Tag Archives: costuming

Sleepy Hollow and Skinny Jeans

14 Jan

It happened! The Sleepy Hollow 21st-century makeover scene has occurred and it involves skinny jeans. In the Best of 2013 series I wrote about why Ichabod’s revolutionary styling was so integral to his character and “Vessel” gave a glimpse of Ichabod in modern dress while reinforcing his desire to hold onto the clothes of his past. Ichabod doesn’t understand Abbie’s obsession with his finery, nor is he too happy with her choice of pants “One sign of the impending apocalypse is surely skinny jeans” – on that note I totally feel you Ichabod.

Playing a scene like this with Abbie and Ichabod’s natural sounding banter while addressing audience questions is the right level of winking acknowledgement and it means we finally get to see what Ichabod looks like in modern dress. In terms of color and style it’s very similar to what he already wears, everything is just a little tighter.

Sleepy Hollow Ichabod makeoverThe navy button down might not be too much of a stretch and while I would love to see him in the stripy sweater Abbie is holding, it is a step too far and Ichabod reverts back to his regular threads.

Now this has been dealt with, the only other clothing matter is how clean they are and the suggestion of dry cleaning is offered, even if Ichabod doesn’t know what that is. This should be the end of the nitpicks surrounding Ichabod’s wardrobe and the playful nature of this scene while also discussing the threat at hand is part of the Sleepy Hollow charm. If nothing else there will always be gifs of that one time Ichabod Crane wore skinny jeans.


Masters of Sex: Costumes and Color

10 Oct

Two episodes into Masters of Sex and TV Ate My Wardrobe is already obsessed with the 1950s stylings that costume designer Ane Crabtree has created. Each main character already has a signature look and this helps to inform the audience about the background of each of the women that we will focus on today.

Masters of Sex green sweater

We briefly discussed Virginia’s outfits from the pilot last week and noted the use of dark colors with greens and reds featuring prominently and this was repeated once again in episode 2. While Virginia doesn’t have a lot of spare cash this doesn’t mean that her wardrobe has to reflect this in an overt manner and her outfits are well put together even when she is running for the bus. Virginia hasn’t always worked in an office and her experience working in a music club means that her clothes are slightly edgier in terms of these darker tones that other women in the secretary pool don’t seem to wear. Virginia wants to be taken seriously by Masters, but her look doesn’t alienate her from the women at the brothel who Masters is having a hard time associating with.

Masters of Sex Virginia red skirt

The black sweater/red checkered skirt is my favorite of Virginia’s ensembles so far and it’s belted at the waist to accentuate her tiny figure, but it also shows off her hips at the same time. This helps with the 1950s swagger that we have seen countless times on Mad Men with Joan. As with Mad Men the costuming is authentic right down to the underwear which means girdles and pointy bras.

Masters of Sex Jane

Jane is younger and less worldly than Virginia and so far she’s been dressed in bright blues and yellows to match her smiley demeanor. I particularly adore the “J” broach on the outfit above. Jane might be young but she’s also savvy, she knows how to handle horny doctors as she leaves them befuddled by reading them a passage from Simone de Beauvoir’s The Second Sex. She doesn’t fall for Dr. Langham’s attempts to sleep with her outside the study.

Jane Masters of Sex yellow

It’s not only her costuming that brightens a scene and I hope Jane gets to remain this optimistic and as sunny as her yellow cardigan.

Masters of Sex leopard print

It’s a very different story for Betty, Masters inside ‘man’ at the brothel but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t want to strive for bigger things. Betty’s clothes feature a lot of bold patterns like leopard print and red is a dominant color throughout. It’s not surprising to see Betty in revealing attire when she is at home and her clothes aren’t as form fitting as the other women on this show. Both Betty and Virginia wear a lot red signifying that they are both aware of their sexuality. Virginia tends to wear darker tones that edge towards maroon whereas Betty’s red clothes look cheap by comparison – this isn’t surprising as they no doubt are.

Masters of Sex Betty the receptionist

When Betty comes to the hospital her clothes are still not as tailored as the other receptionists or secretaries and so she still looks somewhat out of place in this world and the dress that Betty is wearing in the shot above is probably the most like something I have hanging in my wardrobe. I’m really happy with how Betty is more than just your friendly neighborhood prostitute and that she poses a challenge to Masters as much as she helps him.

Libby Masters

At the other end of the spectrum is Libby Masters; a woman of means who doesn’t have to work and her costuming is the most feminine that we have seen so far. Floral patterns and a pastel color palette is all part Libby’s wardrobe and it’s in stark contrast to Virginia. This was evident at the big fancy party in the pilot and as I mentioned last week there is a clear difference in how each woman views their own sexuality and their clothing reflects this difference.

Costuming in early episodes helps to differentiate characters and I’m looking forward to seeing how each of these women evolves as the season progresses.

Scandal 3.01 “It’s Handled” Costume Review

4 Oct

It’s back! After a summer of catching up with Scandal, talking about Scandal, predicting what Olivia Pope might wear and admiring what star Kerry Washington has been wearing we can finally talk about the season 3 premiere. This is going to be a different kind of review as I’m going to be looking at the costuming and how this adds to the narrative and tone of the episode. Costume designer Lyn Paolo has done an excellent job of establishing key aspects of a character’s wardrobe – such as Olivia never deviating from wearing pants in the office – and I will be looking at how this informs a scene and how it evolves over the season.

Scandal 3.1 Olivia Burberry Trench

The centerpiece outfit is this incredible Burberry Prorsum Caped Duchess Satin Trench Coat and it acts as armor for Olivia; it’s what Olivia wears to tell her father that she is never out of options and as she tries to work out the best solution with Fitz and Mellie. Olivia has worn other more traditional Burberry trench coats in the past and there is a powerful image that this silhouette produces as Olivia walks with determination to her destination. We’re not used to seeing Olivia backed into a corner like this and while she is trying to give off an image of control her expression reveals how hurt and lost she is feeling. This piece features in the “Storm is Coming” promo photos and it’s one that I wrote about in the Fantasy Costuming series back in July (yes I still can’t believe something I picked something that features this heavily in the season premiere).

Scandal 3.1 Mellie and Olivia

If you knew nothing about this show then the image above quickly identifies the two opposing styles of the women in Fitz’s life. Mellie is very traditional and while she rails against the notion that as First Lady she is ornamental not functional she knows how to dress the part. Block colors are very much part of the Mellie look and here she wears midnight blue to emphasize that in her position no matter how ornamental, she still has power and authority even in the presence of the woman that Fitz really loves. Despite their differences Mellie and Olivia are mirroring the other with arms folded as they try to resolve this situation. Olivia is very much in what you would consider work wear – her uniform consists of well tailored pant suits and the costuming shows a clear divide between the roles these women play.

Scandal 3.1 Mellie in black

Olivia lays out what color Mellie should wear when they tell the press about the affair details, she tells her to wear a soft color like lavender and as you can see from the photo about Mellie goes in the opposite direction with black. Mellie is clearly not on board with Fitz and Olivia’s plan and this is because she has figured out that Fitz is the one who leaked Olivia’s name. She’s ready to go to war with Fitz and by dressing in black she is mourning the death of her marriage (which died a long time ago) and shows that she is not backing down from this fight. While the cut is still very much in the First Lady tradition, it’s going against the vibrant color palette that we normally associate with Mellie. Gone are the regular pearls too and the necklace she is wearing looks like pearls made from gun metal which is appropriate given all the war talk with Fitz.

Scandal 3.1 Fitz as Kennedy

While Fitz’s costuming is pretty much what he has always worn, I really like the above shot as it’s reminiscent of this JFK portrait and the image of Kennedy has already been mentioned earlier in the episode. Fitz also pulls a move when he takes off his jacket that at first suggests that he expects some sexy time in the bunker, instead he pulls Olivia into a very different kind of embrace as he comforts her. I’m not Fitz’s biggest fan as he tends to act like a horny teenager a lot of the time so this was a very pleasant surprise.

Scandal 3.1 Olivia and Harrison

Olivia returns to the office mad as hell because of the role her team played in choosing an innocent woman to get Olivia off the hook. Harrison is all “There’s nothing wrong with a little self-preservation” showing that these gladiators sure like to live in the moral grey areas. As always Harrison is impeccably dressed and by mixing a polka dot tie with a gingham shirt he shows that power clashing is something he does with both his clothes and with his boss. Olivia is in her usual work wear and I wonder if we will be seeing more dark shades after this experience. I don’t think she will be wearing the white hat that David gave her anytime soon.

Scandal 3.1 Quinn and HuckQuinn jokes that they should find a bad intern they can blame again who can end up dead, well she made it seem like a joke but considering how she took to torturing at the end of season 2 part of her is probably being serious. From the way Quinn dresses you wouldn’t be able to tell that she is developing this darkness and she wears the brightest colors in the office. Her costuming is still very girly and this gives her an unassuming quality.

Scandal 3.1 AbbyThere’s something different about Abby this season her poker straight hair has been transformed into this gloriously wavy style (something I have praised about Darby Stanchfield’s red carpet look). We’ve been promised more Abby backstory this season and her style has evolved from being somewhat uptight to this more relaxed and confident appearance. Her relationship with David might have something to do with this and while it doesn’t look like they are back together there was definitely something that bordered on flirtation in the premiere. Abby is one of the only characters that calls Olivia out and so this confidence might also be down to feeling less like one of Olivia’s fixing projects and something nearer to an equal, especially as Olivia has a problem that needs to be fixed now.

A really strong start to the new season and I’m looking forward to discussing how the costuming on Scandal informs and adds to the experience of watching this show.

Costuming on The Bridge: Sonya Cross and Steven Linder

1 Oct

Season 1 of The Bridge comes to an end this week and while Diane Kruger’s red carpet and street style is often a point of discussion here at TV Ate My Wardrobe, it’s the costuming of her character Sonya Cross that I will be taking a look at today. Sonya isn’t the only one who has a specific look on The Bridge and Steven Linder’s smart rodeo wear adds another layer of intrigue to his character.

This article discusses the events of The Bridge prior to the finale. 

The Bridge Steven Linder and Sonya Cross

While it has never been explicitly mentioned in dialogue on The Bridge, Sonya has Asperger’s syndrome and what she wears is a direct reflection of that. The one item that Sonya wears each week is the leather jacket in the above photo and it’s a fascinating item as it’s completely different from everything else she wears. This jacket has so much detail that in week 12 I’m still noticing embellishments that I haven’t picked up on before. The horse is one of the more obvious details, as is the leopard print on the shoulders and this is all down to costume designer Anna Terrazas who modified a leather jacket that was found in a Los Angeles vintage store. These changes include aging and distressing the piece to make it look well worn.

The backstory of the jacket is that it belonged to Sonya’s murdered sister and Terrazas explains that as a piece of clothing it “doesn’t make sense for what she does as a detective or who she is, but the whole idea is that it has sentimental value and is worn in memory of her sister.” This process wasn’t a solo one and Terrazas worked with a team to create this costuming centerpiece and this is evident by how many different details there are. The horse isn’t a mystery as Sonya’s sister loved horses but other details like the different tiger imagery, the faded star and the duct tape are more ambiguous. There was great distress from Sonya in the penultimate episode when she found out that her sister’s Bronco was beyond repair and she mourned this as if she had lost her sister all over again. It doesn’t help that her replacement car doesn’t have a tape deck.

Marco mirrored this behavior as he wore the hoodie of his dead son Gus and slept in his bed to preserve the memory of him.

Sonya tape

Anna Terrazas explains that Sonya is a “very uniform person and does the same routine every day” and this is reflected in the rest of what she wears. The jacket is very much part of her daily wardrobe and it’s easily the most flamboyant thing in her wardrobe as everything else is in basic neutral tones; there are no bold colors here. In one way this is similar to how I would describe Scandal’s Olivia Pope’s costuming but the big difference here is their jobs and what image they need to portray. Everything about Sonya’s clothes screams function as she wears shirts in white, grey, black and light blue, always pants and flat shoes. Sonya is not dressing up for anyone.

The Bridge Sonya Cross

Steven Linder is socially awkward in his mannerisms and the way he speaks but he also takes pride in how he dresses even if his facial hair is a tad on the unruly side. Linder believes that he has a calling to save young women and his is one of the stranger aspects of The Bridge. He mumbles but he also tries to present himself in a manner which will make his rescue missions less scary – cast your mind back to the first episode and it is clear that he can be a foreboding figure. The iron that he uses to press his shirts also became a murder weapon as he was attacked in his own home, serving a purpose that the manufacturer did not intend.

The Bridge Steven Linder

When the serial killer story took over the middle part of the season, Linder was pushed to the sides and while we know why he thinks he has this calling there is also much about him that is still a mystery. What he did last week was act as a conduit between Sonya and Marco; giving the pair a reason to work together again and to get Marco out of his period of despair.

Oh and Steven Linder will totally wear his best suit to make a proposal even if it makes no sense in that kind of heat. Linder is as buttoned up as his shirt and by giving him such a distinct look he stands out even when he doesn’t want to.

the Bridge Steven Linder

At the same time as I started The Bridge I was also watching Top of the Lake and it helps a great deal that Thomas M. Wright is playing incredibly different characters in both of these projects. Wright’s Steven Linder mannerisms, speech pattern, costuming and hair style show no similarities to Top of the Lake’s Johnno; as viewer this helps with the whiplash that can occur when one actor features in two distinct worlds and I would say that Wright has been one of the breakout stars of the year.

Olivia Pope’s Wardrobe and Me

2 Jul

I’ve just finished watching the first season of Scandal as part of my summer catch up project and while it is unusual to have such a short season from a network show (that hasn’t been canceled) it works as an introduction to the world of these characters featuring an overall season long arc and a case of the week format. I’m totally hooked but before I begin season 2 I have a confession of sorts about Olivia Pope’s costuming.

Olivia Pope white trench

One of the reasons I started TV Ate My Wardrobe was thanks to my incessant mentions of TV costuming and Olivia Pope has a highly covetable collection of clothes. This is one factor that is often mentioned in articles/posts I have mostly avoided reading about Scandal (so I could be as spoiler free as possible) and both Kerry Washington and her character Olivia Pope often feature in ‘best dressed‘ lists. One thing is clear about Olivia’s outfits in season 1 is they lack any bright color and work on a scale of white through grey, with some other neutrals thrown in the mix. The term “white hat” is often tossed around between David and Olivia with both of these characters operating under the assumption that they are the ‘good guys,’ with Olivia using her gut as a resource and working outside the law while David is restricted by it. Olivia is referred to as the “best guy” in the pilot even though we see her doing some questionable things and she definitely works within the moral grey area at times.

The lack of any bright color works in Olivia’s favor as she can blend into the background when she opts for the grey end of the color spectrum. Olivia has a selection of white coats (like the trench above) that tend to signal when Olivia wants to take control of a situation; she is the beacon of hope when it looks like the proverbial might hit the fan. Normally when a character wears this much white I assume they are going to get blood on them in some capacity (see 24), this has yet to happen in Scandal with Olivia, but it’s not outside the realm of possibility.

Now the reason why this article is called “Olivia Pope’s Wardrobe and Me” is because while I think these clothing choices are amazing for this character there is no way I would ever own this many white items. This is because I am a not so secret food and drink spiller; some might call it careless, I just call it my unfortunate clumsy gene as it’s not just food that I have a habit of dropping (or tripping over things which can lead to more spilling). The truth is I probably don’t even drop that much, but the fear is there.

White clothing is at the forefront of fashion at the moment as it tends to be over the summer (in the same way that floral patterns are popular at this time of year) and I’ve been watching a lot of Wimbledon over the past week. There is also this collection of amazing white clothes over at The Cut that I will only ever look at and not purchase. The few white clothes I do own tend to have some kind of pattern whether it be stripes or polka dots and the one amazing skirt that I have in white sits sadly in my wardrobe. I know it’s terrible to have such an aversion to white clothes but it’s the price I pay for having such terrible co-ordination. So while I love what Olivia Pope wears, it’s never going to be for me sadly.

Julie Hammerle

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