From Beth to John Dutton and everyone in between, watch as ‘Yellowstone’s fantastic costume designer, Johnetta Boone, dishes the dirt on her process for developing each character’s wardrobe.
“Costumes tell you who the characters are,” Boone begins in Paramount’s Wednesday feature. Within, fans of the modern Western are treated to an in-depth look at the work of the brilliant Johnetta Boone.
“Color plays a large part in it, but you can’t just judge a book by its cover!” she continues. Boone’s a master of her craft, having studied both fashion and merchandising at FIT. Now, her work features everything from “uniforms, to civilian wear, to western wear – just everything” for cable’s #1 drama, ‘Yellowstone.’
Boone’s work on ‘Yellowstone’ began with Season 2, where she took over from industry legend Ruth Carter. A mentor to her in the 90s, Boone says she took “lots of notes!” while working under the master craftsman. Needless to say, it shows!
Indeed, Boone’s respect for Carter runs deep. Her main priority with ‘Yellowstone’ was to remain “authentic” to the characters that Carter built through costume, instead of trying to mix things up and confuse audiences.
“It’s really important for the cast and characters to continue the story. It was more important for me to do that than to start from scratch,” she reveals.
Johnetta Boone Delves Deep into her ‘Yellowstone’ Creative Process
“Everyone has a color palette that they sort of live inside of,” Boone adds. Breaking down her creative process, the designer says her work on the show began with “JD,” John Dutton, “then Beth, then Kacye, then I sort of went from there.”
In order to picture the costumes, Boone will read each of show creator Taylor Sheridan’s script two times over “sometimes three, times, just to get what Taylor Sheridan – who’s our creator – is communicating,” she reveals.
“It’s all very pictorial when he puts it on the page,” she says of Sheridan’s writing. Keeping to this, Boone pulls much of her aesthetic directly from the script. “If you’re paying enough attention, it’ll jump right out at you and [the script will] describe – with an underlying description – what the palette is,” she continues of her process. “And then I go in and break down how many days there are in the script. And that will determine how many changes for the character there are.”
“Once I go beyond the continuity and the breaking down of the script, then I get into the nuts and bolts of building the costume.”
As for her favorite piece to work with?
“Well I must say, iconically, the JD jacket was the first thing that popped,” she reveals of John Dutton‘s timeless affect that we cover extensively here. “Which is the taupe with the rust, Western yoke.”
“It fit him perfectly,” she recalls for ‘Yellowstone’ headliner Kevin Costner. “And then I was able to build his additional costumes from there.”