The season finale of American Horror Story: Coven featured one of the most stylish death scenes in the history of television.
Accompanied by two men who bore more than a passing resemblance to fashion industry icon Karl Lagerfeld, Myrtle Snow (Francis Conroy) walked into the desert — wearing a flowing floor-length crimson dress — presented herself at the stake, and cried out “Balenciaga!” before becoming engulfed in flames.
Why was Myrtle’s last word the name of a French fashion label? “I thought this creature of artifice who’s had a very clean soul was interesting. She’s a little bit Grace Coddington. She’s a little bit Diana Vreeland,” Murphy told EW of basing the character’s season three form on two of the most legendary editors in the history of fashion. “I told Franny to watch a lot of those Vreeland documentaries.”
The names Coddington and Vreeland were music to the ears of AHS costume designer Lou Eyrich, who relished the opportunity to give Myrtle a supremely stylish makeover.
“Myrtle Snow [has been] dressed in a maid’s uniform and last [season] she was the Angel of Death,” Eyrich said of Myrtle’s previous incarnations. “My team and I spread out across town in New Orleans looking for maxi dresses and capes and gloves and kooky glasses. Watching Franny transform into Myrtle Snow was a highlight [of season three].”