A swimsuit is to Baywatch, as a national flag is to a country.
The red-hot bathing suit has become an iconic identifier of the popular ‘90s TV series that one only need to see a mere flash of it to remember Pamela Anderson running on the beach or David Hasselhoff doing things only The Hoff could do.
So, when it came to the 2017 reboot of the classic TV show, how did costume designer Dayna Pink modernize such a recognizable piece without losing its original essence? This conundrum is exactly why the pro, who also worked on Crazy, Stupid, Love. and Hot Tub Time Machine, took the job.
“That bathing suit is so iconic. What costume designer wouldn’t do it?” said the pro, who had to ask herself some hard questions: “How can we make it more interesting? More modern? Make a splash today?” Keep reading for the swimsuit facts you probably didn’t know.
Baywatch Red Is No More: Instead, it’s a more saturated, ruby color with a tinge of sparkle. “The color looks good on so many people. In my head, this movie is a love letter to the beach,” noted Dayna. “The jewel tone of the red against the sand is what makes you want to go to the beach.”
There’s More to It: “The original [suit] is really tiny. There’s not much fabric to it,” said the costume designer. “The new suits are neoprene-inspired. There’s more fabric to it, more coverage. Sometimes, less isn’t more.” The suits were sturdy enough and the actresses had such killer bodies that not much tape was needed to keep everything, well, in place.
The Swimsuits Represent the Characters: In the TV show, the actresses mainly wore the same scoop-neck, high-cut one-piece, but in the feature film, there were at least five different suit silhouettes for the women, each reflecting their respective character. “For example, Stephanie (played by Ilfenesh Hadera) is more conservative, so we made a long-sleeve piece,” explained Dayna. On the flip side, sultry sexpot C.J. Parker (Kelly Rohrbach) wears a more revealing suit.
Zippers Can Say It All: The women’s suits featured gold hardware and zippers to add a little “fashion edge,” noted Dayna. Where the zipper stopped on the suit was also intentional. “Even how zipped up they were helps to tell the story,” added the pro, as Stephanie’s suit is fully zipped, while C.J.’s is only half zipped to show some cleavage.
The Rock Is Special, Obviously: While all the men’s swim shorts were the same (red with navy accents on the sides), Dwayne Johnson wore the only red trunks with blue color-blocking at the top. “Dwayne’s suit is different because he’s the ‘King of the Sea,'” said Dayna.
Everyone Looks Good in Gold: In the scenes where the actors are actually wearing real clothes, you’ll see a lot of gold, especially in the party scenes. There’s a whole ‘70s disco in Miami vibe. “It was about shine,” the costumer told E! News. “What’s going to look good in the dark? Lots of gold.” One only need to see Zac Efron‘s character in a gold tuxedo jacket to understand the fun, sexy appeal of Emerald Bay.
Look for Hints in the Wardrobe: In Priyanka Chopra‘s last scenes, the movie’s villain wears a silver and black dress featuring a high slit made with purpose: so the dress “flows in the wind…and you can see the gun holster on the side of her leg,” teased the pro.
Baywatch hits theatres in May 25.