Hayden Panettiere has said that her Nashville character, Juliette Barnes, is inspired by Carrie Underwood, but in the February issue of Allure, Underwood says she’s nothing like the troubled character.
“I’m not like that at all,” Underwood declares. In fact, says the singer, life inside Nashville’s country music community is far less scandalous than the way it’s portrayed on the ABC series. “It’s juicy, but I hope not everybody thinks that everything goes down like that in Nashville, and we’re evil. To be honest, I’ve been fortunate enough to work with other types of music—and we’re the least drama-rific people.”
Personality-wise, she may not have much in common with the conniving and seductive Juliette Barnes, but Nashville costume designer Susie DeSanto tells EW that Underwood’s costume drama has had a major influence on the character’s look.
“I looked at tons of Carrie Underwood’s performance [outfits] as inspiration for Juliette,” DeSanto says. “[Carrie] plays the big arena tours and has that country/pop crossover appeal, as does Juliette. She also changes costumes during her concerts to coincide with the theme of the songs she’s performing. So there are flowing, wind-blown gowns, cut-off jeans shorts, t-shirts and boots, and short sparkly dresses. Plus [bare] legs and lots of blonde hair.”
But that doesn’t mean that Juliette is a carbon copy of Carrie. “We’re going for a look that combines country star traditions with youthful sexy fashion,” says DeSanto, who also looks to Taylor Swift, Miranda Lambert and Jewel for inspiration.
While Underwood may not realize that she’s one of the character’s style muses, during her Allure shoot, she shared a trick for avoiding an onstage wardrobe malfunction that could be of use to any star, real or fictional.
“Underneath every skirt, every dress, I’m wearing shorts so that everyone in the world knows, if I ever fell down, nobody would get a peek at anything,” she says of always making sure that fans and photographers won’t think they see something they don’t. “So that everyone knows they’re not seeing my undergarments.”
Pick up the February issue of Allure on newsstands January 22.