Cosmo Discusses Costume Design With Jessica Drake, Brad Armstrong

Lila Gray

LOS ANGELES — Cosmopolitan’s style editor Charles Manning spoke with Wicked contract stars Jessica Drake and Brad Armstrong about their lesser known talent of designing costumes for films that privilege skin over cloth.

Armstrong, explains that he was working as male stripper to put himself through college for commercial advertising when he stumbled into design work.

“When I was stripping it was tough to find good costumes. I bought a sewing machine and made my own stuff, and everybody was like ‘Oh, that’s cool!’ and it turned into kind of a lucrative business," Armstrong told Cosmo. "I would make costumes during the day and dance at night, and I was making as much money from the costumes as from the dancing."

‘When I started making movies, the things we wore were so embarrassing,” he continued. “I put some money together to make my own movie, ‘Checkmate,’and I made the costumes for that. The set was a giant chessboard and the actors were all chess pieces.”

Drake joined forces with Armstrong when the two were working on the film “The Collector” together and she began helping him choose clothing for the whole cast. She insists, “I’m the assistant, though. He’s the visionary.”

The couple explains that porn costuming presents a unique set of difficulties, namely that adult budgets pale in comparison to their mainstream equivalents and some high-end designers and costume outlets aren't keen on lending out their pieces for hardcore shoots.     

Then there’s the separate issue of, uh, de-staining rentals. Fortunately, they lucked out and found a sympathetic solution.

“We have a cute little dry cleaner down the street that knows exactly who we are and has our 8x10’s are hanging on the wall of fame,” Armstrong said.

Drake qualifies, “I would like to add that [Armstrong] signed his 8x10, ‘Thanks for getting the stains out.’”

To read the interview in full on, click here.