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Best of 2017 – Work in Other Places

30 Dec

Welcome to the Best of 2017! Today I am going to do a Greatest Hits rundown of my work in other places.

2017 is the year I decided to spread my pitching wings. It has been a year of ups and downs. Articles that have been percolating that were fully realized. Figuring out how to not take rejection too personally. Sometimes ideas are not great. Sometimes they need more work. I’m in a better position than I have ever been in before in my writing career, there is still a long way to go. But my confidence level when it comes to pitching is higher. I’m no longer terrified when I hit ‘send.’ Well, not always. I also expanded beyond just TV; below you will also find fashion history and essays on film.

Here are the pieces I am most proud of from this year. As always I am thankful to the editors that make me a better writer and to friends and family that are there for me through the triumphs and tears. And everyone reading, you make it all worth it.

How Wonder Woman Subverts the Makeover Montage

I have been reading Elle magazine since I was 13-years-old. I am a subscriber to both the UK and US editions. This was by far the coolest thing that happened to me writing wise. Getting to talk about Wonder Woman and the makeover montage trope was a dream come true. This was also one of my favorite movies of the year. Lindy Hemming’s costume design from both the actual Wonder Woman costume to the London garb is incredible and deserves celebrating. Plus I got to talk CluelessShe’s All ThatNot Another Teen Movie and The Americans.

How the Henley Shirt Went From Workman’s Undershirt to CW Staple 

My relationship with Racked does not go back as far as my one with Elle, but I have been a big fan of this site for a long time; I love the mix of historical pieces, fashion industry deep dives and shopping advice. Often I’ll remark when a dude is wearing a henley on Twitter and after semi-jokingly mentioning that I should write an article looking into why, I decided to put my money where my mouth is. And it turned into one of my favorite pieces of the year.

The Bloody Consequences of Wearing a Straw Hat After Summer

Fashion history with an unexpected twist is what this straw hat essay is all about. After reading about the Straw Hat Riots of 1922 in Neil Steinberg’s “Hatless Jack” I knew I had to find out more. This led to one of many New York Times archive deep dives—the access to the archives is worth the subscription fee alone—and this article for Racked.

Is The Americans Setting Paige Up as a Classic “Final Girl”?

For Collider I got to write one of my most out there theories this year, where I explored the idea of Paige from The Americans through the lens of the horror movie “Final Girl” trope. It will make sense when you read it.

Why Game of Thrones Is Stuck in the Past with a Manufactured Stark Sibling Rivalry

The season 7 finale of Game of Thrones redeemed some of the Sansa/Arya issues with a moment that made me scream “fuck yes!” at my TV. But it doesn’t make up for how sloppy their plot trajectory was before this point. At Collider I vented about why this storyline missed the mark by a long way.

‘Halt and Catch Fire’ Series Finale: Legacy, Hope, and Getting Us to the People

Something that definitely did not miss the mark was the final season of Halt and Catch Fire. I wept my way through the finale and somehow turned those emotions into this goodbye to Cam, Donna, Gordon and Joe.

The Power of Love and White Costuming on The Leftovers

Another finale that broke me into a million pieces was The Leftovers. My weekly column at The Observer gave me the chance to deep dive into the use of white costuming and the overall love story aspect of my favorite show of 2017.

The Handmaid’s Tale Costume Designer on the Series’ Wardrobe Influences

This was also a year that involved a lot of interviews with a variety of costume designers covering both film and TV. Also a learning curve, including grappling with technology. This is now the third time I have interviewed Ane Crabtree (previously for Westworld and Masters of Sex). I am so glad I got to discuss the iconic costumes from The Handmaid’s Tale and the way this look has been adopted by political resistance movements IRL.

Disguises to Adidas: The Americans Costume Designer Shares Tricks of the Spy Trade

Another repeat interview subject for me is Katie Irish, The Americans costume designer. This time we discussed retro sports apparel, using high school year books for research and her personal connection to one particular disguise from season 5.

TV For All Seasons: Costumes Across Climates on The Americans and Girls

The idea of summer and winter shows is something I have been obsessing about for a long time. I wrote about it for The Observer.

How Call Me By Your Name Dispels the “Beard” Stereotype By Portraying Sexuality As Fluid

I haven’t stopped thinking about Call Me By Your Name, it is my favorite film of 2017. So I am very pleased that in my first piece for Bustle, I explored the portrayal of different forms of desire and how this film didn’t lean into ‘beard’ stereotypes.

What Princess Margaret’s Love Story on The Crown Can Teach Us About Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s Relationship

Another piece that allowed me to fall down a New York Times archive hole while looking at the parallels between a romance on The Crown and the recent Prince Harry/Meghan Markle courtship (going old school). Things haven’t really changed a great deal since 1960 when it comes to the way tabloids discuss Royal romance.

For all Best of 2017 pieces including my personal essay on The Americans head here.

Happy New Year! And thanks for reading.

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