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Best of TV Costuming 2015: The Collection

29 Dec

As 2015 comes to a close we should take a moment to think of all the TV we have watched and avoid dwelling on the ever growing list of things to catch up on. There is plenty to look forward to in the first few months of the new year including The X-Files revival (of which I have no chill about), Agent Carter (next week!), Broad CityAmerican Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson (which looks like every level of ridiculous/amazing) and The Americans.

For now let’s bask in the best of 2015 and for your easy perusal here are all of our costuming, music and red carpet essays/posts in one place.

The Americans 3.10 Philip and Elizabeth - CopyRemoving Disguises and Revealing the Truth on The Americans

Our number one show of the year if we were to rank these things in list form and The Americans took everything from season 2 and kicked it up a gear from tension levels to secrets which were shared. The costuming was as intricate as ever balancing disguises with Philip and Elizabeth’s everyday attire with some shocking moments which featured the removal of some of these items. New levels of intimacy were reached in a scene which took at home dentistry to the extreme which had me both transfixed while also half covering my eyes.

You're the WorstThe Music Monday Edition – You’re The Worst

This has been an incredible year for music on TV with final scenes and end credit offerings hitting sublime notes from many shows. You’re the Worst went big this year in their storyline choices and the music that accompanied the many crushing moments; adding to these highly emotive scenes in the way a soundtrack should. We’ve got the perfect playlist for you to end 2015 on.

Hanibal 3.09 Alana and WillAlana Bloom – Queen of Ladysuits on Hannibal

#LadySuitWatch2015 was a big thing here at TV Ate My Wardrobe and Alana Bloom’s season 3 change of style on Hannibal took this trend to new and amazing heights.

Mad Men 7.12 Queen Peggy Peggy B - sunglassesBookending the 70s with Mad Men and Fargo or a Tale of Two Peggys

The 1970s is my favorite fashion decade (for reasons) and Mad Men and Fargo captured the beginning and end of this period in very different ways. Two characters called Peggy both stood out and while they are worlds apart they both capture everything I love about the styling of this period.

Broad City ValBest of the Rest – Part 1

There were so many fantastic costuming moments across a variety of genres and viewing platforms that we had to split this picture heavy rundown into two posts. From dragon necklaces to the discussion of male nudity on cable with denim, leather jackets and red lipstick all getting a look in. Plus ultimate cabaret performing attire and a whole lot more.

Taraji P Henson WOut of the Box: Look of the Week – Part 1

So many sartorial moments of excellence in 2015 on magazine covers, editorials, the red carpet and at a wide arrange of events. Out of the Box gave a weekly compilation of the best of these and now we have our favorites of the year including this jaw droppingly good Taraji P. Henson cover. Look out for Part 2 on New Year’s Eve.

Mr robotBest of the Rest – Part 2

The second part of our costuming round-up includes a show I only started watching this week and ones I have been obsessed with for a long time. Hoodies, Hollywood glam, saying goodbye to some faves and many other clothing moments to salivate over and celebrate. This year really has been incredible for television.

Thank you to everyone who has stopped by this year and I can’t wait to talk about TV in 2016!

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Best of TV Costuming 2015: Best of the Rest Part 2

28 Dec

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.

So far the Best of 2015 series has focused on in-depth costuming achievements from The Americans, Hannibal, Fargo and Mad Men. Plus a special You’re the Worst “Music Monday” end credits rundown and “Out of the Box” round-up.

Now is the turn of a huge range of shows we have been watching this year from network, cable and streaming with comedy, drama and all those other hard to categorize scripted offerings. There has been so many fantastic individual moments that we have had to split this post into two otherwise the scrolling would be endless.

Here is Part 2 of the standout costuming moments in 2015.

DianeCamo Queen

Diane Lockhart is the ultimate when it comes to power dressing in the office – make sure you have at least one piece of statement jewelry – and she manages to transfer this skill to the snowy hunting climate working the all camouflage and furry hat getup like no other.

Looking S2The Morning After the Night Before Award

Looking dudes killing it with their cardigan, plaid and most importantly bathrobe attire in the season 2 premiere. Patrick also hugged a tree, which was possibly the most adorable TV moment of 2015.

Kit HaringtonHair Most Watched

When you want people to believe a HUGE character has been killed off don’t say the actor who plays him has cut his hair because for the next few months every public appearance will be under the hair watch spotlight; whether this be at Wimbledon or an airport (which also happens to be where said show is filmed). Nice suit, Kit. Sunglasses won’t protect your identity.

DaredevilInaugural Cary Agos Hot in a Hoodie Trophy

Cary Agos wore his hoodie recently much to our delight and yet we are going to give his prize to the one and only Matt Murdock who took this look to new shirtless levels in Daredevil. Rosario Dawson’s Claire also does casual cool ever so well.

Clothing Most Lived In

Mr robotIt would be remiss if while I was on the subject of hoodie wearers if I didn’t mention Elliot from Mr Robot and it just so happens that I started watching this yesterday (three episodes in and all I want to do is watch the rest). Elliot’s hoodie is very much part of his being and he pulls his hood up at any given opportunity. If a person could live in their clothing then Elliot would definitely live in his black hoodie with his black backpack as his home away from home.

Halt and Catch FireHow to Work a Sleeveless Hoodie 

This is NOT A GOOD LOOK outside of a boxing movie (and even then I would probs give it a pass) and yet there is something so mesmerizing about Lee Pace in this getup. The same can be said for pretty much all of his Halt and Catch Fire costuming (dude even makes an all white suit and tee work) and this is one show I am so glad I went back to. For actual style inspiration check out everything Donna.

Inside AmyBest Mode of Transport

Amy Schumer’s “Last Fuckable Day” sketch was sadly all too accurate, but most of the time it is better to laugh than cry and that is exactly what Inside Amy Schumer did with this moment and many others over the super strong season 3. And Julia Louis-Dreyfus makes a rowboat look cool as fuck. Is there nothing this woman can’t do?

Jane the Virgin Chapter 20Smackdown of the Year

There’s a lot that can be said about the relationship dynamics on Jane the Virgin; the Villanueva women are guaranteed to get me crying at least once an episode and I am firmly in the Team Michael camp. There is one relationship that has gone from antagonistic to friendly with a whole dose of it’s complicated in-between and the Jane/Petra situation is the one which intrigues me the most. In Chapter 20 the pair entered the fantasy wrestling ring and it was as much fun as the leather wresting attire that a pregnant Jane was wearing. Petra didn’t look too shabby in her liquid silver jumpsuit. Jane the Virgin is particularly good at mixing the soapy/fantasy elements with real world in both content and costuming; this smackdown episode showcases these elements.

The Reality Show I Wish Was Real 

2015 saw the end of several TV Ate My Wardrobe favorites including Kroll Show, which bowed out before it hit any kind of slump. There are many sketches that could have filled this slot – PubLIZity being a close contender – and yet it was this one off Farley piece that has me randomly saying “Look like dis.” Chelsea Peretti and Jenny Slate were my ideal Kroll Show guest stars and this included both women much to my delight.

Krystal Orphan BlackUnexpected Character Inspiration 

More reasons to adore Tatiana Maslany as not only did she deliver yet another fantastic new clone to the Orphan Black table, but she also got her initial inspiration from one of favorite places (as related to the above choice). Maslany told The LA Times that “Krystal was different because she was meant to die in the first episode. I was really into Kroll Show at the time. And I was doing PubLIZity. I was wandering around the set as Krystal in that voice, and they were, like, “We can’t kill her.” Then we started to develop her into a full character and not just me doing Jenny Slate.”

UnREALOutfit Most Inspired by Lindsay Weir 

Much like Lindsay Weir, Rachel on UnREAL pretty much had her army green jacket glued to her and while Rachel’s life is definitely more of a mess there is certain Lindsay quality to her.

The Good Wife 7.07 Alicia bed headHow to get Dressed in a Super Sexy and Snarky Manner 

The Good Wife gave us the TV equivalent of blue balls squandering both Finn and Jason; instead having Alicia hook up with Johnny and Peter. At least the latter delivered on this perfect giving none of the fucks moment.

Masters of Sex 3.05 Virginia bretton stripesStripes Delight

A classic look is classic no matter the decade and Virginia’s striped tee and pants ensemble on Masters of Sex is just that. If Emma Stones stripes and polka dots is my platonic ideal of an outfit then this is a close runner-up.

Lady Gaga AHSMost Old Hollywood 

No one looks more killer (in more ways than one on this occasion) than Lady Gaga as The Countess on American Horror Story: Hotel capturing all that is glam and seductive about Old Hollywood.

Elementary 3.17 JoanFinding the Ideal Location for an Outfit that Looks Like a Painting 

Every episode of Elementary is a costuming dream and Joan’s fashion palette is full of patterned delights including this stunning Victoria Beckham shirt dress; it looks like a shot of springtime against the snowy backdrop. There are several shows which use the winter shooting schedule to their advantage and Elementary is on this list (The Americans and Hannibal are two others).

The LeftoversInternational Assassin of the Year

There could only be one and the meaning behind Kevin Garvey’s suit – which Justin Theroux fits rather nicely – plays out in an incredibly surreal way in one of televisions best episodes of 2015 as The Leftovers hit new bonkers and brilliant heights.
The Americans 3.12 big blue phoneHow to Make a Silly Looking Prop Look Entirely Serious

I mean it still looks pretty silly, but I don’t want to say that too loud as Keri Russell is giving killer side eye and it’s pretty terrifying. This is also one of Elizabeth’s best wigs of the season (which is actually a slightly less wavy repeat from S2). Blonde is definitely working for her.

Master of NoneUnexpected Sylvia Plath Quote Usage 

Master of None took one of my favorite passages from any book and used it in an unexpected way that was so unbelievably perfect. Yes I burst into tears at the reading and portrayal of the fig tree passage from The Bell Jar. Here is that incredible quote in full.

“I saw my life branching out before me like the green fig tree in the story. From the tip of every branch, like a fat purple fig, a wonderful future beckoned and winked. One fig was a husband and a happy home and children, and another fig was a famous poet and another fig was a brilliant professor, and another fig was Ee Gee, the amazing editor, and another fig was Europe and Africa and South America, and another fig was Constantin and Socrates and Attila and a pack of other lovers with queer names and offbeat professions, and another fig was an Olympic lady crew champion, and beyond and above these figs were many more figs I couldn’t quite make out. I saw myself sitting in the crotch of this fig tree, starving to death, just because I couldn’t make up my mind which of the figs I would choose. I wanted each and every one of them, but choosing one meant losing all the rest, and, as I sat there, unable to decide, the figs began to wrinkle and go black, and, one by one, they plopped to the ground at my feet.”

For more Best of 2015 head here.

Out of the Box: Look of the Week – Best of 2015 Part 1

24 Dec

We have written about a lot of outfits both on and off screen this year and the 2015 Best Of series turns its attention toward our Look of the Week column, which has featured a whole host of red carpet appearances, magazine covers/editorial styling and many other sartorially infused events. Here is the first part of our “Out of the Box” rundown showcasing our favorites from a very stylish year.

Best Magazine Cover

Taraji P Henson WTaraji P. Henson has appeared on a lot of covers this year and this Diana Ross inspired shoot for W had my jaw on the floor and it is why this issue is still sat on my coffee table. What I love about this image is that it is so simple and yet so incredibly sexy in a way that is so far from Cookie (who is also incredibly sexy).

Best Cape

Ruth WilsonAt the summer TCA CBS, CW and Showtime party Ruth Wilson wore a stunning caped flamingo Valentino frock and had me dreaming of sunshine and sipping on a margarita.

Best Gingham 

Lizzy CaplanFor her appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live! Lizzy Caplan not only looked super summer cool in a black and white gingham Lela Rose dress, but she also brought up the WB with fellow guest Jon Hamm. Switching out Birkenstocks for black pumps from the backstage walk to the show also showcases how to dress up/down this outfit.

Most on Point Dress 

Kate MaraWhen the movie you are promoting is set in space it might be a tad on the nose to wear a dress this intergalactic, but I say go with it and Kate Mara did just that in this stunning Valentino number.

Best Leather Jacket 

Olivia WildeOlivia Wilde has been a regular in these parts for the last few months rocking a variety of styles and this leather jacket over floral Valentino (a brand doing very well in this end of year listicle) gives this an edge over the other outfit faves. Trusty red pumps have been worn on multiple occasions by Wilde and work with everything from 70s inspired to color blocking.

Best Leather Pants

Keri Russell Seth MeyersKeri Russell favors leather in all forms whether skirts, jumpsuits or pants and as her Late Night with Seth Meyers ensemble demonstrates she looks cool as fuck mixing a show tee with heels, black blazer and these leather pants. The pop of lip color gives an extra kick and I am always thankful that makeup artist Tina Turnbow shares what brands she uses (and I was very lucky to be gifted this lipstick earlier this year).

Best Playsuit 

Kristen StewartPlaysuits can be hard to pull off, but Kristen Stewart is effortless chic in sequinned Zuhair Murad with legs going for miles. At the time I mentioned how much I enjoyed the fact that she lost the heels and walked most the red carpet barefoot and I still do. A lady after my own heart.

Best Jumpsuit

Rebecca FergusonRebecca Ferguson was a revelation in Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation and she also stood out at the London Premiere in this stunning DVF Jumpsuit. This was just before I wore my very own DVF dress at my soon to be brother-in-law’s wedding and I was very excited about all of this (as you can tell).

Best LadySuit

Amandla Stenberg#LadySuitWatch2015 has been TV Ate My Wardrobe’s most used hashtag this year and when I saw Amandla Stenberg’s Dazed photoshoot in which she rocks this look I pretty much screamed in delight. Stenberg has been killing it all over social media with her super smart and observant takes on everything from cultural appropriation to how teenagers get discredited for their opinions just because of their age. I can’t wait to see what she does in 2016.

Best Floral Suit

Michael B Jordan VogueThis year has cemented the notion that Michael B. Jordan can wear suits in any color or pattern from Vivienne Westwood plaid to textured D&G at the Met Gala. And he graced the pages of Vogue in another D&G floral suit; this time showing he could work something even bolder.

Best Polka Dots and Stripes

Emma StoneThis is pretty much my platonic ideal of any outfit.

Best Co-Star Pockets, Patterns and Giggles 

Maisie and SophieThey haven’t spent any time on screen together since season 1 and photos like this of Sophie Turner and Maisie Williams have me longing for the day the Stark sisters will be reunited and then burn the place to the fucking ground. Thankfully due to all the Game of Thrones press commitments we get plenty of delightful off screen moments like this. Clothing wise Maisie Williams has pledged allegiance to dresses with pockets and Sophie Turner is doing strong patterned work here at the GoT premiere.

Best Sweater – Part 1

Matt BomerThere is nothing not adorable about this Matt Bomer look.

Best Sweater – Part 2

Cobie SmuldersIf there is one sweater I coveted more than any other in 2015 it is this Coach space themed knitwear as worn by many including Cobie Smulders at Sundance.

Best Front Row Watching at NYFW

Natasha Lyonne and Nicki MinajTwo Nickis – one real, one fictional – at the Alexander Wang NYFW runway show back in February and I am always fond of the random groupings at fashion events.

Best Fashion Campaign

Samira WileyA campaign which still makes me gasp all these months later and Samira Wiley is crushing it for Christian Siriano.

Best Lady Hangout 

Broad City premiereSquad Goals is one phrase which has been used to an exhausting degree in 2015 (by myself included), but yeah I’m going to have to use it here because this is an ultimate lady hangout situation.

Stay tuned for Part 2 next week and Happy Holidays!

Best of TV Costuming 2015: Best of the Rest Part 1

22 Dec

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.

So far the Best of 2015 series has focused on in-depth costuming achievements from The Americans, Hannibal, Fargo and Mad Men. Plus a special You’re the Worst “Music Monday” end credits rundown.

Now is the turn of a huge range of shows we have been watching this year from network, cable and streaming with comedy, drama and all those other hard to categorize scripted offerings. There has been so many fantastic individual moments that we have had to split this post into two otherwise the scrolling would be endless.

Here is Part 1 of the standout costuming moments in 2015.

Daenerys Dragon necklaceMost On Point Accessorizing 

What better way to appease the dragon that has done a runner than wear a necklace bearing a very familiar image and this comes in particularly handy for Daenerys in “The Dance of Dragons” when Drogon makes a very timely entrance. The influence of Daenerys’ heritage has been visible throughout the texture of her costuming which at times has been scaly in appearance. Yunus & Eliza designed this stunning piece (click here for a closer look) and it really is fit for a queen.

Jessica JonesThe Leather Jacket Award

As with last year there have been a whole slew of leather jacket wearing stunners, but there is one lady who takes wearing this garment to every outfit level and that is Jessica Jones. Not pictured are the very 90s looking jeans that are also glued to her body pretty much all of the time and this signature look makes sense when the show takes a deep dive into her backstory.

CookieWho Rocks a Lot of Polka Dots

Cookie Lyon has gone through a style evolution since she was released from prison going from matching animal prints to high end garments as she has caught up with trends and got accustomed to her wealth. One of my favorites is this Dolce & Gabbana polka dot blouse; perfect for a dramatic exit and a fun take on the tablecloth party trick. Cookie’s always going to eat.

Isaac, Oscar as Nick Wasicsko, Sussman predicts Nick gets eatenBest Mustache – 1980s Edition

Not only did Oscar Isaac take dancing in dad jeans to Bruce Springsteen to new levels, but he also worked this mustache in ways I did not think possible in Show Me a Hero. The mini-series from David Simon is terrific and devastating and not just for the 80s fashion. And even several months after watching it still makes my heart ache when I think about Oscar Isaac’s performance.

Mad Men 7.13 RogerBest Mustache – 1970s Edition

Of all the Mad Men characters who would embrace a new decade with some additional facial hair it really makes sense that it would be Roger Sterling. It could easily be kinda skeezy (and of course Roger has entered this territory on more than one occasion), but there’s also something elder statesmen about it and that’s what he is. And I would happily watch an endless loop of Roger and Peggy hanging out in their now deserted office.

The Knick - BertieTop Hat Placement and Male Nudity on Cable

Alleviating the awkward of the first time with cute top hat parlor tricks is Bertie on The Knick and it is all around adorable. While this is the most of Michael Angarano that we get to see, cable has embraced male nudity this season on a level we haven’t previously seen with both The Leftovers and The Affair showing far more dudes naked than women this year. Game of Thrones you have some catching up to do.

Broad City Val#LadySuitWatch2015 Shorts Winner

My response to seeing Abbi as Val for the first time is pretty much the same as Ilana’s jaw on the floor expression:

Ladysuits of the shorts variety are classic cabaret attire and I am so here for this Judy Garland/Liza Minnelli style and singing mashup inspiration.

Master of None#LadySuitWatch2015 Patterned Shirt Winner

Denise is not only stylish as hell as demonstrated by her movie premiere ladysuit wearing ways, but she is also one of the best things about Aziz Ansari’s excellent Master of None helping make a citizen’s arrest in the stellar “Ladies and Gentleman” and offering up sound dating advice (even if she ends up ignoring it).

The BridgeThe Outwear and Boots Crime Fighting Title

Season 3 of The Bridge (Broen/Bron) lost one of its main stars, but didn’t lose any of its quality introducing a new partner for Saga who turned out to be just as compelling (if not even more so than his predecessor – sorry Martin). Style wise the pair complement each other rather well favoring classic coats and boots for their crime fighting attire; Saga is still all about the olive leather pants and Henrik also tucks his trousers into his boots because who wants those flapping in the wind while running after a suspect.

FortitudeBest Reason to Invest in a Big Warm Coat 

Fortitude is part X-Files like mystery, part exploration of the human condition in an extreme and isolated environment. It is also a very good advert for furry hoods and big coats; yes I even invested in my own.

Peggy CarterRed Lipstick Queen

There is plenty to love about Peggy Carter and season 2 is just a couple of weeks away! Agent Carter also gets added to the How TV Ate My Wardrobe list in the makeup department as I invested in Peggy’s Besame 1946 lipstick and there is also the bonus of beautiful packaging along with fantastic red lips.

Wet Hot American SummerLake Bell and David Wain in Season 1 of the Netflix original series "Wet Hot American Summer" Credit: Saeed Adyani, Netflix [Via MerlinFTP Drop]Denim Dream

1981 was a great year for denim and there is a residual 70s influence on fashion in Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp with high waisted flares and dungaree delights. Also pairing anything with short shorts is fair game.

April Ludgate Parks and Rec finaleBest Future April Ludgate 

2015 saw the end of Parks and Recreation prompting plenty of finale tears. This also means saying goodbye to one of TV Ate My Wardrobe’s biggest style influences and I am happy to report that future April Ludgate is still very much in our sartorial good graces.

Hannibal 3.01 Bedelia in blueWhat to Wear on Your European Vacation

Traveling across Europe with Hannibal Lecter means packing your finest threads and Bedelia is up for that challenge with this blue 1940s spy looking ensemble even if this is the opposite of staying incognito.

You're the WorstSunglasses I Need in my Life

Yes I am still highly coveting Gretchen’s round opal yellow Wayfarer sunglasses for the second year in a row.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine Beach House GinaMost On Point Accessorizing Part 2

Gina is not just the TV Ate My Wardrobe Sweater Queen (her turtleneck game has been strong all season), but she’s also the reason why I yell “Wolfie” at the screen whenever any of the direwolves pop up on Game of Thrones. So when Gina appeared on screen in the episode “Beach House,” which kicked off the new year for Brooklyn Nine-Nine in this hat/scarf/glove combo it also caused me to yell “Wolfie” on this occasion too.

LookingFestive Relationship Goals

Looking is almost over (*sob*) and before its one final outing in the form of a TV movie next year, let us bask in Eddie’s Santa outfit and how Agustín went from loathsome narcissist to the dude (and ship) I was heavily invested in by the end of season 2. Good character development, show.

Stay tuned for Part 2 coming next week.

Best of TV Costuming 2015: Bookending the 1970s with Mad Men and Fargo or a Tale of Two Peggys

21 Dec

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.

Mad Men 7.09 Pima and PeggyTHE 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.

Mad Men 7.12 Queen PeggyEverything 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:

Mad Men 7.11 Peggy dress Mad Men 7.14 Peggy (stan) Mad Men 7.14 Peggy (stripes) Mad Men 7.14 PeggyAnd if it didn’t result in another roller skating related broken wrist I might try this out for size.

Mad Men 7.12 PeggyThe 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.

PeggyThere’s a little something Faye Dunaway as Bonnie in Bonnie and Clyde that always springs to mind whenever a beret is worn or I start humming Prince.

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.

Fargo - PeggyAnd for all your high waisted needs, well Peggy has that covered too. Even when her outfits take a turn for the grey when the shit hits the fan.

Fargo - Peggy BFor Peggy at her most down to earth look no further than ribbed stripes at dinner.

Fargo - Peggy in stripesAnd for her most flamboyant.

Peggy B - sunglassesPeggy 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!

Best of TV Costuming 2015: Alana Bloom – Queen of Ladysuits on Hannibal

16 Dec

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.

There is one red carpet trend which has brought so much hand clapping joy this year. Nope it’s not sheer of which there has been far too much once again; instead it is something which led to one of my favorite hashtag alerts – #LadySuitWatch2015. The Emmy pre parties where awash with this and there have been many ladysuit wearers throughout 2015 and yet there is one TV character who reigns supreme when it comes to this style. Step on down, Dr. Alana Bloom!

From the first Hannibal season 3 promo photos which featured Alana in a very Hannibal like getup I knew the show was taking a fantastic turn with her costuming drawing away from the patterned wrap dresses of her pre-defenestration life.

Hannibal S3 - Alana BloomLast year I discussed how Will Graham altered his look when he got of the mental institution and Hannibal certainly does have a certain influence on those around him. It’s not like Alana wants to become Hannibal in order to catch him and yet she has been physically and mentally changed by her experience in the house of horror at the end of season 2; this is all too clear in her wardrobe switch-up. Instead the change in costuming signifies how much Hannibal has impacted her taste and there is an element of him leaving a lasting impression, subconscious or otherwise.

Aesthetically between the stronger curls, red lip and different silhouette there is a somewhat femme fatale vibe and this works in favor when presenting a hardened Alana Bloom. Hannibal is visually stunning on every level and costume designer Christopher Hargadon has outdone himself in season 3 from Hannibal’s European look to Bedelia’s stunning blue ensemble.

The ladysuits work in both the opulent and cold location of the Verger residence and later when she is in charge of the facility housing Hannibal in the second half of the season; it is a look which asserts dominance. There is a shift in the power dynamic and Alana’s fancy attire is in stark contrast to Hannibal’s drab jumpsuit. There are some particularly out there choices, including my own personal fave which resembles both a ringmaster and one of Hannibal’s Florence suits.

Hanibal 3.09 Alana and Will

Hannibal 3.09 Alana and HannibalIt is very much a boys club on Hannibal and whereas Alana once played the nurturing role typically associated with being a woman she has now taken on a more dominant position. This isn’t to say she has ditched her femininity entirely and beneath the surface she is still very much the heart of the show; her new wardrobe mixes both the new and old aspects of her character.

Getting to see Alana in so many different ladysuits is a huge 2015 highlight, even if this was also the year that Hannibal did not get picked up for another season. But I have high hopes/faith we will see these characters again.

For now here are some of the Alana Bloom, Queen of Ladysuits best moments. So many giving none of the fucks expressions also included and one hell of an entrance silhouette.

Hannibal 3.04 Alana red lipstick

Hannibal 3.05 Alana

Hannibal 3.06 Alana

Hannibal 3.07 Hannibal and Alana

Hannibal 3.08 Alana

Hannibal 3.11 Alana Bloom

Hannibal 3.11 Alana

Hannibal 3.12 Alana

Hannibal 3.13 Alana entrancePlus Alana got the only happy romantic ending as she walked off into the sunset – okay fled for their safety in a helicopter – with Margot and their son. And they did so in magnificent style.

[source]

One final Hannibal costume design shout-out and this one goes to the DVF wrap that Margot Verger wore mirroring Alana’s old style and giving me the ideal dress to wear to a wedding.

Stay tuned for more Best of 2015 posts!

Best of TV 2015: The Music Monday Edition – You’re the Worst

14 Dec

Costumes are not the only thing we are celebrating from this year in television and there have been plenty of incredible music infused moments. A lot of these have come in the final minutes of an episode with a song nailing the emotional pitch of a last scene. One such striking track use comes in the third episode of Orange is the New Black with the Dum Dum Girls “Coming Down” playing over one character’s devastating descent; further adding to the despair felt by these character and the glassy eye reaction from me.

HBO shows tend to be experts at the end credit music choices with GirlsLookingTogetherness and The Leftovers (Simon & Garfunkel featured here as well as in hotel karaoke) delivering fantastic selections. This includes both songs I already hold close to me – “This is the Day” by The The – and ones I had never heard before like Lily & Madeleine; Spotify tells me they are one of my most listened to bands this year and that is all because of Togetherness. There is also my favorite end credits sing along moment that came courtesy of Mad Men and the use of “Space Oddity.”

There is one show that consistently had me reaching for the rewind button and my phone to Shazam the end track week in, week out and that is You’re the Worst. Sometimes it would be after I stopped laughing, but more often than not I had to wait to stop crying and uncurl myself from the ball I found myself in. Yep this season has still been hilarious, but it also did some incredible things on an entirely different emotional level and quite often these came in the closing moments.
You're the WorstThe first indicator that all is not well comes at the end of episode 4 as Gretchen drives off in the night to destinations unknown (at this point), but the manner in which she does it and Torres’ “New Skin” point to something much bigger. At the time I referred to it as a gut punch of a moment and it still remains this way; knowing where Gretchen was going only adds to this sentiment and it is one of the most emotionally affecting scenes on television this year.

When we discover where Gretchen has been going – to cry in her car while playing Snake – and Jimmy responds with relief that she’s not cheating on him the song by Still Corners is a dreamy like affair as he walks away smiling and she returns to sobbing. It is somewhat emotionally surreal and wouldn’t sound out of place on a Sofia Coppola soundtrack.

By episode 9 Gretchen’s depression has hit new levels and Jimmy is so oblivious to her Claire Danes level of scrunched up face despair his dialogue gets slowly muffled as the music gets louder; like an alternate less murdery take on Simon & Garfunkel’s “7 O’Clock News/Silent Night.” What about when Jimmy stays? In between my sobs which mirror Gretchen’s and then my laughter that immediately follows Lindsay’s utterance of “farts” this Siskiyou track feels like a joyous warm blanket.

Sadly there is no “New Phone Who Dis?” on either Spotify or the end credits, but this is also one of my TV music highlights of the year. I am also waiting for the perfect time to respond to a text with this line.

So thank you You’re the Worst for all the new bands you have introduced me to and for ending each episode in ways which deliver such an emotional response. I’m sure regular TV Ate My Wardrobe readers will know how much I relish a good misty eye moment.

And for your listening enjoyment here is a complete playlist of the You’re the Worst season 2 end credits music.

 

Stay tuned for more Best of 2015 posts!

Best of TV Costuming 2015: Removing Disguisies and Revealing the Truth on The Americans

11 Dec

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.

So while there won’t be a Top 10 there is a show that would take the top spot without too much deliberation needed and The Americans takes that title; it is only right then to kick off our end of year coverage with this. The Americans is a repeat player in the “Best of” costume discussion with wigs (of course) and the ‘marriage disguise.’

Both detailed the key attributes in how Elizabeth and Philip mask their identities; one protects their overall cover while the other makes it possible for them to serve their country in the long term and costume designer Jenny Gering’s work is a vital piece of the spy life versus family puzzle. What season 3 did was take this and spin it on its head with the Paige problem; what do you do when your bosses want your daughter to become part of the program?

The Americans 3.10 Philip and Elizabeth - CopyThe threat of Paige finding out permeates its way throughout most of the season until it reaches a head when Paige directly asks what the deal is with their strange behavior. They may look like regular parents – okay maybe not regular parents – in their turtlenecks and office wear as they run their small business and they are anything but. They’ve still got almost everyone else fooled including their FBI neighbor and aside from a couple of close calls the spy biz is ticking along. Philip only had to kill one person this season and that is already an improvement on his high body count last year. I mean he has had to seduce a high school girl who is pretty much the same age as his own daughter so it hasn’t been obstacle free. Oh yeah and then there is the difference in opinion about what to do regarding Paige.

Elizabeth and Philip are both dedicated to the cause, but Philip is the one who often looks like he is on the edge of the abyss and could be persuaded to defect if the conditions were right (ie Elizabeth would have to agree, which ha). Elizabeth is more inclined to follow orders and so when they were dropped with the Paige bombshell at the end of last season she was the one who didn’t think it was so bad. For Philip all he can see are the bad things they have to do whether it is what they do to someone else – breaking up a body and putting it in a suitcase – or the lengths they go to get information. It’s not just about committing acts of violence and there is so much more they inevitably give away in the name of the cause.

The Americans 3.10 StingersIn fact the night Paige confronts her parents they have been out for work scoping out a hotel and working out which one of them is going to be on seduction duty. It falls to Elizabeth wearing a revealing white suit and black bob to perform this duplicitous task. A far cry from their travel agency office where Paige has visited earlier that day. When Philip and Elizabeth return home they are blindsided by Paige’s questions about who they really are as she begs them to stop lying. The conversation takes places in the heart of their family home; in the kitchen and at the table they share every morning. What makes this moment so spectacular other than the fact that the writers go THERE three episodes before the season finale is that Paige has agency in a storyline that has been all about her parents. She is the one that makes her parents finally figure out what the fuck they are going to do about telling her.

There is no separation of family and spy life in this case because they are so intrinsically linked and by having this conversation in such a communal space it hammers home this point. The time has come to reveal who they are and the decision to tell the whole truth (well a general overview) doesn’t involve dramatic wig removal (more on this later), but instead comes after a series of looks between Philip and Elizabeth followed by the smallest indicator of a nod. They still look like mom and dad and she didn’t have another experience where she should have knocked; however EVERYTHING about who they are from their names to their place of birth has been a lie and it is hard to get over this level of deceit. It’s why I can’t be too mad at Paige when she spills the part about their nationality in the finale and why for me she is exempt from the scorn that is normally poured over teen characters who meddle in dramas such as Homeland and Masters of Sex.

Paige is not the only one who is gets to find out who her nearest and dearest really are this season and she gets off easy in the how of this discovery. I mentioned how there is no dramatic wig removal when Paige learns the truth; for Martha she gets to finally see the person she is married to and he looks like a very different person to the one in the photographs. The shit has really hit the fan in the Martha assignment thanks to Agent Gaad finding out he has a bug in his office and oh yeah his secretary was the one who put it there. No one else knows this yet and Philip desperately tries to keep Martha on side pulling the ‘this is who I am really am and you can trust me’ card right at the end.

The Paige reveal was a full on HOLY SHIT moment in what it means to the entire show and yet I don’t think I felt more tense than when Philip slowly took off his Clark disguise; starting with his glasses, the wig pins and then removing his hair piece. He doesn’t utter a word as removes everything that makes him look like Clark and it feels like a horror movie. For Martha she is now looking at a man she doesn’t recognize and all she can do is react with teary eyed confusion.

The Americans 3.12 Clark The Americans 2.12 de-wigging The Americans 3.12 MarthaThe one major misstep The Americans made this year was by ending the penultimate episode with this scene and then giving no follow up in the season finale. It is so big that it needed addressing; is this the end of ‘Clark?’ Or is this a onetime only de-wigging and those glasses will never leave his face ever again when he is in her company?

Lack of dialogue can be just as effective as a passionate monologue and The Americans excels in the non-verbal. Martha can’t get any words out here because there aren’t any that can explain just what the fuck is going on and one of the best scenes of this season tells us everything we need to know through a series of looks. Philip and Elizabeth have come a long way from when we first met them; they’re still not all that great at sharing their feelings, but there is a deeper understanding and commitment. Trust is fundamental here and despite the conflict caused by the Paige problem it didn’t break them up as it might have done in the past.

No scene better demonstrates just how in deep they are with each other than the wordless tooth removal. It plays out like a sex scene and it is incredibly tender even if it involves pliers and some sounds I never want to hear ever again. Especially as I have a scheduled tooth removal next month. At least I will have something more effective than a shot of whiskey for the pain.

The Americans 3.03 The Americans 3.03 Elizabeth's eye The Americans 3.03 Philip's eye The Americans 3.03 Elizabeth eye afterPhilip and Elizabeth don’t need to tell each other who they really are because they already know (well some stories from their youth might still be required), but it is moments like this that really lay it all out there. It one reason why The Americans is so fascinating and the exploration of marriage and identity is consistently just as thrilling (if not more so) as the spy missions and disguises they wear.

TV to be Thankful For: A Pre-End of Year List (of Sorts)

26 Nov

There is a lot of TV to be watched right now (#PeakTV) and like many I am in the process of compiling end of year lists (and as I have done in previous years I will be doing my ‘best of’ in a variety of ways) while trying to remember everything that I have watched this year. So this is a preview of what is to come in the following month and hopefully it will jog my very full TV related memory of anything I might miss.

So in no particular order here is what I am thankful for when it comes to TV in 2015:

  • The Hollywood Reporter TV Actress roundtable participants look like this and not this.
  • Comedy shows that explore a broad range of topics which not only make me laugh until I cry, but also invoke full on Claire Danes level of cry face. I am mostly looking at you You’re the Worst.
  • While I’m on the subject of comedies that make me misty eyed; Parks and Recreation ended this season on a high with an episode that pivoted on the Six Feet Under model and caused just as many tears.
  • Cable shows are embracing male nudity beyond just butts (special shout-outs to The Leftovers and The Affair) and all this after the The Comeback had a whole episode dedicated to skewering cable on this issue.
  • Everything Valerie Cherish.
  • Everything Abbi and Ilana.
  • “Looking for a Plot.”
  • Teen girls on The Americans avoiding the usual annoying teen trap many other dramas fall foul of.
  • And that every episode is a lesson in tension and an exploration on marriage and identity. It was my number one show in March and it still is in November (spoiler alert).
  • That Agent Carter got a second season and I now own the same lipstick as Peggy Carter.
  • The master class in acting delivered by Carrie Coon and Regina King on The Leftovers and for every insanely wonderful thing this show is doing. Also for Justin Theroux’s ability to look bewildered and devastated at any given opportunity.
  • The Villanueva women.
  • Getting to see Tatiana Maslany take on even more characters and make me forget she is playing everyone in a scene. And this wave.
  • Kroll Show going out on a high and creating this incredible universe where so many characters overlapped and intersected. And because I can’t say “Oh, hello” without wondering if there is too much tuna and I sometimes inadvertently say ‘Ameezing’ like I’m on PubLIZity.
  • The 12 Angry Men episode of Inside Amy Schumer.
  • Rob and Sharon on Catastrophe (even if the amount of things Sharon says that are like me is reaching a worrying level).
  • Shows that take will they/won’t they situations and turn them into yep they will. Oh hey there Brooklyn Nine-Nine.
  • All of Lady Gaga’s costuming on American Horror Story: Hotel.
  • Fargo indulging my love of all things 1970s clothing.
  • Daenerys’ dragon necklace.
  • The brief but amazing turn by Birgitte Hjort Sørensen on Game of Thrones.
  • Kit Harington Hair Watch.
  • Peggy’s cigarette smoking sunglasses strut.
  • Peggy roller skating.
  • The many times Mad Men made me cry.
  • Sally Draper.
  • Watching Felicity with Julie Hammerle and the time travel arc being even better than I imagined.
  • This Entertainment Weekly cover.
  • Master of None using THAT passage from The Bell Jar (which led to more tears – TV has made me cry a lot this year).
  • Jon Stewart’s last Daily Show (more tears).
  • All the incredible music I’ve ‘discovered’ thanks to shows such as GirlsOITNBMaster of NoneLookingYou’re the Worst and Togetherness.
  • No longer having “Drip Drop” stuck in my head.
  • The lighting on The Knick.
  • Oscar Isaac’s mustache/dad jeans and all the Bruce Springsteen used throughout Show Me a Hero. And, how the thought of this show hits me like a gut punch.
  • Every beautiful/fucked up thing they got away with on Hannibal this season.
  • Queen of ladysuits – Alana Bloom.
  • #LadySuitWatch2015
  • Superheroes on TV.
  • Jessica Jones’ leather jacket and her friendship with Trish.
  • Matt Murdock and this balloon.
  • Pre-emptive Mulder and Scully feeeeeeelings.
  • When Sherlock bought Joan the perfect outfit.
  • Every single one of Diane Lockhart’s statement necklaces.
  • Giving Maura Tierney and Joshua Jackson more screen time on The Affair.
  • All the wardrobe inspiration from so many shows this year and the always growing Wish List.
  • That I got to talk to three amazing costume designers and write about it.
  • The range in costume design and shows covered on here includes everything from period to contemporary to fantasy; I am thankful there is a vast amount to discuss and get inspired by.
  • Season 2 of Transparent is almost here!

The list is long and there are probably some very obvious things I have missed. I will get mad at myself later, but for now Happy Thanksgiving!

If you’re looking for Thanksgiving episodes to watch maybe take a rewind and watch these offerings from Felicity and Dawson’s Creek.

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