How ‘P-Valley’ Changes the Female Empowerment Narrative Through Costumes

When we think of strippers, we’re pretty quick to judge.

Still, even in this day of #MeToo and TimesUp, of expanding sex workers’ rights and pole dancing classes available for suburban moms, we see a stripper’s outfit and immediately think we know all about them.

But displaying bodies doesn’t have to be innately sexual.

In fact, it can be powerful and provocative in ways that don’t have to do with sex at all.

Costume designers Rita McGhee and Alita Bailey knew from the get-go that creating the looks for Starz’s “P-Valley”—a show that brings empathy, sincerity and honesty to the story we all think we know—was going to be a welcome challenge rooted not in sex, but in female power.“For us, it was about learning the story, learning who these women are, their characters and diving into that world,” McGhee said in a recent interview with IndieWire.

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