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Reimagining Glamour: Zac Posen’s Creative Journey in “Feud: Capote vs. The Swans”

Cam Speck



Zac Posen spiced up the 1966 Black and White Ball scene in the FX series “Feud: Capote vs. The Swans” with his modern twist and attention to historical detail. His goal wasn’t just to copy the famous bash Truman Capote threw at the Plaza Hotel; he aimed to refresh it for today’s viewers, adding a bit of what he calls Ryan Murphy’s magic to each outfit.

The episode focuses on a high point in New York’s social calendar that saw a guest list featuring names like Katharine Graham, Mia Farrow, and Frank Sinatra turn the event into a fusion of fashion and social drama. Posen took on this huge task with great respect for the original affair, while also looking to push the story forward through his clothing creations.

Behind the Scenes: Crafting Iconic Gowns

The teamwork between Posen, Ryan Murphy, and the costume crew was all about blending their creative spirits. Posen dug deep into that time period, getting to know the era’s well-known people and fashion trends, setting the stage for outfits that were true to history but with a fresh spin. His efforts included:

  • Detailed research on dresses and photos from back then, making sure they were historically accurate yet still had a touch of creativity.
  • Creating clothes for characters like Babe Paley and C.Z. Guest that subtly showed off each person’s history and character.
  • Carefully picking fabrics and details that echoed the sophistication of those times, including a standout remake of Katharine Graham’s dress.

Posen’s approach shows he knows how to keep things historically right while still bringing the drama needed for a Ryan Murphy show. His designs weren’t just a treat for the eyes; they also helped tell the story, shedding light on the complex social ties and changes of that period.

Impact on Modern Viewing

The show, especially the Black and White Ball episode, links the lavish lifestyle and complex social scenes of the 1960s to today’s viewers. With Posen teaming up with the creators of the show, they give us a fresh way to look at history, keeping it alive while giving it a new spin.

Every aspect in the costumes isn’t just about showcasing what folks wore back then but also tells us about their culture and society. The splendor of the dresses and even the small things like fabric texture and colors are core to sharing stories—they capture what high-class life was like back then along with individual tales.


Zac Posen’s work on “Feud: Capote vs. The Swans” mixes fashion, history, and storytelling brilliantly, displaying his knack for designing for strong personalities. His clothes do way more than just outfit actors; they make these historic figures come alive again. He lets us step into a visually stunning and emotionally deep retelling of one of New York City’s most famous evenings.

As this episode shows, fashion is not just about clothes—it’s a powerful way to tell stories. And Zac Posen leads the charge, taking us on a historical trip that’s as enlightening as it is pleasing to the eye.

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