According to the Variety interview, Lisa Lovaas’ specific goal was to make Dracula simultaneously fashionable and yet immortal, “current, but timeless.” Designing Dracula seems to be a fraught exercise, given how many cinematic Draculas there have already been. To this day, filmmakers are living down the legacies put in place by Bela Lugosi and Tod Browning’s costume designers Vera West and Ed Ware. One will have to be careful to create a Dracula that can evoke traditional images of vampirism, but also be cautious not to repeat any of the many renditions of extant Draculas.
Notably, Lovaas said that timelessness was previously captured by David Bowie, specifically by the all-red suit the rocker wore on his 1987 Glass Spider tour. Going into the climax of “Renfield,” Dracula’s suit was a crimson velveteen number, and the David Bowie look was being deliberately evoked. Lovaas said:
“I loved the monochrome style of that iconic red suit of his from the late ’80s. Such a bold and powerful look which I thought worked well for Nic. It just felt like a strong dramatic flourish for the end. […] The character has developed over time, and there’s a continuity to the look that’s been established. It was important to me to maintain that continuity, and hopefully to build on it, with respect for its history.”
In many ways, the evolving fashionable elegance of Dracula could match the evolution of David Bowie, as both are ethereal, weirdly immortal beings whose respective looks evolved as the decades passed, but never without retaining a sense of class.