One of the first things viewers gaze upon in GLOW’s Vegas-ized third season isn’t poker chips, sparkly wrestling costumes, or even a peak at the city’s infamous Strip. No way, you Rat Packers, we’re met with some very chic hotel headboards giving us a stare-down. Viva las design inspiration! As created by the show’s production designer Todd Fjelsted, these stunning headboards are a focal point in the women’s rooms at the fictional Fan Tan Hotel and Casino. Behind the scenes, it wasn’t easy making such interior design magic happen: Fjelsted and his team knew that locating upward of 12 identical headboards from the era would be impossible, so a custom-made journey was embarked on instead.
“I wanted to pull a lot of fan shapes that played with the art deco flavor, which had a brief resurgence in the ’80s. But also the soap opera goofiness of it all, and another layer of Vegas on top of that,” Fjelsted told Vulture. “I pulled from a combination of Asian design schemes from the time period to keep with that vague aesthetic.”
Once Fjelsted sketched out what he wanted the headboards to look like, a meeting with a decorator solidified the “artificial velour fabric” and pinkish color palette. “I wanted to play with all the colors that were considered ‘classy’ at the time,” he added. “Mauve, gold, wine, champagne, cabernet: These were all of the colors associated with glamour, even though they’re horrible colors. Making them look attractive, though, is so ’80s.” From start to finish, the headboards were ready for their close-ups within a month.
Beyond their eye-catching beauty, Fjelsted insists the headboards were created with significant consideration to the show’s narrative. “We see the characters in the wrestling ring or hanging out in their dressing room most of the time. I wanted to have them feel emotions, dreams, and thoughts fanning out from their heads to the world around them, much like their stories,” he explained. “There’s a lot of meta going on in GLOW — it’s a show within a show within a show. So I wanted their quiet time alone to reflect their dreams. It becomes a halo around them, radiating out from their heads. They are fun, provocative, and visually interesting.”
And also, sadly, currently not available for purchase.