Welcome to TV Ate My Wardrobe’s “Best of 2015” costuming series and rather than doing a straightforward countdown we’re going to do a variety of posts that look at which costumes and shows have made a huge impact this year. From items we want in our own wardrobe to pieces that got everyone talking; we want to celebrate the work of television’s best costume designers.
Lurid patterns in earthy tones, high waisted flares, corduroy, sheepskin collars, pussy bows and ribbed turtlenecks are all in my favorite clothing wheelhouse and the current 70s fashion (re)cycle continues to bring so much pleasure. If I could cosplay one film it would be Almost Famous and 2015 delivered on the 1970s clothing on TV front with two shows that bookend this decade. Mad Men entered the 1970s in its final season and the second season of Fargo is takes place in 1979. Even The Americans which is actually set in the early 80s has a whole lot the decade before it still leaving its trace particularly in the knitwear, underwear and wig department.
1970 is where Peggy Olson really comes into her own and her office wear has never been as cool as it is in this final season. Long gone are the frumpy days with Pete Campbell critiquing her choice of attire and her confidence emanates through the bold patterns and colors of her costuming.
THE Peggy Olson moment of the final season is of course her power strut through the offices of McCann and this is an ultimate cool as fuck declaration. All the applause for Janie Bryant and her incredible costume design work on Mad Men and especially for giving us this incredible Peggy entrance outfit.
Everything about this look is perfect and also perfectly Peggy. The other best thing about this is ensemble is that it can later be seen hanging on her office door in the season finale for when it is needed next.
Megan, Betty and Joan are the three characters whose style has been influenced by fashion magazines of the time and the looks most likely to be updated and copied now. That is until season 7 when Peggy upped her game or rather embraced a style which is manages to be both work appropriate and embraces the color/pattern explosion of the time without being too much.
Here is a selection of looks I would wear today:
The other Peggy in question has high hopes and stacks upon stacks of fashion magazines in her basement, which comes in very handy for more than just sartorial tips later in the season. Peggy Blumquist wants way more from her comfortable small town life and dreams big; this should be filed under ‘careful what you wish’ for in the second season of Fargo.
Peggy’s signature red beret and fur collared coat caught our attention back when the first trailer appeared and these two items are worn throughout the season paired with her fantastic red leather gloves.
Whereas Megan Draper looks like she influences the pages of Vogue, Peggy Blumquist is very much the woman who carefully curates her outfits to match the ones she sees in magazines. This isn’t to say that Peggy will wear whatever is deemed cool and costume designer Carol Case ensures that she never goes full on fashion ridiculous with high end style ensembles. Instead she carefully puts together a look which fit in with her real life while pointing toward the great things she believes can happen.
She is also the kind of woman who wears her expectations on her sleeve including trips to Paris she sees in her future.
Peggy Blumquist is not only of the best dressed characters on TV during 2015, but she’s also one the standouts in terms of performance and her overall journey. Kirsten Dunst delivers on every level in making Peggy’s seemingly monstrous act at the start of the season so emotionally crushing in the why of it all. She is both incredibly naive and blinkered in how she views reality and that final scene in Lou’s car is devastating as she realizes exactly what has been lost in her attempt to achieve what she thinks she deserves.
Two Peggys, two very different stories and bookending a time of progression, turbulence, social discord and some rather out there style choices.
For more Best of 2015 posts stay tuned!