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.
When 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
Drawing 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:
Unlike 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:
Sometimes 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.