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Fantasy Costuming Masters of Sex: Vintage Inspired

7 Jul

As Masters of Sex is a period drama the costume design relies on vintage pieces and new garments that have been inspired/adapted by Ane Crabtree and her team (Crabtree’s Instagram has some great behind the scenes videos) to keep in line with the look of the late 1950s.* This edition of Fantasy Costuming is going to be a bit different from previous outings as I have selected garments from a variety of stores ranging from affordable to ‘one month’s rent’ and everything chosen is available to buy right now. Both 1950s and 1960s silhouettes (and especially the latter) have refused to be relegated to the past and each season seems to have a hint of these decades on the runway (much to my delight).

*Updated to include this behind the scenes video from Showtime and one revelation is how Crabtree makes everything.

The garments featured are reflections rather than something one of these characters might wear; an homage using current collections and inspired by the costuming from the first season. Virginia, Libby and Jane are the three women I will be looking at for wardrobe ideas as all three represent different aspects of this period.

Virginia’s wardrobe is dominated by subdued colors as she wants to be taken seriously and this means there’s a whole lot of black and grey. Color does slip in with red and green, plus bows and buttons are very much part of her look. One of my favorite aspects of 1950s style is how detailed necklines are and they often feature added embellishments/intricate collars.

Modcloth blackThe Rockabilly Your World top is one of several items from the vintage inspired ModCloth and the rounded collar/bow detail is so on point for Virginia.

Carven black dressSticking with black and a similar neckline with a Carven dress that sits a lot higher (mid-thigh) than something Virginia would wear, but definitely shares in the essence of her serious work attire.

LanvinGrey is Virginia’s backup work power suit color (just throw a white coat over the top for extra Virginia Johnson confidence) and this knee-length Lanvin wool dress is all nipped in waist, keyhole detail and shoulder embellishment.

red dress modclothTime to inject some color and red is rather symbolical for a number of reasons; it reflects the passion that both Virginia and Bill are having a hard time reconciling with as each pushes the other away at various points during season 1. Red is a dominant color on the artwork for season 2 and it holds significance when Virginia wears it. Plus Lizzy Caplan looks stunning in any form of crimson (lip color included). This frock is from ModCloth and is appropriately called the Dance Floor Date dress.

RedValentinoOne more Virginia item and Masters of Sex had me coveting all the coats last season. Coming from RED Valentino this stunning and super chic black woven coat has a hint of bowed femininity and an enduring quality. Virginia is both fashion forward for the time period and at the same time maintains a timeless look as a woman in the workplace.

ModCloth yellow Yellow heels

Moving on with a couple of items that make me think of Jane. Jane’s dominant color matched her sunny disposition with a whole lot of yellow. Both the You Got the Upbeat blouse and Member of the Board heels are from ModCloth and are well suited to those who wear this shade all of the time and those who want to give it a go for the first time. Regulars to the site know I am a slight yellow clothes obsessive and so I’m always happy to have a reason to shop this color.

Topshop skirtLibby is the most classically feminine of the women on Masters of Sex as she plays the traditional role of housewife and now mother. In season 1 Libby’s costuming reflects a wealthy lifestyle and even her loungewear/cooking/cleaning clothes are beautiful. This might see a shift in season 2 as she’s now dealing with a baby and their financial situation is far from secure. This beautiful cornflower jacquard skirt is from Topshop and matches the pastels and patterns Libby wears.

Alice and OliviaMore soft color from Alice + Olivia and this works for both a Libby influence and her younger counterpart Vivian Scully (pink dominates her costuming). The floral lace detail is stunning and the classic A-line cut is perfectly Libby with a modern twist.

Tory BurchLibby doesn’t really do the whole monochrome thing; if she did this Tory Burch ‘Wilda‘ polka dot affair would be her speed as those dots aren’t actually white but rose pink.

Masters of Sex returns Sunday, July 13 so be sure to join us next week for all the costuming and narrative analysis.

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One Response to “Fantasy Costuming Masters of Sex: Vintage Inspired”

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  1. Clashing Prints and Bold Color: Fantasy Costuming The Mindy Project | TV Ate My Wardrobe - August 13, 2014

    […] more Fantasy Costuming check out recent posts on Masters of Sex and Felicity Smoak […]

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