If you’re not watching Fox’s Empire yet, it’s time to get involved. The hip-hop soap opera centers around the members of the Lyon family, all vying for control of a record label — basically a retelling of King Lear, just with more yachts, gold chains, boss furs, and enjoyable musical numbers. We’re only one episode in, so it’s too early to tell who will be victorious in taking over the empire, but if we’re calling it based on wardrobe, my money’s on the show’s matriarch, Cookie.
We don’t meet Cookie, played by Taraji P. Henson, until about ten minutes into the first episode, and by then I was already transfixed by the powerful tableau of Terrence Howard’s various formal pajama sets. But after the whirlwind of eye-delights that is Cookie came onscreen, I was sold. Hers is a wardrobe filled with a jumble of animal prints, “don’t fuck with me” heels, and sumptuous silk shirts. She’s a woman on a warpath who inherently understands that a hostile takeover of a company requires a Stella McCartney jacket and a proper blowout. For that, we pay tribute with a roundup of her best looks from the pilot. Ahead of tonight’s second episode, here’s Cookie’s guide to dressing for the job you want (or the one you’ll rip from the hands of your enemies).