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Out of the Box: Look of the Week – Best of 2014 Part 2

2 Jan

One last look back to 2014 with the second part of our Best of 2014 rundown. There have been a lot of amazing style moments and here are some of TV Ate My Wardrobe’s favorites from this weekly column. For Part 1 head here.

Best Magazine Cover Part 2

GOT Vanity FairThis cover came out before I’d seen any of the show and I bought the issue anyway knowing that I would want it when I had caught up. And I’m glad I did as Annie Leibovitz’s shoot is stunning and it not only showcases the incredible various costume design styles, but when else are you going to see Daenerys sitting next to Cersei with Jon Snow hanging out at the top of the pile?!

Best Sundance Couple

Diane Kruger and Joshua Jackson SundanceThe Sundance Film Festival is fast approaching which means winter threads aplenty and Diane Kruger’s take on layering in Ports 1961 is super chic. Joshua Jackson’s got a slightly more casual look and this is how to do couples tweed.

Best Stripes

Jessica WilliamsStripes are one of my several clothing weaknesses and Jessica Williams looks stunning in Tanya Taylor for Paper magazine’s aptly titled Beautiful People issue.

Best Teen

Kiernan ShipkaThere is only one contender here as Kiernan Shipka continues to kill it on the red carpet and she nails it pretty much every time blowing her other Mad Men co-stars out of the water. This Max Mara ensemble from back in June is slightly edgier thanks to the leather skirt and by pairing it with a soft silk white top it doesn’t go too teen rebellion. The pop of yellow is a very fun touch and I adore her.

Best Talkshow Entrance

Amy PoehlerAmy Poehler does fall fashion in the city with aplomb as she headed into David Letterman in October to promote her aces book Yes Please. Coat and boot coveting is occurring.

Best Summer TCA Part 2

Lizzy Caplan TCAAnother Roksanda stunner for TCA this time from the party portion with Lizzy Caplan in this amazing color block creation paired with equally electric Brian Atwood pumps.

Best Premiere Frock

Elizabeth BanksThis is the perfect gown for a HUGE premiere event (would also be a great Oscar dress) and Elizabeth Banks shows how it is done in Elie Saab Couture at the Mockingjay Part 1 world premiere in London.

Best Creative Arts Emmys Red Carpet

Uzo AdubaThe Emmys before the Emmys and Orange is the New Black’s Uzo Aduba won the Best Guest Actress in a Comedy Series while looking incredible in a white Costume National without looking the remotest bit bridal.

Best Critics’ Choice TV Awards

Tatiana MaslanyThe woman of many faces and Tatiana Maslany took home Best Actress for the second year in a row at the Critics’ Choice TV Awards in a Cushnie et Ochs floaty frock. The splash of red lipstick and pumps is the color injection this look needs.

Best Best Friends

Leighton Meester and Gillian JacobsWhile promoting Life Partners there has been a whole lot of TV Ate My Wardrobe favorites Leighton Meester and Gillian Jacobs much to my delight. I really love this shot of them from the LA premiere. Yes I want to get brunch with them.

Best London Fashion Week 

Felicity Jones BurberryThis is from the February LFW for the Fall ’14 collections and it is all Burberry Prorsum for Felicity Jones pairing a simple lemon chiffon color sweater and a beautiful gold jacquard print pencil skirt.

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Best of TV Costuming 2014: The Collection

31 Dec

2014 is coming to a close and it has been a fantastic year for television across a variety of platforms. There has never been so much choice so there are of gaps in my viewing and shows I want to catch up on still; Fargo I am looking at you. As with last year’s rundown I wanted to explore the best of what I had watched over the year with a focus on costuming and here is the collection of “Best of TV Costuming 2014” essays and posts.

The Americans plaid and spotsThe Marriage Disguise on The Americans

The wigs and costumes are amazing; however I wanted to shift the focus and look at the disguises Philip and Elizabeth wear on a daily basis in their home life. Season 2 saw more of a blurring between the roles they perform as parents, husband/wife and with their duty to their country.

IMG_8663The John Oliver Check Shirt Parade on Last Week Tonight

John Oliver made a more than successful transition from Daily Show correspondent to host of his own show and he did so in checked shirt style.

The Good Wife 5.17The Good Wife and Grieving

We are accustomed to seeing Alicia Florrick is tailored suits with a wine cardigan being the most casual her clothing gets, but this changed after a tragic loss (and this year’s biggest WHAAAAAAAT?! moment) as she dug out the sweats and took to her bed. There was also this very long time fight with Peter that had me cheering Alicia on.

The Music Monday Edition – Transparent

This year’s best TV soundtrack is courtesy of one of 2014 best shows and the choice of music on Transparent hit the nostalgia cues elevating the painful and joy filled moments. Plus I talked about music formats from the beloved records on the show to Spotify playlists.

Hannibal - Season 2Will Graham’s Hannibal Makeover

Tailored coats and fine wool scarves for Will upon his release from jail on Hannibal in an attempt to mimic the man he is trying to capture. Plus taking a look at how the polar vortex influenced one costuming moment.

Abbie leather jacketThe Year of the Leather Jacket

One 2014 trend that looks set to carry on into 2015 is the leather jacket and one of our favorite wearers of this garment is Sleepy Hollow’s Abbie Mills.

out 100 Samira WileyOut of the Box: Look of the Week – Part 1

Many magazine covers, red carpet events, talk show appearances and other top style moments have appeared on Out of the Box and Part 1 covers some of our favorite looks of 2014 including this stunning cover shot of Samira Wiley. Part 2 is here.

Bel and Freddie S2The Shows I Finally Watched

The Hour and Pushing Daisies didn’t air in 2014, but I did watch and fall in love with both shows for the first time this year and this is why they make the “Best of 2014” cut.

Margaery GOTBest of the Rest – From Statement Necklaces to Wedding Gowns

This picture heavy roundup covers a wide range of TV Ate My Wardrobe’s favorite shows and costume highlights including Margaery’s stunning Game of Thrones wedding dress, Diane Lockhart’s necklace collection and the trucker hat that became a sweet love token on Orphan Black.

Thank you to everyone who has stopped by this year and I can’t wait to talk about the TV in 2015!

 

Best of TV Costuming 2014: Best of the Rest – From Statement Necklaces to Wedding Gowns

30 Dec

Welcome to TV Ate My Wardrobe’s “Best of 2014″ 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 that we want in our own wardrobe to pieces that got everyone talking, we want to look at this year’s TV through the prism of costume.

So far the end of year “Best of” discussions have covered a lot of individual shows such as The AmericansHannibal and The Good Wife, along with certain trends such as leather jackets and now comes the quick-fire roundup of TV Ate My Wardrobe’s best of everything else such as accessories, special occasion gowns and even modes of transport. It is a chance to address some our favorite shows and looks of 2014.

Best Statement Necklace Wearer

The Good Wife 6.02 DianeThere can only be one winner of this and The Good Wife’s Diane Lockhart wears chain necklaces like no other. She also has a very fine collection of antique broaches/pins and a stare that can stop you dead in your tracks.

Best Fancy Hat 

Hannibal - Season 2Freddie Lounds take on court attire was even better than Hannibal checking out his own butt as he got ready for Will’s trial. This hat reads more day at the races or wedding and isn’t really court appropriate unless she is starring in a remake of His Girl Friday.

Best Casual Hat 

IMG_0770I never thought I would pick a trucker hat to appear on a ‘best of’ but Orphan Black managed to turn one into a symbol of love as Helena shared her first dance and smooch with the adorable Jesse. This love token has been dropped and all she is left with is a beanie to stuff her hair into.

Best Sunglasses

You're the WorstI can’t believe this is the first time I am talking about You’re the Worst on TV Ate My Wardrobe and Gretchen’s face in the shot above sums up how ridiculous that is. Plus her Ray-Ban Opal Yellow Wayfarers are super awesome and perfect for all kinds of hungover sunny days.

Best Sweaters

Gina B99 Wolfie sweaterAnother slam dunk as Brooklyn Nine-Nine’s Gina has excellent sweater game week in, week out including an excellent double wolfie turtleneck from the most recent episode. There might have been more competition if Robyn hadn’t mysteriously become a character who exists in the off screen wilderness on The Good Wife.

Best Tights

SelfieNobody does patterned tights quite like Selfie’s Eliza and now is also a good time to sadly bid adieu to yet another comedy show that was the perfect mix of funny, sweet and sharp. So long Eliza and Henry; you deserve more than this.

Best Bathrobes

IMG_1161Going from the sanitized hospital location with the stiff blue robes to something more decadent with quality hotel bathrobes and in Masters of Sex’s best episode this season “Fight” Bill and Virginia spent a rather sizable portion laying their souls bare while wearing this garment.

Best Late Night Drinking

HomelandOkay so this one isn’t about what a character is wearing, instead it is the manner in which this scene in the Homeland finale showcased the best of what has been a mostly very enjoyable season leaving behind the mess of almost all things Brody. There’s an initial awkwardness from Lockhart that turns into a moment of warmth thanks to a shared horrific experience and drinking whiskey from paper cups.

Best Mode of Transport Part 1

IMG_1160Lucy’s beautiful blue bike wouldn’t look out of place now as retro bicycles are on trend and it also symbolizes freedom for both Lucy – she doesn’t have to rely on a man for transport – and Thack as he experiences a non-drug induced pleasure when he takes it for a spin on The Knick.

Best Mode of Transport Part 2

The Comeback 2.08The Comeback has been a pleasure to experience even when watching through fingers or with constant Home Alone face and the season finale is just as exceptional. Valerie Cherish is my everything especially when she has to avoid a shit covered front yard and gets carried in her Emmy gown by a shirtless Brad Goreski and her publicist Billy.

Best Hoodie to Hide in

Broad City 1.08 drawstring hoodieThere is a lot to love about the costuming on Broad City and one of Abbi’s most practical pieces is this drawstring hoodie (as with April Ludgate’s mustard hoodie I am still on the hunt for it) which doubles as a Bevers blocker.

Best Dress for Time Travel

Otlander Claire blanketConfession – I still need to watch beyond episode 3 of Outlander and it is one of those shows that I just fell behind on. Claire’s 1940s simple white keyhole dress didn’t seem totally out of place for the 18th century time period she found herself in during the pilot and this allowed her to blend in as best she could without betraying the original post-World War II setting. I really need to catch up on this, don’t I?

Best Wedding Gown

Margaery GOTAnother wedding didn’t go so well (or it actually worked out better for the bride) on Game of Thrones, but that can’t take away from the exquisite beauty and detail of Margaery’s gown. The rose embellished train is stunning.

Best Business Wear 

BBC2 drama The Honourable WomanOn The Honourable Woman Maggie Gyllenhaal’s Nessa Stein has a wardrobe that contains endless billowy silk blouses and everything is super chic and well tailored. Pieces that stand out include the Roland Mouret leopard jacquard dress from the first episode and pretty much every item acts as some kind of armor between Nessa and the messiness of the world she is part of. Yep even those silk blouses represent both supreme business wear and a way to protect herself.

Best Pattern Clashing 

IMG_1014Mindy wins this one hands down.

 

Best of TV Costuming 2014 and The Shows I Finally Watched

29 Dec

Welcome to TV Ate My Wardrobe’s “Best of 2014″ 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 that we want in our own wardrobe to pieces that got everyone talking, we want to look at this year’s TV through the prism of costume.

2014 was the year I finally started watching Game of Thrones and it was the one gaping hole in my “shows that are huge that everyone talks about” list. However, what I want to focus on today is a pair of shows from the “cancelled too soon” brigade that have long been on my “why haven’t I watched these yet?” list (I have a lot of lists).

Pushing Daisies and The Hour are tonally different with one inhabiting a heightened reality with the other being very much grounded in this world; Pushing Daises is heavily influenced in its visuals by the period The Hour is set in with a playful twist on 1950s style. The costume design of both is something I was instantly drawn to and vibrant color is a strong feature on Pushing Daisies with both sets and wardrobe dripping in Technicolor. This isn’t to say The Hour is a dreary palette of greys and beige as Marnie’s sweet pastel frocks and Bel’s block color suits dismiss this notion.

Bel the hour Marnie The HourWhen you come to a show late and one that has been recommended countless times there is a worry it won’t live up to expectation and you just won’t get it. Fear not as the only reaction I had to these two shows was devastation there isn’t more than two seasons of each and joy to finally see what everyone has been raving about. There is an unearned feeling of sadness that comes from watching something which had an early cancellation as I don’t necessarily believe I have the same right to be angry that there is no more when I didn’t watch it when it aired. Instead I will be both mad at myself for not getting to it when it was originally on and still lament this premature end.

It is easy to romanticize the 1950s thanks to the styling; the costuming of The Hour and the influence of this period on Pushing Daisies has me clamoring for pretty frocks with nipped in waists. And hats. So many great lady hats in both shows.* There is also a lot of bad things about this post-war period and The Hour covers various panics from this period including the spy and nuclear war variety. Racism and sexism are prevalent throughout and homophobia extends to being criminally prosecuted if you are caught in a homosexual act. So while I love 50s fashion and costume designer Suzanne Cave did an excellent job of recreating this period, it is good to be reminded of the horror beyond the hooped skirts.

*Still dreaming of the day I get a Janet Snakehole pillbox hat

Chuck Pushing DaisiesDrawing comparisons between the two aside from finally watching them both this year and a shared 50s style isn’t as hard as you may think when it comes to discussing FEELINGS. Yep I’m talking about shipping and the obstacles for the main couples at play. Pushing Daisies takes the central pairing and gets them together in the first episode; this is no will they/won’t they. Instead they face an entirely different challenge as they can say exactly how they feel, but can’t physically touch each other without a barrier between them. Ah the perils of bringing people back to life with one touch and killing them all over again with another one. The Hour is a more traditional unrequited love deal as Freddie’s love for Bel is apparent from episode 1 and she takes a little longer to get there.

But hey look how great they look at the Christmas party from season 2 and this amazing shade of blue on Bel:

Bel and Freddie S2Unlike The Hour which is actually set in the 1950s, Pushing Daisies takes its costuming cues from a variety of periods with Chuck’s attire leaning towards a hippie vibe at points. Basically anything from the mid portion of the twentieth century and it takes on the visual richness you would expect from the mind of Bryan Fuller.

And look how adorable they are:

Pushing Daisies Chuck and NedSometimes once is enough but another thing these shows share is they are now part of my not so long list of DVDs I like to stick on at bedtime and fall asleep to. The sleep part sounds like a disservice, however it reveals how much comfort they bring and I’m always glad to add something to my rotation because otherwise my Rear Window DVD is going to get burnt out.

Now to figure out what to add to the 2015 rewind project. All suggestions welcome. Otherwise I will start my much thought over Gossip Girl rewatch and I’m not sure I am ready for that.

Out of the Box: Look of the Week – Best of 2014 Part 1

26 Dec

Time to look back at the many amazing outfits that have featured on “Out of the Box” and this year we are splitting it over two parts due to the high volume of incredible looks. There are going to be a variety of categories and a whole host of TV Ate My Wardrobe favorites.

Best Magazine Cover 

out 100 Samira WileyA lot of magazine covers have graced these pages this year but none took our breath away quite like Orange is the New Black’s Samira Wiley on the cover of the 20th anniversary issue of the Out100.

Best February NYFW Runway Watching 

Solange at MillyI love everything about this super bold color ensemble from Solange. Even that feathered bag.

Best Pleated  

Aubrey PlazaI wrote a whole thing the other day about how I had never worn leather aside from shoes and bags; while leather jackets are still super intimidating I’m pretty sure a pleated leather skirt would be in my wheelhouse. Aubrey Plaza does pattern and pleats well.

Best Red Lip Color

Keri RussellKeri Russell appeared in Brooklyn Magazine back in September and here she wears Urban Decay’s 24/7 lip liner “69,” which has become a red lip color staple in my makeup bag.

Best Summer TCA 

Diane Kruger TCAAt The Bridge TCA panel (*sob* that it didn’t get renewed) Diane Kruger stunned in this color block Roksanda frock. Super stylish and effortless chic from a TV Ate My Wardrobe staple.

Best High Waisted Shorts

Karen Gillan KimmelI’m still pretty heartbroken about Selfie’s premature end and instead of dwelling on that sadness; here is Karen Gillan on her way into Jimmy Kimmel Live! from October in a perfect sidewalk strutting ensemble.

Stay tuned for Part 2 next week.

Best of TV Costuming 2014: The Year of the Leather Jacket

22 Dec

Welcome to TV Ate My Wardrobe’s “Best of 2014″ 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 that we want in our own wardrobe to pieces that got everyone talking, we want to look at this year’s TV through the prism of costume.

Clothing confession time – I have never owned a leather jacket; in fact I don’t think I have ever tried one on. Or anything made of leather aside from bags or shoes. It is one of those items (much like my fear of jumpsuits, which is a story for another day) that has always intimidated me because my style is more Sandy pre makeover than post (the leather jumpsuit in Grease is the perfect combination of my clothing fears). Leather jackets have been so ubiquitous on TV this year that Vulture compiled a slideshow of all the women who had worn them at the start of the fall season. We’re going back a little further and compiling a list of the Top 5 leather jacket wearers this year and maybe 2015 will be the year I try one on. I will probably settle for a leather pleated skirt.

In no particular order here are the women who make me want to wear leather and what is really great about this list is it covers sitcom, drama and genre shows. Leather is not bound by one type of storytelling.

The Good Wife 5.18 Kalinda and DianeKalinda Sharma wears several shades of leather on The Good Wife including this stunning collarless zipped peplum oxblood number (from episode 5.18 “All Tapped Out) and I’d say a good 93% of her wardrobe includes some form of leather. Even her dresses that aren’t all leather have leather accents.

Abbie leather jacketLeather jackets are to Abbie Mills’ attire as Ichabod’s trusty colonial coat (and his new replicas) is to his wardrobe on Sleepy Hollow. Abbie’s costuming is relatively fuss free; it is both practical and it is still classically stylish. There is also an air of authority when wearing this type of outerwear and gives the impression of someone who is not easily intimidated, which is why characters from law enforcement have a tendency to rock this look.

Diaz leather jacketSuch as Rosa Diaz from Brooklyn Nine-Nine. It is a trope of sorts to have a character like Diaz in this attire and it is also used to distinguish her look from Amy Santiago’s softer, tailored wardrobe but the show has fun with what could become a cliche.

Kitty leather jacketOn Elementary, Kitty is wearing the same All Saints biker jacket as Diaz’s one from the shot above and while her character isn’t strictly a police officer she does work in this arena. Kitty’s attire is nothing like Joan’s for a reason; she is not simply a Joan carbon copy Sherlock is trying to recreate. Instead her penchant for leather (including her Doc Marten boots) is a way to project an image of strength after everything she has been through.

The Americans 2.13 Elizabeth leather jacketElizabeth doesn’t look all that thrilled by her coat choice considering the way her hands are stuffed into the pockets and the snow on the ground behind her. From the season 2 finale of The Americans Elizabeth is dressed in the way I think she is most comfortable in (aside from the weather) as she appears as herself and not in her mom attire or work clothes. This is spy Elizabeth. And what do we have here, but a new shot from the season 3 promo shoot revealing that leather comes in both his and hers:

IMG_1156Any other favorite leather jacket wearers from 2014?

Best of TV Costuming 2014: Will Graham’s Hannibal Makeover

16 Dec

Welcome to TV Ate My Wardrobe’s “Best of 2014″ 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 that we want in our own wardrobe to pieces that got everyone talking, we want to look at this year’s TV through the prism of costume.

Will Graham went to some dark, dark places in season 2 of Hannibal as he crossed a very big line in an attempt to reveal Hannibal’s true self. Will Graham started the year in prison as a result of being framed for Abigail’s death and several other murders, which meant a whole lot of jumpsuits. Will’s brain is no longer on fire and he is relatively lucid (the stags still appears to him in various terrifying and non terrifying forms), which means he is far more equipped to deal with Hannibal. I would say the playing field has been leveled but this is never the case when facing off against Hannibal. Even when you kind of dress like him.

Hannibal - Season 2When Will is released from prison he doesn’t go straight to the mall or a seller of fine outerwear and scarves. Nor does he venture to a barber of procure contact lenses. First he must lend some clothes to Dr Chilton because Hannibal has framed yet another person for his various criminal misdeeds. Dr Chilton is on the receiving end of Hannibal’s framing gift and Chilton’s costuming has gone to greater lengths this season to mimic his benefactor. Chilton’s suits are bolder than Hannibal’s because he wants to stand out and it is why he continues to use a decadent cane he no longer really needs

Three-piece suits are Hannibal’s signature and Will doesn’t go for a mirror image of this style choice; instead he switches out his fly fishing vests and rumpled jackets for beautiful tailored wool coats and sweaters. I’m still sad there was no shopping montage – like this one – or at least a trip to Hannibal’s tailor.

Hannibal 2.08His hair has been trimmed and while he is still a little stubbly, this is definitely a more polished version of Will. Gone are the glasses as his barrier to shield his eyes from others and this suggests his willingness to embrace whatever has to be done to stop Hannibal.

There are points where he looks more like the season 1 version of Will including this confrontation with Mason in “Ko No Mono” which also happens to be the same episode where we (and Alana) find out for sure that Will did not kill Freddie and this is all part of the grand Hannibal lure.

Hannibal 2.10When Will comes to Hannibal to serve up some (not) Freddie he’s all fancy scarf/tailored wool coat and this is a look he maintains at the start of the next episode as he continues the ruse with a very pissed off Alana. He accidentally mirrors her look, but it’s cold so I’m not going to read too much into their scarf/coat choice of attire. Ah the polar vortex and spotting which shows shot in these conditions.

Will and AlanaSpeaking of the cold, I couldn’t do a best of Hannibal costuming post without mentioning this magical moment:

Hannibal 2.09Back to Will and at this point last year we knew that prison overalls would be the predominant Will Graham look when we returned for the next season. The picture is unclear at this moment for what state he will be in when season 3 kicks off and even though time has passed that is one hell of a wound so hospital garb might be on the menu. In this brand new phase of the ongoing ensnaring Hannibal saga, this event is going to have a huge impact on everyone who was left bloody and broken including how they present themselves to the world.

Best of TV 2014: The Music Monday Edition – Transparent

15 Dec

A slightly different Best of TV 2014 edition today as we’re shifting the focus off costuming and onto music. It is Music Monday after all. One of this year’s best shows is Amazon’s Transparent and a lot of the posts on TV Ate My Wardrobe from the last few months have been written with the Transparent soundtrack playing in the background. This has been via Spotify and one of my favorite things about this site is the number of playlists that pop up from a TV or movie soundtrack. When I look at my most played tracks of the year they are all either from a TV show/movie or it is an artist I first heard via a soundtrack (Girls is a big source of new music for me) with “Mayla” from Transparent featuring in my top 10.

501B9172.CR2Now the album has been released by Amazon and it is a 17-track wonder. Sure there are some vital tracks missing and while I am beyond thrilled to see the full length Glitterish cover of Jim Croce’s “Operator” featured (along with the original version), it is shame that neither version “Dreamboat Annie” makes the cut (I’m guessing this is a licensing issue). I’ve been listening to a whole lot of Heart over the past few months thanks to Transparent (coupled with Virgin Suicides flashes) and while it is disappointing each of the other 17 tracks is an auditory beauty. 

This soundtrack is special for a number of reasons and nostalgia is part of this. The opening theme sets the tone for each episode and the piano accompanying scenes from home movies is sad, haunting and beautiful all at once; even though the scenes in those videos are not specific to me they manage to capture something familiar. The rest of the soundtrack also operates in this way at times with certain songs elevating feelings of joy and pain.

“Oh Sister” by Bob Dylan replaces the usual theme on “Best New Girl” which indicates that there will be something different about this episode, which there is as it all takes place in 1994 (the year they have flashbacked to on several other occasions). This is nostalgia of another kind as Maura gets to be free for the first time although Camp Camellia doesn’t turn out to be the welcoming safe space Maura hoped it would be.

Music is used as performance on multiple occasions from Maura and Davina’s rendition of “Somebody That I Used to Know” that is meant to be triumphant and instead turns sad as each of Maura’s children leave before the piece has even finished; their empty seats are a stark reminder of how selfish her children are. The piano version that is used later in the episode takes this song to a haunting place that I didn’t know was possible.

Transparent recordsIt’s funny that I talk about how great Spotify is in terms of soundtrack playlists and the easiest way to procure the Transparent album is on digital download when vinyl plays an important part in the show. There is an everything old is new again vibe to this show in how memory plays an important part in the Pfefferman family dynamic and Josh’s record collection works on several aesthetic and narrative levels. It is what prompts the Glitterish “Operator” cover (further complicated by his intimate relationship with one of the band members he is working with) and there is a romanticism attached to his music collection, which I’m sure a lot of us can identify with. Josh is the ultimate romantic in that he falls in love so easily and his copy of “Dreamboat Annie” disrupts Ali’s relationship with her best friend Syd as it spills several secrets both old and new. It also impacts Josh’s new relationship as Ali reveals Josh’s predication for falling in love at the drop of the hat to Raquel. This record causes a whole lot of damage so here is a live version of the title track to make up for it not being on the digital version of the soundtrack.

Transparent makes my heart ache and sing all at once; the soundtrack does the same by capturing these feelings and adding another layer to an already incredible production.

Best of TV Costuming 2014: The Good Wife and Grieving

9 Dec

Welcome to TV Ate My Wardrobe’s “Best of 2014″ 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 that we want in our own wardrobe to pieces that got everyone talking, we want to look at this year’s TV through the prism of costume.

One of the biggest TV moments for me this year was the death of Will Gardner on The Good Wife and how this took what was already a thrilling season and upped the ante to new levels as everyone dealt with the aftermath of this tragedy. This story resonated for a number of reasons and the unexpected and sudden nature put us in the same position as Alicia as they somehow managed to keep this story under wraps; this was not an expected departure – even if it was common knowledge that Josh Charles’ contract was up at the end of the season – and because Will and Alicia’s relationship was unresolved this death hit hard. It is definitely the first time I have ever cried while writing a review.

The Good Wife 5.17 AliciaThe education of Alicia Florrick is at the center of The Good Wife and Will’s death is a stab to that heart. Even when they were fighting for the majority of the fifth season there was still a spark and the reconciliation of sorts in a New York City diner hinted at the next phase of their relationship. This was not to be the case as Will was gunned down by his own client at the end of the next episode. The wardrobe of grieving can be many things but when Alicia finds out that Will has been killed she is in appropriately somber clothing and she spends the episode with her zip done all the way up and shrouded in her black coat. As I said it is appropriately somber. This is followed by more black clothing for the funeral (and post funeral drinks with Diane) but color isn’t completely lacking in these episodes as you can see in this shot of Alicia with Grace’s old tutor Jennifer.

It’s after the funeral in “A Material World” where there is a shift in Alicia’s attire as she goes from her usual well put together fancy suits and reverts to sweats. Climbing beneath the sheets – initially while still wearing her court clothes – and contemplating only the heavy handed drama on Darkness at Noon is pretty much where Alicia is at. This move is not surprising as she needs to escape the pain of her own world by watching manpain on her favorite show. Alicia is all about control (it is why she likes the law so much) and this experience allows her to let go of everything she has known to be true for as long as we have known her. On one hand there was Will – the real love of her life where bad timing played its part in keeping them apart – and then there is Peter. Peter is the disappointment, the facade of a marriage that has always been broken since we entered Alicia’s life.

Alicia ending things with Peter when she looks at her least put together is entirely appropriate and this is a conversation that has been a long time coming. It is a rehash of the same argument we have heard countless times as both Alicia and Peter use their past indiscretions to hurt the other. The main difference now is that Alicia doesn’t hold back screaming that her affair meant something and we’ve reached the point of no return for the broken Florrick union. Now she is acknowledging how their coupling is a benefit professionally to both of them, but anything else is completely off the cards. They are done. No going back this time and Peter doesn’t get a say.

The Good Wife 5.17Seeing Alicia take control in this manner all while wearing her sweats is a fist pump eliciting moment and something I have been longing to see. Okay maybe transfer super swanky red gown for the sweats in how I envisioned it, but the lounge wear is actually far better because this look is so unexpected. Peter has no patience or empathy for Alicia’s pain, he thinks his wife is being dramatic and maybe she is, however this is what happens when your heart gets ripped from your chest. Peter belittles her loss by inferring that Will’s death isn’t like losing a child or a husband; this is the point where she realizes she is done with his BS and passive aggressive comments about the political function she has missed. He is now free to screw around with whomever he wants to, as long as it doesn’t hurt either of them professionally.

While Peter has indeed invoked the ‘sleep with whoever you want’ clause (and by the sounds of it with someone who he has previously cheated on Alicia with), Alicia is yet to do anything beyond flirtation (with Lost’s Nestor Carbonell and Finn). One thing that is worth noting about Finn is that he saw her in her most vulnerable state and it is not just because he saw her in sweats over her well put together wardrobe. Rather than avoiding Finn, which would have been easy to do as Grace was about to turn him away, Alicia says it is okay for him to come into her bedroom. Her inner sanctum of hiding away from the world. This conversation reinforces not only how much Will meant to Alicia, but also creates this connection between Finn and Alicia that goes way beyond the insane chemistry they share.

Will’s death is a shocking moment and what could have been a cheap twist has been used to propel the characters forward in unexpected ways as well as exposing Alicia’s vulnerability and strength in equal measure. These days away from work allow Alicia to respond to this event in the privacy of her own home, but when she becomes aware of how little privacy there is thanks to the NSA surveillance it gives her a reason to get back out there and kick some ass. The comfy home clothes are discarded for now and the sharp suits are back; the wine cardigan will return but this renewed focus and sense of determination means the sweats have been banished for now.

Best of TV Costuming 2014: The John Oliver Check Shirt Parade on Last Week Tonight

8 Dec

Welcome to TV Ate My Wardrobe’s “Best of 2014″ 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 that we want in our own wardrobe to pieces that got everyone talking, we want to look at this year’s TV through the prism of costume.

When John Oliver hosted The Daily Show over the summer of 2013 it became clear that when Jon Stewart returned, if Oliver went back to his correspondent position then this would be a huge missed opportunity. Thankfully this wasn’t the case and one of the best new shows of 2014 is Last Week Tonight with John Oliver; a weekly show (sadly finished for the season) covering a range of global news stories as well as a more in-depth investigations ranging from student loans to FIFA to the failed prison system. It has been a breath of fresh air and while The Daily Show and The Colbert Report are still both producing excellent material covering a much shorter time frame, Last Week Tonight has taken the satirical current affairs genre to new heights.

IMG_8665The look of the show is similar to pretty much every other late night talk show, satirical or otherwise. There is a desk with a city backdrop and the image box appears to the left of Oliver’s head a la The Daily Show/Colbert. Aesthetically though, Oliver’s wardrobe is different and striking as he has embraced a variety of check color shirts and ties. In his role as correspondent he stuck to a run of the mill look never venturing too far from the conventional. By injecting color and pattern in this way he is not only signals that this is his show, he also sets himself apart from those performing a similar role that have come before him.

Shots were fired quickly in the strong shirt and tie game with Oliver wearing the red pairing in the shot above in the second episode. One presenter in Australia wore the same suit every day to see if anyone would notice to show how little attention is paid to what men wear in comparison to women. While it is far from surprising that no one called him out for this repeat outfit, it is noticeable when the wardrobe department mixes things by pairing such striking colors together and Oliver’s attire is a visual bonus on top of everything else Last Week Tonight has achieved in its first season. This isn’t to say there is anything particularly radical about Oliver’s attire; however it is striking because the talk show look is a standard approach looks more like this:

IMG_8670Check isn’t the Last Week Tonight uniform as such because this pattern isn’t worn every single week; however patterned shirts make up about half of what has been worn by Oliver over the first season adding to the fresh look of the show. Maybe we can throw in some paisley for season 2?

Below is a gallery of the best of John Oliver’s check (and the occasional plaid) shirt stylings on Last Week Tonight.

 


 

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