Hayden Panettiere’s Nashville Maternity Style: Costume Designer Talks Dressing Her Baby Bump, Emmys Dress

Hayden Panettiere in Nashville's I Can't Get Over You To Save My Life
Hayden Panettiere shows off her baby bump in a blue dress in Nashville's season 3, episode 3 "I Can't Get Over You To Save My Life." ABC/Mark Levine

Juliette Barnes is a sexy country queen, and she’s staying that way!

As pregnant Hayden Panettiere approaches her due date, there isn’t any hiding that baby bump as she films her hit ABC show, Nashville, on which she plays wild child country star Juliette Barnes. In part because of that, Nashville’s writers decided to write the petite actress’ pregnancy into her storyline, which gave costume designer Susie DeSanto quite the job to do!

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Barnes, a teen powerhouse-turned-sensitive vocalist, has been known to rock a sparkly dress and a short hemline — and DeSanto says that her sexy style isn’t going anywhere, even with a baby bump.

“It’s been a big challenge. I mean, she’s a really tiny girl and she’s pregnant. There’s nowhere for that baby to be but in the room!” DeSanto told Us Weekly, adding that the actress’s due date is in December. “I think the most challenging part is maintaining Juliette’s character while covering up [the extent of] her pregnancy.”

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“Juliette’s style is body-conscious — she’s always got the shortest skirt in the room,” DeSanto explained. So to keep that flirty, feminine style, exemplified in the above photo (from the upcoming third episode of this season), the designer’s been using a little trick: “We’ve been buying bigger clothes and tailoring them down. That way, we can use the same designers, colors, and fabrics.”

Hayden Panettiere - Emmys
Jason Merritt/Getty Images

When we spoke to DeSanto, the team was already a couple of episodes into season three, which premieres Wednesday, Sept. 24, at 10 p.m. EST, and had just filmed a stage number with Panettiere. “She’s still singing her songs—she rocked a sequined dress last week! I love that girl,” she said.

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DeSanto also gushed over the star’s stunning Lorena Sarbu dress at the Emmys in August. “I loved, loved, loved it,” the couturier squealed. “It really was perfect — sexy, but classy and elegant. She’s only 25 years old! Lots of times, I feel like girls on the red carpet are wearing things that are too mature for them, but Hayden always seems to be able to find the right balance.”

Tune in to the Nashville premiere tonight on ABC at 10 p.m. EST to see Hayden’s sexy, country maternity style in action.

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