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Saying Goodbye to Orphan Black

11 Aug

On Saturday night (August 12) the last ever episode of Orphan Black will air and I am not ready to say goodbye to all the Tatiana Maslanys — and the rest of the incredible cast — even though it probably is time for it to end. You never want a show to spiral particularly when it has this level of mythology (see also The X-FilesAlias and Fringe).

Sometimes the story has threatened to drift, but the performances have always held it together and there are not enough words of praise I can throw at Maslany and the entire supporting cast (including Maslany’s double Kathryn Alexandre).I’ve written about the Orphan Black costume design many times over the past five seasons and the work of Laurie Drew and Debra Hanson has been incredibly important at helping establish just who these characters are. And giving plenty of Wish List suggestions including the Cosima coat, which I ended up getting a much more affordable version of.

This isn’t even including Tatiana Maslany as style icon who also makes me want to wear sports leisure clothing.

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The way this show delved into ideas of identity spawned several pieces including this Helena-centric essay, the time I got to write about Orphan Black and The Americans and a recent deep dive into my fave thing this show does to showcase just how amazing Tatiana Maslany is; clones playing clones.

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Below is a piece I wrote after the fifth episode of this season — “Ease for Idle Millionaires” — and it centers on one of the best ever Orphan Black costumes; Cosima in a tux. It felt like a fitting way to say goodbye to this show, which means so much, with a moment that made me gasp.

“Frock That:” Dressing in a Doll’s House on Orphan Black

Each clone on Orphan Black has a sense of self and individual traits separating them from the ones who share the same face. When the situation calls for it they are very good at imitating each other and they share the same genetic materials, but these clones are much more than an experiment to unlock secrets of existence. The house up on the hill resembles a doll house stuck in a time warp, with its dress up rooms, taxidermy animals and servants pouring wine. What lurks beneath is a reminder of the facade presented by P.T. Westmoreland and it is a mix of smoke and mirrors with disturbing experiments on human subjects.

Cosima and her sisters were created in a lab, but they are not doll parts to be pulled apart and reassembled at the whim of the person playing with them. Each of them is defying their origin and fighting for survival in ways which showcase their individuality. Sarah is all about the hustle and is helping shape her own mini-hustler in the form of her daughter, Kira. Kira is at the heart of the next stage of this grand experiment, but even though Westmoreland thinks Rachel is the most deserving clone of Cosima’s inoculation he is yet to encounter the full wrath of Sarah. Particularly when it comes to her daughter.

Being the only clone that has been self-aware throughout this process might explain Rachel’s cold and detached demeanor toward her bio-sisters. Her costume color palette reflects this iciness and doesn’t stray from neutral tones; it is an expensive wardrobe that always looks immaculate. Whether recovering from a pencil to the eye or confronting her mother in a bloody battle nothing is out of place. Perfection is what she strives for in the way she dresses and in her life’s work (that is also her life) and while Susan told her the other clones are better than her, it is Westmoreland’s approval that matters most. And now she has the power to turn up late for dinner in a super sultry frock that definitely did not come from the P.T. Westmoreland collection.   Science is where Cosima lays her battle and she can’t quite help but push and prod to see what results she will get. First she invites herself to this exclusive dinner party and then she defies the dress code. Mixing science of the future with etiquette of the past is Westmoreland’s jam and Cosima and Delphine are led to a room filled with clothes that look like they are almost as old as Westmoreland’s so-called age. That or P.T. has been sneaking in a Downton Abbey binge between experiments and wants to live it up like he is a Crawley. In “Ease for Idle Millionaires,” Cosima and Delphine’s current contemporary outfits are not fit for dinner and they either get changed or leave.

Cosima’s response to this forced change of clothes mirrors her resistance to her body as intellectual property. A point that is reinforced with a flashback that acts an extended scene from the season 1 finale; when Cosima discovered their bodies are effectively patented and she told Delphine about her sickness. A low ebb for Cosima, who was not only dealing with her mortality but this idea of self. Because if your body isn’t yours then what is? This was a major turning point in Cosima and Delphine’s relationship transforming an act of deception into a true partnership. Trust is hard to come by and further complicated by corporate science. Delphine continues to shares scraps of information to make it look like she is towing the company line, but her heart is with Cosima.Whereas Cosima chooses to wear a tuxedo to dinner rather than one of the many available dainty looking dresses because “frock that,” Delphine mirrors her seemingly passive response to the demands of her boss by wearing exactly what she is told to. Her power comes from nodding and doing her due diligence, while Cosima is about poking and prodding her way to defiance.

The fancy attire reveal is an all-time Orphan Black costume highlight and costume designer Debra Hanson delivers the perfect menswear look for Cosima mirroring Westmoreland’s tuxedo. They are effectively both Delphine’s date and Cosima is the interloper here. She gets told that her choice of clothing is not appropriate, but this is what happens when you try to dress her like a doll. It is also just the tip of Cosima giving none of the fucks as she still gets to make a choice; the decision to opt for menswear is all hers. Cosima is defying, while Delphine protects and this balance is just as delicate as the material of Delphine’s white frock. Dressing up for dinner to this degree is a tradition that has long since passed and the marriage between old and new ideas comes up at the dinner table.

What sets Cosima apart from the other scientists at the table is her deep connection to family; whether it is the parents she fears finding out her truth because it will make what they had a lie or the seestras she is working to save through science. Love is important as it can’t be replicated or forced and neither can the integrity, humor, intellect and passion that Cosima has in spades. Cosima has curiosity when it comes to her own biology, but ultimately she is not willing to do whatever it takes to unlock these secrets. There are lines and the attributes that make her so much more than intellectual scientific property will stop her from crossing that ethical barrier. She still has her humanity.It is also why she ends up locked in a cage at the end of the episode after she refuses to shoot Yanis. By this point she has removed the trappings of this dinner costume; the tie, waistcoat and jacket have gone. All that remains are the suspenders to hold the pants up and it is a shame she left her Canada Goose coat upstairs as this basement looks like it could get a little cold.

Before Cosima loses her freedom she shares an intense moment with Delphine and they both double down on their commitment to each other; intercutting between kisses of past and present as the camera circles around them is intoxicating. This takes place in the creepy dress up room of a bygone era and as Delphine takes off the dress of playing along with Westmoreland’s plan she once again reveals her true intentions to Cosima. Acknowledging the cycle of their relationship problems, which are intrinsically linked to the overall clone conspiracy – Cosima pushes too hard, Delphine withholds – and realizing how dividing women is all part of the grand scheme. They will not be divided. But they will at least pretend they are.

Whether dressed in a tuxedo, as a soccer mom drowning in Lululemon, wearing a band tee and leather jacket, a slip straight out of the Courtney Love playbook or in designer threads for the office; each and every one of these clones has agency. Despite the best efforts from the powers that be to exert control, they can’t even make Cosima wear a frock. They can trap her in the basement, but as we have seen from five seasons of this show you can lock a clone up (and boy have they tried), but the support network is just too strong to crush.

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Gonna miss you guys and I’m off to read this Orphan Black oral history to prep for the finale.

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Tatiana Maslany Gives Great Style and Couple Goals

26 Jun

Originally this post was titled “Tatiana Maslany Continues to be the Best” and I definitely stand by that sentiment. The most recent episode of Orphan Black was an emotional journey for Alison and Donnie Hendrix and it is worth repeating on a loop that Tatiana Maslany’s performance as all the clones on this show continues to leave me in awe. My recent Observer column talked about clones playing clones and how costuming plays its part.

Also now is a good time to give a big shout out to the supporting cast and Maslany’s double Kathryn Alexandre; who you can see here in Tatiana Maslany’s Insta post dressed as Rachel.

Last week Tatiana Maslany was on Jimmy Kimmel Live! and this is a few days late, but thank you YouTube for putting this on my homepage as a video I would want to watch. Because this is exactly how I want to kick off my Monday.

Maslany looks great and I would like to know what eye makeup she is wearing. So much sparkly dress and tuxedo jacket goodness.

This is Maslany leaving the show in a much more casual look. Also fabulous. Seriously look at her eye makeup. No one makes me want to wear sportswear more than Maslany.I digress. The interview is also super fun and she talks about moving to LA with boyfriend Tom Cullen (#CoupleGoals) and yep she is a delight.

Related to the moving story and also more #CoupleGoals

Cozy

A post shared by Tat Maslany (@tatianamaslany) on

There’s more chat including Maslany’s very visceral reaction to finishing Orphan Black and a reminder of how Kiefer Sutherland pronounced her name when she won the Emmy. He is way off.

And because I am invested in this relationship now. Serious #couplegoals

A post shared by Tom Cullen (@tom_cullen) on

The fifth and final season is currently airing on BBC America or if you are in the UK you can watch on Netflix.

The Wish List: Delphine’s Return to Prints on Orphan Black

22 Jun

It was the season 3 finale of Orphan Black on Saturday and as per the standard Clone Club crazy there were plenty of twists and all the feelings moments. In this world it is hard to trust anyone who doesn’t have Tatiana Maslany’s face and the core group of regulars make up what is actually a rather small cast when you take away Maslany out of the equation. One character who has always been on the outside is Delphine and her loyalty is hard to gauge as while her love for Cosima is undeniable her overall agenda and position is less certain. In season 3 she took on the Rachel role at Dyad putting her in direct conflict with Cosima and her sisters pushing her even further away from the women she loves.

Over this year Delphine’s costuming has shifted from patterns to streamlined style where the only flourishes have been the slightly harsher details of fur and leather and the only sartorial aspect she now shares with her ex is an excellent collection of outerwear. In the first episode Delphine shows up in a Michael Kors fur panel coat and a sleek monochromatic look in a leather trim Helmut Lang blazer. An instant entry into #LadySuitWatch2015.

Orphan Black 3.01 Delphine fur Orphan Black 3.01 DelphineCut to the Orphan Black season finale (spoilers ahead) and Delphine’s return to pattern as she makes some tough choices which lead to an almost certain grave end. It is not a definitive goodbye, but it sure doesn’t look good for our favorite French scientist especially as there’s an emotionally charged Cosima scene which feels like a farewell of sorts and plays out before the parking garage confrontation with an unseen assailant. *sob*

Delphine’s costuming has been rather straight forward this year sticking to dark colors and white; all very no nonsense corporate attire. In the season finale she deviates from this in a patterned Zara blouse which nods to who she was before she took this position of power. Her top button is still done up giving off an executive air, but this print is Delphine revealing her old style as she attempts to make things right for Cosima and her sisters.

Orphan Black 3.10 DelphineDefiance is etched all over her face and this is still keeping with the black and white color palette that Delphine has always favored; this Twitter back and forth between Tatiana Maslany and Evelyne Brochu includes this photo of Delphine and Cosima’s first official meeting (cue more sobs) which shows Delphine’s penchant for the black and white.

Orphan Black S1If only her motivations had been so clearly defined as her wardrobe color palette. But she definitely had Cosima’s back and if this indeed the end for Delphine they have lost one ally who was in a position of some influence; her maybe last words emphasize her true love infused agenda “What will happen to her?” 

She also had a pretty fabulous chair spin down:

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So goodbye for now Delphine and hopefully this is not the end.

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The Wish List: Sarah’s Leather Jacket on Orphan Black

21 Apr

Leather jackets are a big trend on television at the moment and Sarah Manning has been sporting one since we first met her back on the train right before she fell into this world of clones and conspiracy. For Sarah her black clothes and particularly her leather jacket and boots are her armor against what has turned into an even crazier and more dangerous existence; season 3 somehow managed to up the stakes even further.

Each character Tatiana Maslany plays is so distinctive thanks to her performance, but costuming and hair/make-up also plays an important part in creating who each clone is. With Sarah, her hardened quality comes from both how she holds herself and how she appears; this is one of the reasons why it is so good when we see the clones playing each other as was the case in the season 3 premiere “The Weight of this Combination” as Maslany somehow manages to show exactly who she is supposed to be. There are not enough words of wonder to describe her performance. Or how much I want a leather jacket. Maybe almost as much as I want the Cosima coat.

Orphan Black 3.01 Sarah leather jacketAs with most leather jackets this one is pricey, but (and I apologize for how wanky this sounds) it is an investment piece. Sarah’s is the ‘Assembly’ biker jacket from All Saints and this look is so synonymous with Sarah’s style that she is also wearing it in Helena’s dream (with her Clash tee!).

Orphan Black 3.01 dreamAnd Sarah’s not the only one sporting a bit of leather at their ‘Shite Beach’ hangout spot with Felix rocking a leather sleeved Ted Baker London ‘Annamae’ Ombré Moto Jacket.

Orphan Black 3.01 FelixThe coat game on Orphan Black is strong (see also Delphine) and check back for more posts on this brilliant bonkers show throughout season 3.

Tatiana Maslany Covers Flare and a New Orphan Black Season 3 Promo

3 Mar

The lack of Emmy nomination caused outrage, but not every awards body is making the same mistake and on Sunday Tatiana Maslany won Best TV Actress in a Drama at the Canadian Screen Awards for her portrayal of all the clones on Orphan Black. The show returns next month and this means more Maslany as every clone ever (okay not quite every clone ever and in season 3 she will share the clone load with Ari Millen). Magazine covers and promos with a heap of new footage ahoy!

Maslany is on the cover of Flare and as with recent runway shows there is a 70s theme going on; with Maslany as their face for the April issue they have produced 3 different covers each depicting a look from this era and this amount of outfit/hair switch-ups is probably what Maslany calls every day of the week.

Tatiana Maslany FlareAnd here is a look best suited to a Runaways gig:

Flare Tatiana MaslanyInside the issue Maslany discusses one bonus of playing multiple and extremely varied parts all on the same show “I never want to be one thing. As an actor, I never want to be the girl who was that. Which is why Orphan Black is so exciting. I’m never going to be typecast because I get to play all of these different characters.”

And here is a shot from the editorial that ditches the 70s theme and instead looks like a throwback to 90s Calvin Klein ads and now I really want to see a huge CK billboard with Maslany’s face on it.

Tatiana MaslanyThe way Orphan Black examines body horror and so many different types of women (all played by mostly one woman) is one of its major strengths and when Maslany is asked about Strong Female Characters she bristles at this terminology because of how narrow it is “I think the scripts for strong women have been warped into this idea of strong women as unemotional, in power suits—a kind of men. Or they acquire masculine qualities in order to mask the feminine qualities.” Instead she gives an insight into what her dream kind of role would be citing John Cassavetes’ A Woman Under the Influence starring Gena Rowlands:

“She [Gena Rowlands’ character Mabel] is so unwilling to be defined by her gender. She’s ugly, funny, weird, vulnerable, very needy. She goes everywhere with no fear. I find fearlessness—which doesn’t mean not being scared; it’s like you’re scared, but you still go—those are the characters I’m interested in. I think strength is being able to reveal the grossest sides of yourself without apology and without a wink to the audience or fear of being ugly. That, to me, is strength.”

Between the multiple parts she plays on Orphan Black we have seen Maslany embody all of these things and it is testament to her work that I still forget she is playing all of these various characters. Speaking of which, here is the new season 3 promo and the shit continues to hit the clone fan. Instant feels at Sarah getting super mad at Mrs S for what has happened to her sister Helena.

Orphan Black returns Saturday, April 18 and for more from Tatiana Maslany’s Flare cover story head here.

Tatiana Maslany Talks Awards, Filming Clone Scenes and Orphan Black Season 3

10 Feb

Obviously we are very deep into movie award season – red carpet posts dominate TV Ate My Wardrobe at this point – and while TV accolades are pretty much done until the Emmys at the end of the summer we want to share this delightful Gold Derby interview with Orphan Black star Tatiana Maslany, which took place a few weeks ago just prior to the SAG Awards.

This interview is perfect lunch break length and covers a number of topics including the various awards she has and hasn’t been nominated for. The lack of Emmy nomination outrage also comes up and Maslany invokes Amy Poehler’s pudding metaphor from Say Yes. These interviews take place across the internet waves via Google Hangout and there is an intimacy to them (as well as the odd technical bump) despite interviewer and subject being in different locations and it is one reason why we have shared several Gold Derby interviews in the past (including Josh Charles and Keri Russell). I am also a little bit obsessed with Tatiana Maslany’s mass of hair which is invoking all the Felicity related feelings.

Tatiana MaslanyIn terms of season 3 Maslany doesn’t go into too much detail offering up vague hints including the ominous sounding estranged relationships between the clones and how some will falter while others will be strong enough to withstand the conflict they face. She also discusses how the male clone story which was introduced last year allows them to explore more aspects of nature versus nurture from the other side of the coin as well as the sprawling conspiracy. Plus it gives her more time off. Some of the filming process is highlighted and Maslany is quick to point out how valuable her clone double Kathryn Alexandre is. The big dance sequence from the season 2 finale is referenced and as they become more comfortable with the technical side of filming they are “challenging the limits of the format” even more in season 3.

After doing a brief stint on Parks and Recreation back in season 5 (which Maslany speaks of with immense fondness) she is asked which current TV shows she would like to appear on and they are all TV Ate My Wardrobe favorites including Broad City; Tatiana Maslany is “crazy about those girls.”

Orphan Black returns Saturday, April 18 and I cannot wait.

Hand-Me-Downs, Helena and Identity on Orphan Black

23 Jun

“We’re so different, all of us.”

This assertion made by Sarah in the Orphan Black season 2 finale is by no means a bold statement as it has been clear from the outset that no one clone is like another (aside from the obvious matching faces). Nature vs. nurture is being won by the latter on Orphan Black and from a narrative perspective having such easily identifiable and contrasting characters helps an audience when these characters are played by the same actress (the formidable Tatiana Maslany and I could spend this entire essay discussing how phenomenal she is).

As I discussed in the Best of 2013 Orphan Black article costuming plays a big part in establishing who these women are; it helps to identify through non-verbal communication and provides a way for each clone to pretend to be another through clothing and accessories. The clone that has undergone the most changes is Helena and I want to take a look at how costume has been used to signify this and why she is the one person on this show that doesn’t have a definitive look beyond her wild blonde hair.

HelenaIn season 1 Helena’s white satin baby doll and scarred back gave the impression of a deranged angel and her feral instincts (and accompanying off kilter theme music) made her unpredictable nature a terrifying prospect for Sarah. There is far more to Helena beyond these moments of intense violence and she is someone who is easily impressed upon when a family is dangled in front of her; it’s why the Prometheans managed to get their claws into her with such ease. Sarah, her twin, changed everything and despite a battle to what seemed the death at the end of last year Helena comes searching for her “seestra” once more.

Light and dark are key components to both Helena and Sarah’s look as Sarah favors black clothing and Helena is often wearing the color of purity. It’s not a simple case of good vs. evil or ying and yang as these visual cues are disrupted by the presence of blood. Bloodstained clothes are an unfortunate side effect to all the shit Helena has been through and this is no more obvious than the wedding dress bathroom scene with Sarah in “Governed As It Were By Chance.”

Helena bloody wedding dressBlack and white with a big dollop of red; it’s a scene that is about terror and forgiveness, it’s also one of the most effective and devastating Orphan Black has delivered. I was initially worried when they revealed Helena hadn’t died at the end of season 1 that she would again be the unpredictable obstacle who obsessed over her relationship with Sarah and it would end up being a repeat of the previous year. What actually happened is Helena’s murderous side, while still bubbling under the surface was eclipsed by her heartbreaking desire to be part of something and to bond with her “seestra” and *if* I had to rank the clones (please don’t ask me to do that) she would probably be number one. I never saw that coming.

In the bathroom scene Sarah is dressed in her standard all black attire and Helena is once again in clothes that don’t belong to her. Angel and now wife, the innocence motif is strong with Helena and yet it is always subverted by something more sinister that has been done to her. Helena’s wardrobe consists of hand-me-downs and none of her clothes are ever truly hers; this character just can’t hold onto anything. In season one she dressed as Sarah (or rather as Sarah dressing as Beth) and outerwear helped mask who she was when she was initially targeting clones.

Borrowing clothes is what also happens when your current ones are covered in blood (and when these clothes also double for a wedding dress from a super creepy ceremony). Felix provides Helena with her next outfit (including a unicorn tee I adore) and this one is also an eclectic mix of style: Orphan Black HelenaBeetlejuice pants, another coat, unicorn tee and cowboy boots (these are not from the Felix collection and are from the farm). It is unlikely that Helena has ever had much to call her own as she grew up in a convent and so obtaining clothes from a variety of sources is part of why she isn’t fazed by the mismatched outfits she has worn so far. Helena’s identity exists outside of the clothes she wears and because of this she is probably the hardest of the clones to mimic. When Sarah doubled for Cosima she wore The Cosima Coat and pretending to be Alison through wardrobe involves pastels, Lululemon and a headband to hide the lack of bangs. Helena’s defining characteristic isn’t her attire, it’s her hair and it’s not easily faked.

Helena returns to the Promethean farm on the promise of children and a family; this means the Felix borrowed threads are ditched and replaced by ultra conservative attire with a hint of cowboy (those boots).

Orphan Black HelenaTerrible high necked white patterned night dresses ahoy! Oh and super invasive procedures too. The violation of the female body involves extreme methods on Orphan Black and Helena gets to exact her revenge with a giant needle followed by lighting a fire. Helena is rather Old Testament when it comes to these matters.

Orphan Black Helena plaidThe clothes she escapes the farm in for a second time are less ridiculous than the first and once again there is an element of innocence to her attire. This time she looks like a school child in plaid and the clashing patterned blouse beneath the uniform like dress once again gives the appearance of hand-me-down clothing. This is what she is wearing when she meets Alison and Cosima for the first time; it reflects the sweet, shy and longing for an emotional connection side of Helena that we have come to know this season – “I like your hairs” – and it is only when Cosima puts on a record that Helena allows some of her more eccentric qualities to shine through.

In the extraordinary dance sequence Helena starts off slow and then she finds the freedom her other sisters are displaying through movement. Helena’s dancing is wild as she headbangs with her glorious mane and there’s even a point where she bites the bottom of her dress. It’s why what happens to her next is so devastating as she is taken once again, just as she was finally feeling freedom and being part of an actual nurturing family with no hidden agenda.

Orphan Black 2.10 HelenaThe red coat comes from the farm and it’s another mismatched part of the Helena look (and also makes me think of Cosima) and the only costuming addition (and yet another piece of borrowed clothing) is the beanie and this does nothing to assimilate her with the ominous military figures surrounding her. It can’t contain her locks and her fear/confusion is etched all over her face. Reasons to take Helena center on the baby she is now carrying and separating her once again from the family she has just found feels incredibly cruel. Helena was about to go looking for Jesse – the guy from the bar who she shared her first dance and kiss with – she leaves behind his hat that she was sniffing so tenderly (as tenderly as something can be sniffed) and for Helena this one possession means a lot.

Each clone has a distinct personality and they share a strong ability survive despite the inherent weakness that exists in their genetics; together they are a formidable opponent and their vulnerabilities are exposed when they are pulled apart. Helena is a survivor and has already escaped from various tormentors who want to poke, prod and use her. This is another in a long line of personal battles for her and now that she is pregnant her self-preservation instincts are going to kick in even harder. Helena’s abilities shouldn’t be underestimated even when her appearance suggests otherwise as she is so much more than the unhinged fanatic we met in season 1.

The Wish List: Chunky Knits, Tees and Patterns on Orphan Black

20 May

Each clone on Orphan Black has their own distinct look and their costuming is one aspect that signifies just how different they all are. The Cosima coat is still top of the ultimate wish list and somewhere between Cosima and Sarah is where my own style preferences stand. Sarah’s wardrobe is dominated by black and Cosima is all about pattern and color; there are also those who are romantically entangled with them and this wish list includes items from Cal (who would be on another kind of wish list) and Delphine. Plus, Helena’s new threads courtesy of Felix and it’s a big clothes sharing week.

Orphan Black Cal cardiganCal’s attire is outdoorsy and rugged with lot of chunky knits, plaid shirts and beanies; he looks like he’s always ready to bolt (just like Sarah) and can handle whatever shit is thrown at him. There is a mystery to Cal and his collection of fake IDs in “Ipsa Scientia Potestas Est” suggest he could be more involved than Sarah expects. Cal’s style is the opposite of Paul’s black tees/immaculate suits, but there is a chance that Cal has a military background like Paul and looks are definitely deceiving. This cable knit brown cardigan from Diesel looks super comfy and it’s probably why Sarah ends up nabbing it.

Orphan blackSarah doesn’t have a whole lot of clothes with her so it makes sense for her to lay claim to something that looks this cozy and she spends a lot of “Governed as if by Chance” instinctively wrapping it around herself. It softens Sarah, as does this connection with Cal. Sadly this cardigan might be lost to the murder/torture location of Rachel’s previously immaculate apartment.

Helena unicornHelena has spent far too long in various blood stained clothes from her off white slip last season to the wedding dress she escaped in. Thankfully Felix donates some of his castoffs in “Ipsa Scientia Potestas Est” to Helena including this maroon tee with a unicorn on it. Helena is a magical unicorn of a character and she is quickly becoming my favorite clone, so this shirt is pretty apt.

Costuming plays an important role in how we perceive these characters and so Sarah’s hard edge is tempered in Cal’s cardie; in a similar respect by giving Helena something that resembles regular clothes she comes across as far less feral. From this wonderfully sneery shot above, the mass of blonde hair and dark roots don’t even give off an air of instability.

Orphan Black HelenaHowever when you factor in the whole outfit Felix has donated, Helena looks just as erratic. Yep that’s a pair of cowboy boots, Beetlejuice-esque pants and a fantastic Felix coat. The cutting of the hair and Helena’s manic gaze, coupled with the strong blue light makes this big bag of surreal. Instead of wearing clothes that read as ultra feminine like a slip or wedding dress, Helena’s now got a more masculine ensemble and this seems like an intentional move as she has been horrifically violated.

Orphan Black CosimaCosima’s lab coat is never too far away and yet nothing about her style screams scientist as she’s the most boho of the clones. Mixing patterns and textures is a key element and in the shot above Cosima is wearing a cardigan with studded shoulders, two turquoise necklaces and a purple ruched waist dress from See by Chloé. Cosima also mixes baggy with fitted pieces and abstract prints tends to be the unifying theme. Cosima is comfortable in her own skin and this evident in how she presents herself.

Orphan Black horse shirtPattern isn’t restricted to Cosima and Delphine’s horse print collarless blouse shows that couples do sometimes mirror each other’s style (Sarah has literally borrowed from Cal’s wardrobe with his cardigan). This reminds me of this French Connection dress from last year and perhaps “put a horse on it” could become an extension of the bird of it all.

For more wish lists head here.

The Wish List: The Cosima Coat on Orphan Black

22 Apr

With the return of Orphan Black so comes my obsession with the red Cosima coat and it made a very important appearance in “Nature Under Constraint and Vexed.” There are a few costume items that would feature on an ultimate wish list and the crimson Cosima coat would be up there (with April’s hoodie and an Olivia Pope Burberry trench).

CosimaEach of the clones has their own distinctive look and whereas Alison is all about the Lululemon and Sarah barely wears anything that isn’t black, the red military-inspired coat, glasses and dreadlocks are part of Cosima’s signature style. In the season 2 premiere, Sarah gains entry into a Dyad Institute party while dressed as Cosima. As with previous attempts of doubling for another (Alison and Sarah have both pretended to be each other) a quick interaction or glance and it’s totally believable, anything more and it becomes problematic. There is no way that Sarah can get dreads in this short amount of time so the coat and glasses are the important props in this deception. Sarah’s probably gone a bit too heavy on the eye makeup as you can see in the shot below.

Orphan Black Sarah as Cosima

While it will always be the Cosima coat to me, it does go by another name and that is Sabrina. It’s from TV Ate My Wardrobe favorite Diane von Furstenberg and while it’s either sold out or no longer available on most sites, eBay currently has a few that you can bid on. There are other alternatives and a red coat is a welcome addition to any wardrobe.

DVF CoatIn all the model photos the high funnel like collar has been left undone, this is never the case on Orphan Black and Cosima always has it both belted and buttoned. This coat is like Cosima’s armor and hopefully Sarah remembered to pick it up on her way out of the Dyad Institute.

Orphan Black Season 2 Trailer: “There’s Only One of Me”

11 Mar

Orphan Black featured on TV Ate My Wardrobe’s Best of 2013 Series and so any new trailer is going to cause a stir here, especially one with this much new footage. The teaser released in December was pretty much a who’s who of the clones with no new information; this trailer reveals a whole lot more. It’s still incredibly vague and it hints at the wider conspiracy at play with Sarah going up against blonde bobbed Rachel. Rachel is the most recent addition to Tatiana Maslany’s ever expanding character list and she is the one who appears to be near the top of this network. We only met Rachel in the season finale so we don’t know a whole lot about her yet, but don’t worry as Alison and Cosima both feature in this trailer alongside Felix, the latter who is voicing his concerns. Hot Paul also makes an appearance, a new dude Sarah is smooching and Beth’s former partner Detective Bell.

The big question for me is raised at the end; which clone is on the table at the end? Expect answers and more mystery when Orphan Black returns Saturday, April 19 on BBC America.

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