As for the former Dr. Frank-N-Furter, Tim Curry, he also appears in in the television movie as the criminologist. The role was originally played by Charles Gray in a woolly suit and burgundy cravat. But Curry had his own costume homage in mind. "He said, 'I want to look like you.' Me," laughed Long. "So I went to Brooks Brothers. I got the shirt and the tie and the gray trousers — not the chinos — but he wears my lace-up shoes. He wears exactly what I wear and it's his desire." In a project with so many inspirations, it's fitting that Ivey himself provides a poignant reference.
"I did a coagulated blood out of the red bugle beads," said Long. "This was supposed to be a whole gown then we decided it would be a tunic, so we still wanted to see the legs." Sketch: William Ivey Long
Director Ortega and , six-time Tony winner and recent William Ivey Long had their own thoughtful and ambitious plans for the 21st century reimagining of the classic story — and the memorable main character. "Dr. Frank-N-Furter, as played by Laverne Cox, [would be] 60 percent Grace Jones, 30 percent Tina Turner and 10 percent Beyoncé," said Long, describing Ortega's vision for Frank. The costume designer walked and talked me through the floor-to-ceiling inspirations boards lining the walls of his Tribeca studio one day in August. "How 'bout that?" But Long looked to another musical icon for further sartorial inspiration. After all, updating the costumes for a transgender actress playing a sexually fluid, otherworldly being — previously portrayed by a cross-dressing cisgender man — can be a delicate business.