville Martin

Snipes plays D'Urville Martin, an actor and director who made it big in the Blaxploitation business. He made his directorial debut with the first "Dolemite" movie and pulled double duty as the film's villain, Willie Green.

"We wanted to make sure that D'Urville's look always had something self-conscious about it," Carter says. "He wears this patchwork hat that matches the jeans. We see him in these combinations that are kind of custom-made."

Dolemite Is My Name is now streaming on Netflix.


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