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1 May

Recreating Pete Davidson’s Style for ‘Bupkis’ 

Pete Davidson’s recent TV show “Bupkis” is supposed as a fictionalized, “fever dream” version of the comedian’s own life, which was enhanced with the assistance of costume designer Dana Covarrubias, who recreated Davidson’s real-life style and heightened it to suit the comedy.

“Bupkis,” which debuts all eight episodes on Peacock on Thursday, stars Davidson as himself, giving a take a look at how the comedian deals with fame, family and friendship. The show also stars Edie Falco as Davidson’s mother and Joe Pesci as Davidson’s grandfather, amongst others. 

As Davidson plays himself, Covarrubias had a simple place to begin when choosing the comedian’s streetwear-heavy wardrobe. 

“Once I interviewed for the job and from the very starting, the director and showrunner and I talked about how each episode was almost its own movie in a way and its own fever dream that Pete was having about his own life,” she said. “That was really interesting since it allowed us to play throughout the realism of his own life.” 

Covarrubias took multiple approaches to Davidson’s costumes. One big a part of her research and curation process was working with Davidson’s own stylist, Britt Theodora, who provided mood boards the stylist and Davidson use to style his real-life looks. Covarrubias explained the mood boards included numerous late-‘90s and early-2000s inspiration, including stars at the moment that Davidson is inspired by, like Adam Sandler, Jack Nicholson and Brad Pitt. 

The costume designer also stated that Davidson offered her eight racks from his own closet that she used for his costumes. This included pieces from brands like Puma, Champion, Gildan, Nike, Carhartt and others. Davidson also sported several high-end designers for the show, including a vintage Givenchy navy and burgundy tracksuit and a Saint Laurent purple tracksuit each in the primary episode. 

“There have been some days where he would show as much as set and be wearing something and he was like, ‘I believe I could just wear this within the scene,’ and we’d be like, ‘OK great,’” Covarrubias said. “He’s playing himself and it’s his show, so he can do whatever he wants, but I believe since it was a fever dream, we were doing a heightened version of it.” 

Pete Davidson as Pete Davidson and Joe Pesci as Joe Larocca in “Bupkis.”

Heidi Gutman/Courtesy of Peacock

The heightened version of Davidson’s wardrobe got here in at times that played into the show’s narrative. Covarrubias explained that because Davidson experiences “really high highs and low lows” throughout the series, she wanted to make use of the costumes to further those scenes. She did this by oftentimes playing up or down colours and silhouettes for various scenes, reminiscent of dressing Davidson in vivid colours when he’s feeling manic or dressing him in an oversize, puffy coat when he’s traveling alone for work during Christmas.

“Identical to everyone’s style, Pete’s style is all the time changing,” Covarrubias said. “It’s consistently changing and he doesn’t need to be pigeonholed into one specific thing. I believe that was fun. We got to play. Every look was so different for him.” 

She also explained that because much of the show is about Davidson’s relationship along with his grandfather, she incorporated a few of Pesci’s style into Davidson’s.

“We had this concept that he’s idolizing his grandfather,” she said. “Much of the series is about his grandfather, so a few of his looks are very grandpa chic with Velcro sneakers and tracksuits.” 

Overall, Covarrubias thinks that since the show deals with real-life people and an actual subject material, the costumes will help viewers get drawn into the story as she stuck near her source material.

“I feel like in the event you can create realism along with your costume design and create that kind of realistic baseline, it helps enhance the story and enhance the comedy,” she said. “But then after all there are moments where you’ll be able to really go for it and do something really silly and comedic. I believe just being aware of that is vital, so I believe that was my goal with the show and we achieved it.” 

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