Costuming on The Bridge: Sonya Cross and Steven Linder

1 Oct

Season 1 of The Bridge comes to an end this week and while Diane Kruger’s red carpet and street style is often a point of discussion here at TV Ate My Wardrobe, it’s the costuming of her character Sonya Cross that I will be taking a look at today. Sonya isn’t the only one who has a specific look on The Bridge and Steven Linder’s smart rodeo wear adds another layer of intrigue to his character.

This article discusses the events of The Bridge prior to the finale. 

The Bridge Steven Linder and Sonya Cross

While it has never been explicitly mentioned in dialogue on The Bridge, Sonya has Asperger’s syndrome and what she wears is a direct reflection of that. The one item that Sonya wears each week is the leather jacket in the above photo and it’s a fascinating item as it’s completely different from everything else she wears. This jacket has so much detail that in week 12 I’m still noticing embellishments that I haven’t picked up on before. The horse is one of the more obvious details, as is the leopard print on the shoulders and this is all down to costume designer Anna Terrazas who modified a leather jacket that was found in a Los Angeles vintage store. These changes include aging and distressing the piece to make it look well worn.

The backstory of the jacket is that it belonged to Sonya’s murdered sister and Terrazas explains that as a piece of clothing it “doesn’t make sense for what she does as a detective or who she is, but the whole idea is that it has sentimental value and is worn in memory of her sister.” This process wasn’t a solo one and Terrazas worked with a team to create this costuming centerpiece and this is evident by how many different details there are. The horse isn’t a mystery as Sonya’s sister loved horses but other details like the different tiger imagery, the faded star and the duct tape are more ambiguous. There was great distress from Sonya in the penultimate episode when she found out that her sister’s Bronco was beyond repair and she mourned this as if she had lost her sister all over again. It doesn’t help that her replacement car doesn’t have a tape deck.

Marco mirrored this behavior as he wore the hoodie of his dead son Gus and slept in his bed to preserve the memory of him.

Sonya tape

Anna Terrazas explains that Sonya is a “very uniform person and does the same routine every day” and this is reflected in the rest of what she wears. The jacket is very much part of her daily wardrobe and it’s easily the most flamboyant thing in her wardrobe as everything else is in basic neutral tones; there are no bold colors here. In one way this is similar to how I would describe Scandal’s Olivia Pope’s costuming but the big difference here is their jobs and what image they need to portray. Everything about Sonya’s clothes screams function as she wears shirts in white, grey, black and light blue, always pants and flat shoes. Sonya is not dressing up for anyone.

The Bridge Sonya Cross

Steven Linder is socially awkward in his mannerisms and the way he speaks but he also takes pride in how he dresses even if his facial hair is a tad on the unruly side. Linder believes that he has a calling to save young women and his is one of the stranger aspects of The Bridge. He mumbles but he also tries to present himself in a manner which will make his rescue missions less scary – cast your mind back to the first episode and it is clear that he can be a foreboding figure. The iron that he uses to press his shirts also became a murder weapon as he was attacked in his own home, serving a purpose that the manufacturer did not intend.

The Bridge Steven Linder

When the serial killer story took over the middle part of the season, Linder was pushed to the sides and while we know why he thinks he has this calling there is also much about him that is still a mystery. What he did last week was act as a conduit between Sonya and Marco; giving the pair a reason to work together again and to get Marco out of his period of despair.

Oh and Steven Linder will totally wear his best suit to make a proposal even if it makes no sense in that kind of heat. Linder is as buttoned up as his shirt and by giving him such a distinct look he stands out even when he doesn’t want to.

the Bridge Steven Linder

At the same time as I started The Bridge I was also watching Top of the Lake and it helps a great deal that Thomas M. Wright is playing incredibly different characters in both of these projects. Wright’s Steven Linder mannerisms, speech pattern, costuming and hair style show no similarities to Top of the Lake’s Johnno; as viewer this helps with the whiplash that can occur when one actor features in two distinct worlds and I would say that Wright has been one of the breakout stars of the year.

5 Responses to “Costuming on The Bridge: Sonya Cross and Steven Linder”

  1. JustMeMike October 5, 2013 at 1:58 pm #

    Thanks for the detailed analysis. I’ve watched both of these series (TOTL and The Bridge) and wrote at length about each of them. Yet at no point did I even slightly touch on the wardrobe or costuming, or the rationales or intents of the costume designers on either show.

    I’ve worn collared shirts most of my adult life, But I’ve never worn a collared shirt with the top button closed if I wasn’t wearing a necktie. So Linder’s choice was not something I’d experienced personally.

    On another note – Linder’s style in The Bridge matched the style of Top of the Lake’s Holly Hunter as GJ.

    GJ always wore long sleeved shirts buttoned at the neck. Additionally – she spoke in a terse, clipped manner. As did Wright’s Linder. I wondered if this borrowing of a behavioral mannerism by Wright, was deliberate or it just happened without he being aware of it.

    • Emma Fraser October 6, 2013 at 10:27 am #

      I hadn’t thought about the Linder/GJ style connection but you’re right that they are similar. Both are enigmatic and loners (though GJ has cultivated a following out of this) and Linder wants to help lost souls while GJ simply tolerates the ones who want her help. A really interesting comparison even if Wright didn’t intend to mimic her mannerisms.


  1. Out of the Box: Look of the Week | TV Ate My Wardrobe - January 10, 2014

    […] for clambering aboard a vessel, they are as much a part of her as her US counterpart Sonya with her leather jacket. The second season of The Bridge started on BBC4 this week; this stunning shot showcases one of […]

  2. Out of the Box: Look of the Week | TV Ate My Wardrobe - June 27, 2014

    […] for season 2 next month (July 9) and I’m looking forward to the return of the show (plus this jacket) and all the Diane Kruger public appearances as she rarely has a sartorial off day. Yellow pumps […]

  3. Out of the Box: Look of the Week | TV Ate My Wardrobe - October 16, 2015

    […] clutch is just the touch this outfit needs. Now I am picturing Sicario with Blunt and Kruger as Sonya Cross from The Bridge. If that I had been the case I would have liked this movie […]

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