Cookie (Taraji P. Henson) has rocked a lot of over-the-top looks on Empire, but that head-to-toe logo outfit she wore in the Season 2 finale just might take the trophy for the season's most wonderfully WTF.
The scene: Cookie hops out of that black SUV, headed inside the studio to meet Shine (Xzibit) wearing a hat, coat, handbag and mini-handbag all covered in the same allover print. It was very '90s hip-hop ghetto fabulous, and at the same time reminiscent of the early aughts when that Christian Dior pattern was everywhere, including on Carrie Bradshaw.
But Cookie's look wasn't Dior. Look closely, and you'll see the print reads Le Snob, which is the ironic, tongue-in-cheek (but really expensive) label by artist/artist B Akerland. She's created looks for A-listers including Lady Gaga and Beyonce. (Akerlund put the latter in that now-iconic yellow Roberto Cavalli dress for Lemonade.)
Paolo Nieddu, Empire's costume designer, told TVGuide.com that Cookie's look was a nod to some very specific cultural references. "She goes to into that very raw, opposite-of-Empire record label," he said. "I wanted to her to have something super glamorous but very street. It was such a hip-hop glam look, but it also took her back to her roots." (Fun fact: the little bag attached to the big bag is a container for the hat, which collapses into a circle.)
The decision to pile on the pieces — once a fashion no-no but now en vogue — was also inspired by the vogue/ballroom scene, Nieddu said. "[The look] was for 'the children,'" he said, using the euphemism for the gay subculture that prizes labels. "Taraji always says, 'We have to drag for the children, darling.' I love to think about it like that, like Cookie is coming out and she's walking runway through life."
Would Cookie Lyon have it any other way?