TV Ate My Wardrobe’s Best of 2013 Costuming series concludes today and I am joined by Kerensa Cadenas and Julie Hammerle to talk about this excellent year of costume design. We’re here to talk about a variety of shows and topics including Scandal, what shows influenced our own wardrobe choices and what we’re hoping to try out in 2014.
For all of the Best of 2013 articles head here. Happy New Year!
Emma: 2013 has been an excellent year for TV, so much so that I know we all have certain shows that we haven’t had time to watch yet (for me it is Orange is the New Black, Game of Thrones and Enlightened). What I would like to do is talk about our highlights of the year from a costume/fashion perspective; which shows have stood out, shocked, enthralled, disappointed and influenced some of your own clothing choices.
I’m going to start with the show that we discussed in depth in October and that’s Scandal. It’s one of the most talked about shows in terms of everything with Olivia Pope’s style dominating sites (like this one) and fashion magazines. The rise of Scandal has also seen an influx of Kerry Washington magazine covers and deservedly so. The costuming on Scandal has got more audacious and season 3 has delivered some exceptional pieces including every single coat (and specifically the Burberry trench in the S3 premiere) and this Rubin Singer dress looks like superhero couture. Olivia continues to perplex and impress me with her red wine drinking/no spilling skills as I would have ruined all of that cashmere by now.
Other Scandal highlights for me include Abby’s Diane von Furstenberg updated wardrobe and ditching the poker straight hair for the wavier look is an instant win. Maybe dial back on the eyeliner. Same goes for Quinn. Mellie’s Chanel pearls are perfect as are all of her updated Nancy Reagan red suits. All the bonus points for putting Scott Foley in military dress uniform, leather jackets, hoodies and THAT suit.
What on Scandal has stood out for both of you this year?
Kerensa: I can’t help it but literally fashion-wise, Olivia is blinding. So much so that it’s almost hard to notice anyone else. All those coats with those amazing collars and perfectly matched gloves and bags. For the season 3 premiere, my Scandal watching partner in crime and I attempted to wear our most Olivia-esque cardigans, he succeeded. I can say despite all of Olivia’s fashion slam-dunks, I did not like that dress that she wore to the White House Correspondents Dinner.
I think James always looks great and I’ll leave all Scott Foley related business to our resident expert, Julie. What do we think about Fitz though? I mean it’s all very generic and presidential obviously, but I was speaking with a friend recently and we both think that Fitz is probably wearing a lot of dad-seeming things–jeans, shoes, etc. And he would especially if they lived in Vermont. Ugh Fitz.
Julie: As a ’90s gal, I’m fine with the eyeliner on Abby and Quinn, but that might just be me. Also, I loved the Rubin Singer dress, which was total knockout. It reminded me a bit of Julia Roberts’s Oscar gown, one of my favorites of all time. I’m a big fan of a black and white evening gown. Olivia’s dress may have had some fit issues, but that could’ve been due to her early pregnancy curves.
As far as Mr. Foley goes, I want him either shirtless or in a suit. There you go, Scandal costume people, your job is done. The moment where he’s revealed to be the new Command was our notice to sit up and take notice of all Scott Foley-in-a-suit has to offer. And it’s a lot.
Fitz is so generic and so, kind of, old. His costuming is just dull. He’s dull. It all fits (Fitz?) together.
I think the costumers have done a great job with Mellie as well, showing us this softer, less conniving woman before working on Fitz’s presidential campaign (and before being sexually assaulted by her father-in-law), and then contrasting those looks with the Washington power wife she has become.
Emma: I guess it’s hard to be a super stylish President and while I don’t think he needs to be emulating Harrison or James, there’s just not much to talk about with Fitz and fashion. He did wear a turtleneck in the flashback, but most of my feelings about turtlenecks aren’t particularly flattering. Same applies for Fitz.
As it’s become clear that they’re (thankfully) not going to write in a pregnancy storyline it will be interesting to see what inventive methods they will use to hide Kerry Washington’s bump, I’m picturing more oversized coats and purses.
Moving on from Scandal and another show which makes me wish I had a reason to wear expensive lady suits and that’s The Good Wife. I know you both only dipped into this for the first time this year with the incredible “Hitting the Fan” and I wanted to know if anything costume wise stood out to you because I think they’re one of the best dressed casts on TV. This piece on Diane Lockhart’s costuming is also TV Ate My Wardrobe’s most popular article of the year and I think that says a lot about both the character and the clothes she wears. TV has been championed for great roles for women over 40 and The Good Wife does a fantastic job of avoiding the pitfalls of clothes you might expect a woman of a certain age to wear.
What do you guys think about this?
Julie: Having only watched the one Good Wife episode this season, I don’t have much to add, other than the two “ladies of a certain age” on the show do look lovely and professional. Christine Baranski always gets those kinds of roles, doesn’t she? You never see her playing the schlubby old hausfrau or anything. She’s always, like, the society maven or the company CEO or (in the case of The Big Bang Theory) Leonard’s mother, who is also renowned psychologist.
Emma: Yeah I can’t think of a Christine Baranski role doesn’t require poise. I’m so happy The Good Wife has given her a role that doesn’t feel like the stereotypical older woman who has chosen her career over a family nonsense.
Are there any shows which have influenced your clothing choices this year?
Julie: That’s a good question about what on TV influenced my clothing choices. Hmmm…well, I just received the same lipstick that Max uses on 2 Broke Girls (Tarte’s Envy) for Christmas, so there’s that. Oh, and I bought myself a fluffy white sweater that I often wear while eating popcorn and drinking red wine (I’ve had to have it cleaned six times already).
Beyond that, I’ve mostly reverted to the ’90s after watching My So-Called Life. I bought a pair of Dr. Martens and I’ve been wearing darker lipstick.
How about you?
Emma: Currently typing this while wearing my new polka dot pajama set and quite a few of my Christmas gifts had a TV influence. So yeah New Girl’s a big one and at the moment I’m on the hunt for an a-line wool mini skirt a la Jess. This is mostly because I have lots of tights and sweaters that I think would look good with this. Alas no joy yet. Same goes for my endless quest to find the perfect mustard yellow hoodie that I have been coveting since I first saw April Ludgate wear one when she drove to the Grand Canyon with Andy on Parks and Rec.
This year I’ve also tried a couple of Megan Draper influenced stylings including a scarf in my hair and a short sleeved/high neck sweater that looks late 60s esque. With the Mad Men stuff I try not to imitate too much otherwise it looks like fancy dress. In real life Kiernan Shipka is showing what it looks like for a 14 year old to dress better than anyone else in this cast. She is my everything, please don’t ruin her Hollywood. I’m also scared for all things Flowers in the Attic – haven’t you seen it Kerensa?
And yes the 90s! So glad to have all this plaid back in my wardrobe, though I wish I’d saved it all first time around. I still haven’t tried out the super dark brown/rose lip stick; I should probably get on that.
What I really would like in my life is some Olivia Pope sized wine glasses and pretty much all the furniture and fixings from any of the Scandi shows.
What about you Kerensa? Any TV wardrobe influences this year? And to you both is there something you want to try out in 2014?
Julie: I’ve also been wearing a lot of Jess Day-inspired pajamas. With dogs and monkeys on them.
I love the question of what to try out in 2014. It’s like making a TV fashion-related New Year’s resolution. My hair is about the same length (and color) as April’s on Parks and Rec, and I’d like to try getting mine a little wavier, like hers.
Also, on the Jess Day train, I’m always on the lookout for cute dresses and glasses (though I cannot pull off the big nerd frames. I’m more of a Mad Men/cat eye kind of girl).
What about you ladies?
Kerensa: As has Julie, I’ve only seen a few episodes this season of The Good Wife, so I can’t really speak to the clothes on that show either. But in my current catch up of the show, holy crap, yes.
Kiernan is the most fashionable 14 year old ever. And yes, I did see Flowers in the Attic, and I’m proud to report that it is A TREAT.
In terms of 2014 TV inspired resolutions, I’d like to just be Olivia Pope pretty much. But my general clumsiness, inability to not stain anything white-hued and working from home I think kinda negates that from happening. I’d love to take a page from Megan Draper’s wardrobe–that cool, sexy, effortless 60s Valley of the Dolls vibe she always has going. I agree with Julie that I’m loving April’s hair on Parks and Recreation right now, so it’s the right length, I just need to make myself take the straightening iron out of my hand.
A little out of the discussion, but I just watched Skins: Fire last night, which wrapped up the entire Skins series in 2013. Fire focuses on Effy, one of my favorites of the endlessly gorgeous extremely selfish and damaged characters. She begins working at a London hedge fund. In terms of television, it’s certainly not the greatest (I say this as I’m watching the other 4 episodes right now) but Effy’s wardrobe for this job is amazing. I mean it certainly doesn’t hurt that Kaya Scodelario is model-y gorgeous but her outfits are all these amazing leather trimmed structured blazers, nipped mini-dresses paired with tights and booties. It’s so reminiscent of her teen wardrobe–all leather clad, ripped tights and plenty of angst–but grown up. And I want every single piece of it. Oh and Olivia’s wine glasses, a staple.
Emma: I like that April Ludgate is a style icon for us all; for hair and hoodies (and owl sweaters).
As far as 2014 goes for me I’m hoping to get some inspiration from the new season of The Americans (seriously I really want their son Henry’s rainbow jacket) and blend it with some Felicity stylings. Pretty much a Keri Russell hybrid.
Both Abby from Scandal and Alana Bloom on Hannibal wear some excellent Diane von Furstenberg patterned dresses and while I can’t afford actual DVF I’d like to add to my wrap dress collection.
And if I could not spill anything on my clothes I would be a very happy lady. I fear this is a resolution to far for me.
Jumping off from your Skins comment Kerensa (and those outfits do sound amazing) are there any particular moments/shows/characters that stand out in terms of costuming and style?
Are there any returning or new shows that you’re anticipating for their costuming?
Julie: Big sweaters forever! Also, I’m going to start re-wearing long sheath dresses over T-shirts with Chuck Taylors, because I’m still 17, I think.
Oh, yes. I love Alana’s dresses on Hannibal. That show is so subtly fashionable. I say that because sometimes it’s hard to recall what I’ve seen beyond all the gore.
As far as costume moments go, we already talked about Olivia Pope’s Correspondents Ball dress, which I loved. I’m having trouble thinking beyond that at the moment. I’m currently watching Masters of Sex and loving everything Lizzy Caplan wears on that show (when she wears clothing).
I’m looking forward to Game of Thrones returning, for many reasons beyond fashion, but I do want to see how they style the Dornishmen and what kind of fabulous dress they put on Margaery for her wedding to Joffrey.
And of course The Walking Dead returns in February, and I hope Carol returns to the group with every designer gown she can find in tow. Because while everyone else is raiding drug and grocery stores, I bet no one thought to break into Gucci or Prada to steal their wears.
Emma: I just got the most amazing big mohair striped sweater from the Dr Martens shop (which I think you both would love). It would be both Angela and Felicity approved. I’ve wanted a mohair sweater for ages (Trudy Campbell wears one in the Kennedy assassination episode of Mad Men and I’ve been obsessed ever since). That’s one 2014 wish to be ticked off the list before the new year has started. Thank you sale shopping.
Hannibal’s suits are impeccable, it’s such a beautiful show considering how horrifying it is and it’s high on my most anticipated list.
Other shows I’m looking forward to returning include The Americans because all the wigs and everything else, Girls as I want to see if they can top Marnie’s plastic dress from last year and Mad Men because of all the reasons. I still need to watch Game of Thrones.
With new shows Looking is top of my list and I’m interested to see a show set somewhere slightly different and how this influences costuming choice. On the other end of the scale is True Detective as it looks grimy. And you know the Harrelson/McConaughey factor.
One of the big shows this year for me has been Orphan Black and all the many versions of Tatiana Maslany. That’s why it’s also on my 2014 list of things to look forward to. I’ve written about a lot of my favorite costume moments in the Best of 2013 series I’ve been doing and Leslie Knope’s wedding dress *might* be my personal highlight as both it and that episode encapsulated everything that makes Parks and Recreation such a joy to watch.
Now I want to see a fashionista character on The Walking Dead. That would be the best.
Julie: I need to watch Orphan Black, which I just got for Christmas. Looking looks fabulous, even more so since my new Frozen crush Jonathan Groff is on it.
And seriously. Why are people in the Zombpocalypse not wearing more fashionable clothing? I’d wear a tiara every day to go with my katana blades.
Kerensa: Yes to the Orphan Black costuming! It’s so great. All of Felix’s short robes and Sarah’s general bad-assery (aka my ideal look). Looking forward to what they do with other clones as well!
As for returning–I don’t know if RuPaul’s Drag Race counts but goddamn the fashions on that show. And it’s always doubly impressive since the contestants are making all those looks themselves. Also, everything that RuPaul wears always and forever. The man wears a skinny suit impeccably as well as a sequined ball gown.
I’ll be interested as well what’s in store for Girls–especially with Jessa. I just want to see how they can top her ridiculous boho European free spirit stuff every year.
Side note: Julie I don’t know if you watch, but what do we think about the costuming on The Carrie Diaries? I think a lot of it is pretty ridiculous but I kinda love it anyways.
Emma: Super on the Orphan Black watching front, you’re in for a treat. It’s the only show that has made me wish for dreadlocks (it would never happen).
RuPaul’s Drag Race is something I’ve only ever seen via The Soup, it’s something I’d love to catch a whole season of and those outfits sound fantastic!
With The Carrie Diaries I’m so in love with all the crazy pattern clashing and the fact they’ve found every slogan tee for Dorrit from Forever 21 – there was one in the last episode that read “I Hate Everyone” which is pretty much perfect. I like that they’re got going for complete authenticity with the costuming and use items from mostly affordable stores. It makes sense for this audience (well the small one it has) to go this route rather than a Mad Men style one. It’s not a costuming note, but I do want to highlight how amazing the Walt storyline has been and especially the bonding time with Dadshaw over Golden Girls. Back to costuming everything Donna LaDonna wears is the perfect amount of excess. Same with Samantha and her ab baring tops.
As always it has been a pleasure discussing TV and fashion with you both.
I’m pretty obsessed with the idea of The Walking Dead plus Prada now to be honest.