“To the Empire!” Those are famous words spoken by Lucious and Cookie Lyon played by Terrence Howard and Taraji P. Henson and their Lyon’s den of sons who are all set to return to our television screens this week on March 30th following the mid-season finale in this past winter. While everyone is anticipating the upcoming second half of Season 2, BLEU staffers are stopping to take a look at our best-dressed (and favorite) characters from the pop culture phenomena FOX TV’s Empire has so quickly become.
Terrence Howard, aka Lucious Lyon, the CEO of Empire Entertainment, former drug dealer and character everyone loves to hate, should return this season in all of his own glory clad in designer menswear that’s both debonair and ostentatious. He’s his own hype man, but he’s also the Empire’s mover and shaker in every sense of the word.
Taraji P. Henson’s breakthrough character Cookie, whose larger than life personality has become central to the synergy of the series. He has seen a period of growth since the show premiered January 2015. Her style has evolved from ghetto fabulous to urban glam yet she still remains as feisty, fresh and feminine as she’s ever been.
Trai Byers, BLEU’s next cover star who plays Andre, is the eldest brother and businessman with a chip on his shoulder in the race to become the head chair of his father’s company. Groomed from head to toe in each episode as the most well-maintained character when it comes to fashions, Byers dons tailored suits with a little less excessive luxury and still a contender for best dressed on the show.
Jussie Smollett (aka “Jamal”), the middle child mostly known for his sexuality at times more than his talent, is constantly at a crossroads between street savvy and sex appeal. A bit laid back and falling slightly on the Bohemian chic side of the spectrum, Smollett’s character can still put on a good show when he’s dressed for the nines and in performance mode.
Last, but certainly not least is baby brother of the bunch Hakeem played by Bryshere Y. Gray, the hip hop icon in the making who’s rugged, athletic appearance makes for an interesting stage-ready persona that satisfies the flash and flair the music industry often turns its artists into.
Credit for all of these looks and styles goes to Empire’s Emmy-nominated costume designer Rita McGhee. McGhee’s work can also be seen in feature films like Spike Lee’s Chi-Raq (2015) and most recently on BET Networks’ lineup of ill-fated scripted television Let’s Stay Together (2014) and Reed Between The Lines (2013).
So whether you’ll be watching this week to nod your head to the beats featured on a new compilation Empire: Original Soundtrack, Season 2 Volume 2 coming April 29th on Columbia Records or if you’re caught in the family drama that’s sure to ensue, keep up with BLEU as we pay even closer attention to the Lyons roaring back into our living rooms and our closets.