Warning: Spoilers for the season two finale of 'The Other Two' below.
The sophomore season of "The Other Two" continued to outdo itself, episode-by-episode, especially when it came to the spot-on sartorial comedy. All kudos should go to Jill Bream, who costume designed the hilarious and often meta fashion moments: Cary Dubek (Drew Tarver) being laced up (gasp) into his Timothée-Chalamet-in-Louis-Vuitton-referential "gay fashion harness" (as christened by co-creators Chris Howard and Sarah Schneider), sister Brooke (Heléne Yorke) finally landing her Getty-watermarked red carpet photo in a standout Tanya Taylor suit, and her sweet on-and-off again ex Lance (played by a scene-stealing Josh Segarra) coming into his own as a successful streetwear designer and teaming up with mini-mogul ChaseDreams (Case Walker) on a fashion collection. And to think it all started with Lance's previously dismissed — and clearly underestimated — "dry erase sneaker" invention, which eventually caught the attention of Nike and Shawn Mendes. ("You know Shawn Mendes.")
"He started at the Footlocker with big dreams," says Segarra, with infectious Lance-like enthusiasm (and as I melt a little). "All of a sudden now, he's got his own fashion show with ChaseDreams. Let's go!"
The runway debut of the "CHS x LNC" line also serves as a catalyst to bring together the Dubek family, all distracted by the responsibilities of their own relative successes. Bream closes out the season ghost-designing a "legit" — as Cary marvels in awe — avant-garde collection that's a barrage of priceless jokes. It's also "really tight and sharp," as Chase says while promoting it on his mom Pat (Molly Shannon)'s popular daytime talk show.
A seasoned triple-threat, Segarra — with roles running from a vengeful serial killer on "Arrow" to RuPaul's scammer boyfriend on "A.J. and the Queen" to Jorge's cop brother on "Katy Keene" (RIP) — imagined a delightful backstory for Lance's design process with Chase.
"I feel like we went go-karting and then discussed it over corndogs — what our color palette was going to be and what we liked about the business. It was a long discussion with a lot of laughter, some sodas and then we parted ways," says Segarra. "Lance sits in his apartment. He's working. He's designing and throwing things together. He's probably texting Chase every hour, on the hour, throwing him a design or two, and Chase is saying something like, 'tight' or 'bomb,' or 'the grind never stops.'" (Considering Chase thinks attending his own runway show for "the whole time" is being "very involved," I feel like Lance deserves the top billing on their vowel-less collab logo.)
In real life, Bream's process was bit more structured, beginning with the script and the co-creators' three directives, which make me lol as I write this: Chase in bright orange, a sleep-deprived and overextended Pat in some sort of face-panel that would "fog up" and Lance in a see-through shirt. "I used that as a springboard to create a line," she says.
Bream determined that a monochrome palette and a mix of textures created the ideal foundation to add Lance-signature transparent elements as needed, for that pitch-perfect balance of laughs and style. For the cutting-edge streetwear elements, Bream studied Japanese and South Korean brands like Post Archive Faction, D-Antidote, Shinsuke Takizawa's motorcycle subculture line, NBHD (Neighborhood) and hype beast-y Undercover, plus fashion revolutionaries Yohji Yamamoto and Rick Owens.
A super on-brand Chase unveils the CHS x LNC hero look on Pat's show (above): copious layers of safety-cone orange, a quad of puffy pockets and a hood lined with perforated PVC. He explains that the ensemble also comes in "brown and bad yellow" and is "super versatile" — but only "if you're famous." Otherwise, "I wouldn't wear them because they're kind of ugly and you might looks stupid."
"I started with the cargos," says Bream, who custom-built the elements of the bright outfit. "His arms are completely visible through the plastic and then I was like, 'Oh, but he needs the vest, he needs a hoodie.' It was just a lot of playing around with fittings and the design of everything, to make sure it was cohesive, but still a silly, silly joke." She even designed a transparent cross-body bag for the teen superstar.
For Pat's homage to a couture show finale bride (below), Bream looked to futuristic South Korean streetwear label 99percentis: "We're like, 'How do we make an insane, hoodie bridal gown, couture closer?" She sketched out ideas and collaborated with costumer and tailor Samuel Bennett to build the sculptural gown, complete the clear panel headpiece and "fraggle fringes."
"I want there to be ruching and drawstrings, but it needs to be big and over the top," she says. "The ball gown element came into it with caging, and then the sleeves were too long. It's almost got this cyber-punk, Rick Owens element. By the end, it was just so heavy — we were really scared that Molly was going to trip, so we just kept hacking off the bottom. But the raw edge works."
Lance reps the line in a military green tracksuit (below), which also proved integral to the deft comedy, when a frustrated Chase seeks advice from his surrogate big bro and design partner. "Hold on. I'm shirtless. Let me cover up, right quick," Lance says backstage, before struggling a bit to pull his CHS x LNC sweatshirt over his head, complete with appropriate rustling plastic sound effects. Ready for their chat, Lance presents a long-sleeve top — still revealing his entire torso — with a giant reassuring and lovably clueless grin.
"I love the day when we were working on that, on the see-through shirt," says Segarra, with another Lance laugh. "Because it was [a discussion] to get that color just right. It had to be just see-through enough and, you know, we want to make the joke land."
To introduce the collection alongside a discouraged Chase, Lance layers up in an excellent teddy bear jacket with clear panels at the elbows (above). "[The sweatshirt] is such a funny joke, but then when he puts the coat over it — and he also has the big cargos and the boots — it works and becomes an accurate depiction of what I think could happen in any of those like hyper-stylized street style fashion shows," says Bream.
Segarra also wouldn't have minded taking the coat, custom-designed like the rest of the CHS x LNC line, home: "It felt like a blanket on me. I just wanted to wear that all day long. It felt fantastic." ("I tried to steal all my clothes," he jokes. Maybe.)
All the transparent elements in the fashion collection are, of course, a reference to his "see-through rain coat," as Brooke huffs, from the season premiere. Bream thinks Lance's affinity for literally revealing clothing speaks to his character: He "has nothing to hide" in his confidence and sense of self.
Segarra has an interesting, if not academic, theory, which ties back to one of Lance's leading-edge sneaker brainstorms. "'It's like a shoe, but invisible,'" says Segarra, reenacting a Lance musing from season one with brio. "Lance has always been on this track of, 'What are we going to be doing in the future, because things are going to be invisible?' He's got to really track that and, all of a sudden, now he's designing clothes that are see-through. Man, our boy's on the next wave!"
The attention to detail and follow-through on this show is just pure gold, down to the costumes at the very end credits. (After Cary leaves "The Gay Minute" to film the ill-fated "Night Nurse", friend and confidante Curtis Paltrow — Brandon Scott Jones, also stealing scenes — takes over as host while wearing a patterned shirt from Scotch & Soda, like his predecessor.) Please, please renewal gods, grant us a season three. Think of the possibilities, like Lance and Chase chronicling their Paris Fashion Week misadventures for Vogue or the Dubek family attending the Met Gala à la the Kardashian-Jenner dynasty, while Streeter (Ken Marino) becomes a Jason Derulo-esque meme. Just some ideas...