The Alienist

TNT has been promoting its new psychological thriller drama set in 1896, The Alienist, based on the best-selling novel by Caleb Carr. The production company, Civic-US, created a series of events timed to coincide with the launch of the program that would showcase the eerie ambiance of Gilded Age New York.

One Hat One Hand teamed up with design firm Pentagram to craft an imposing structure reflecting the grit and glamour of the show itself. Ultra-matte black laminate and cool white lighting showcased “floating” mannequins in the actual costumes used during filming, which were created by the award-winning designer Michael Kaplan (Star Wars, Blade Runner, and Fight Club).

Gridded steel frames were made to mimic mullioned glass windows common of the time period. Thousands of copies of the original novel were given away, and the museum-style exhibit also featured an audio guide to the show and the costuming on display. The finished piece was built as a traveling exhibit to be installed in multiple locations. The original design for Los Angeles has the costumed mannequins floating down from light boxes in the ceiling to give an otherworldly feeling. As the job scope grew, we also designed a separate installation for the Time Warner Center in NYC with a similar aesthetic.

The costumes travelled from Time Warner Center, then to the show premier at Paramount Pictures Studio in LA. Its final installation was at the Paley Center for Media.