Jeresa Featherstone, the costume designer behind Eric and Ridge’s stunning fashion showdown on The Bold and the Beautiful

Jeresa Featherstone, The Bold and the Beautiful costume designer
Jeresa Featherstone, The Bold and the Beautiful costume designer /

The Bold and the Beautiful‘s fashion showdown between Eric and Ridge Forrester–which took place on Friday, Oct. 27 and Monday, Oct. 30–was a spectacle that left many a soap fan like myself oohing and ahhing over the gowns on display. The CBS daytime program had been hyping up the event for over a month and it didn’t disappoint.

What you might not know, however, is that both collections were devised by The Bold and the Beautiful costume designer Jeresa Featherstone and couturier Angelo Santos. Featherstone designed three out of the five dresses a part of Eric’s line, including the showstopper, as well as the standout green dress in Ridge’s collection. Santos built the gowns. The rest of the showcase consisted of pieces sourced from showrooms and shops around Los Angeles.

Jeresa Featherstone, The Bold and the Beautiful costume designer
Jeresa Featherstone, The Bold and the Beautiful costume designer /

I had the opportunity to speak with Featherstone about the process of putting on a fashion show for the soap, how she conceptualized the collections along with the gowns she designed, and her day-to-day collaborations with the soap’s actors on their looks for the show.

We began with the costume designer’s attention to The Bold and the Beautiful‘s history with fashion. Featherstone drew on her theatre background. She earned her master’s degree in Costume Design from Long Island University while working as a stylist for Off-Broadway productions. Research was her first priority.

“What I did, to start,” Featherstone shared. “Was just going down past fashion shows and seeing what were Eric’s designs and what were Ridge’s. I wanted to keep that continuity for each fashion line to continue the story that had already started before I began.”

The soap is 36 years old, there’s a rich history to draw from and the designer settled on Eric’s most iconic silhouette–the ball gown. The decision pushed her out of her comfort zone.

"“I’d never designed a ball gown. As a little girl, I did not like poofy dresses, none of that. So that was not my first instinct, but I knew I had to do it just to keep that continuity for each line.”"

Featherstone also believed that it would be easier for the audience at home to differentiate between the two collections if they had distinct silhouettes. That’s why Ridge’s designs are “a little sexier” and body conscious while keeping it classy and leaving “a little bit to the imagination.” The color story was also different as Ridge’s defining factor was jewel tones.

His line was closer to the designs that she gravitates toward but, since she would be designing three of the dresses for Eric’s collection, Featherstone did compromise with herself for one of the dresses. In fact, it was the Forrester patriarch’s opening look modeled by Alexis Gaube, who portrays Petra on The Bold and the Beautiful.

The Bold and The Beautiful
The Bold and The Beautiful /

The black gown has a form-fitting bodice that descends into a skirt with a mermaid effect. But the designer knew that she wouldn’t be able to continue in this direction for Eric’s line, so when she moved onto the showstopper she fully immersed herself in a Bold tradition, the white gown.

"“You know they’re famous. Every fashion show the showstopper has been white. So I knew I had to do a white gown. I was like “Is it going to look like a wedding dress?” I talked to the producers and they were okay with it. From past fashion shows that I’ve seen, they have ended with the showstopper being a wedding dress, so it just felt right and like a right of passage.”"

Featherstone had two main concerns when it came to Eric’s collection, that it wouldn’t look like Prom and that “it came off at the level of elegance that I wanted: Regalness.” She certainly accomplished those goals particularly with the wine red gown which happens to be one of her favorites (the other is the green gown from Ridge’s line).

The last look she designed for Eric had a “happy accident.” Though you may not have noticed while watching the Oct. 30 episode of the soap, the gown has two different colors of tulle as its lining. Featherstone shared, “If you look closely at the front of the gown, it’s a brighter red [because] the tulle underneath is red. The tulle in the back is black. When she spins, it’s kind of like this ombre effect.”

They’d been two days away from filming, Angelo Santos was finishing the gown, and they’d ran out of tulle. Featherstone went into downtown Los Angeles in search of the same shop they’d found that shade of red tulle in but they didn’t have any and neither did any of the other stores. Santos told her they could use black but, at the time, she thought it would ruin the dress. Still, with little choice, they had to move forward with the black tulle and she found she enjoyed the contrast it provided.

The two gowns that complete Eric’s collection–the black and white mosaic style dress with black detailing on the bodice and the second gorgeous wine red gown, this one with a high low hem and long train–were from Lafayette Couture and Monsoori.
The two gowns that complete Eric’s collection–the black and white mosaic style dress with black detailing on the bodice and the second gorgeous wine red gown, this one with a high low hem and long train–were from Lafayette Couture and Monsoori. /

Ridge’s collection was mostly sourced. When considering dresses to be featured on The Bold and the Beautiful, Jeresa Featherstone takes her cues from the scripts.

"“In the script, it mentions diamond encrusted bust lines and I always want to stay a little true to the script. We might not find the exact same thing, [so] we might build something that’s as close as we can get. When we’re out sourcing, honestly, I go everywhere. I’m online sourcing. I wake up two in the morning and have an idea of a shop that I haven’t checked out yet. We do have a good relationship around town with a few showrooms, so we’re able to rent from different [places].”"

With jewel tones and opulence as her guides, she selected the opening red dress from AREA worn by Big Brother winner Taylor Hale, the black strapless TEMRAZA gown with the plunging neckline and singular bejeweled sleeve, the black strapless Albina Dyla dress with a train and crystal detailing on the bodice, and the sheer, glittering cream gown from Galia Lahav with the statement bow as a sash across the waistline. The latter was the showstopper.

The green dress that Featherstone designed for Ridge’s line, which wouldn’t look out of place on the Grammy red carpet, was initially a sleeveless floor length gown. But the designer, along with Santos, agreed that it was missing something, and so sleeves were added that included the beading used throughout the bodice despite the short amount of turnaround time.

Just how much time did they have to put on this fashion showdown? Three weeks! This was on top of the day-to-day work the costume department does on The Bold and the Beautiful which typically films eight episodes a week. Balancing duties is key, according to Featherstone, so time is the most challenging aspect of doing a fashion show.

When she’s not putting on a stunning Forrester Creations event, she’s working closely with the soap’s actors on the personal style of their characters. It’s not about reinventing the wheel but, as she emphasized throughout our interview, continuing their stories. In this case, through their wardrobe. Over the 36 years the daytime program has been on, the characters and their style have evolved. Brooke Logan, for example, has become a bit more fashion forward, as she put it.

Featherstone has also been collaborating with Annika Noelle to chart Hope Logan’s shift in attitude and its reflection in her style. She’s a “little edgier.”

"“She and I have agreed that we don’t want to really stick to that boho, sweet, innocent girl look because [Hope] is now a woman. I don’t want to say bad girl image, but she’s grown. She’s embracing her sensuality.”"

Hence the increasing dark color palette for Hope, the inclusion of black leather pieces, and more body conscious silhouettes. In her words, “My job is to help the actors tell the story of these characters,” and she does this through her established rapport with the cast, by taking direction from the scripts, and looking to the show’s history.

That’s how Jeresa Featherstone has been able to steer the ship since she was promoted to Costume Designer in June 2021 by Executive Producer and Head Writer Bradley Bell. It’s also how she’ll continue the Bold legacy through her work which is furthering this ever evolving and beloved soap opera.

Next. Bold and Beautiful keeps Stephanie's memory alive. dark