Patrick Eccelsine/Lifetime
Lindzi Scharf
June 21, 2013 AT 01:00 PM EDT

Five years after her death, Anna Nicole Smith (née Vickie Lynn Hogan) is getting the Lifetime treatment. Agnes Bruckner stars as Smith in Anna Nicole, the rags-to-riches tale of “a pretty, but plain girl growing up in small town Texas” who “transformed herself though sheer willpower” into a pseudo-celebrity whose demise was a tragic end to a tragic story.

Costume designer Deborah Everton (whose credits include The Craft, Star Trek: First Contact, and Dick) was tasked with outfitting Bruckner — and her pneumatic prosthetics — in a wardrobe befitting Anna Nicole. Everton sat down with EW to explain how she re-created Smith’s signature looks, describe the challenges of dressing the Playboy model’s Amazonian figure, and dispel the myth that the Guess Girl was a Wal-Mart shopper.

“I wanted her wardrobe to be fun for the audience to look at. I didn’t want to exploit people’s expectations,” Everton says of using costumes to bring levity to the otherwise heavy biopic. “I showed her progression as she learned about style and fashion. There was a time when she came into money and wasn’t educated yet as to what was tasteful and beautiful. Her look tended to be, I don’t want to say gaudy, but ‘more is more.’ She learned over the course of her brief life how to edit [her clothes], so that’s what I did.”

Click on to see some of Bruckner’s best Anna Nicole costume moments.

Private Dancer

When it came to scenes depicting Anna Nicole’s career as a stripper, Everton said she toned things down in order to avoid over-exposure. “We kept Agnes a lot more covered [than Anna would have been]. I dressed her in everything from Victoria’s Secret to La Perla. If it looked pretty and feminine and had a certain wow factor, I didn’t care where it came from,” the costume designer remembers. Was Bruckner shy about taking off her clothes? “She was game. She went for it, but she has nothing to hide. She has a beautiful figure and gorgeous skin.”

Next: Who’s That Guess Girl?

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