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Tag Archives: The CW

Best of 2017 – Work in Other Places

30 Dec

Welcome to the Best of 2017! Today I am going to do a Greatest Hits rundown of my work in other places.

2017 is the year I decided to spread my pitching wings. It has been a year of ups and downs. Articles that have been percolating that were fully realized. Figuring out how to not take rejection too personally. Sometimes ideas are not great. Sometimes they need more work. I’m in a better position than I have ever been in before in my writing career, there is still a long way to go. But my confidence level when it comes to pitching is higher. I’m no longer terrified when I hit ‘send.’ Well, not always. I also expanded beyond just TV; below you will also find fashion history and essays on film.

Here are the pieces I am most proud of from this year. As always I am thankful to the editors that make me a better writer and to friends and family that are there for me through the triumphs and tears. And everyone reading, you make it all worth it.

How Wonder Woman Subverts the Makeover Montage

I have been reading Elle magazine since I was 13-years-old. I am a subscriber to both the UK and US editions. This was by far the coolest thing that happened to me writing wise. Getting to talk about Wonder Woman and the makeover montage trope was a dream come true. This was also one of my favorite movies of the year. Lindy Hemming’s costume design from both the actual Wonder Woman costume to the London garb is incredible and deserves celebrating. Plus I got to talk CluelessShe’s All ThatNot Another Teen Movie and The Americans.

How the Henley Shirt Went From Workman’s Undershirt to CW Staple 

My relationship with Racked does not go back as far as my one with Elle, but I have been a big fan of this site for a long time; I love the mix of historical pieces, fashion industry deep dives and shopping advice. Often I’ll remark when a dude is wearing a henley on Twitter and after semi-jokingly mentioning that I should write an article looking into why, I decided to put my money where my mouth is. And it turned into one of my favorite pieces of the year.

The Bloody Consequences of Wearing a Straw Hat After Summer

Fashion history with an unexpected twist is what this straw hat essay is all about. After reading about the Straw Hat Riots of 1922 in Neil Steinberg’s “Hatless Jack” I knew I had to find out more. This led to one of many New York Times archive deep dives—the access to the archives is worth the subscription fee alone—and this article for Racked.

Is The Americans Setting Paige Up as a Classic “Final Girl”?

For Collider I got to write one of my most out there theories this year, where I explored the idea of Paige from The Americans through the lens of the horror movie “Final Girl” trope. It will make sense when you read it.

Why Game of Thrones Is Stuck in the Past with a Manufactured Stark Sibling Rivalry

The season 7 finale of Game of Thrones redeemed some of the Sansa/Arya issues with a moment that made me scream “fuck yes!” at my TV. But it doesn’t make up for how sloppy their plot trajectory was before this point. At Collider I vented about why this storyline missed the mark by a long way.

‘Halt and Catch Fire’ Series Finale: Legacy, Hope, and Getting Us to the People

Something that definitely did not miss the mark was the final season of Halt and Catch Fire. I wept my way through the finale and somehow turned those emotions into this goodbye to Cam, Donna, Gordon and Joe.

The Power of Love and White Costuming on The Leftovers

Another finale that broke me into a million pieces was The Leftovers. My weekly column at The Observer gave me the chance to deep dive into the use of white costuming and the overall love story aspect of my favorite show of 2017.

The Handmaid’s Tale Costume Designer on the Series’ Wardrobe Influences

This was also a year that involved a lot of interviews with a variety of costume designers covering both film and TV. Also a learning curve, including grappling with technology. This is now the third time I have interviewed Ane Crabtree (previously for Westworld and Masters of Sex). I am so glad I got to discuss the iconic costumes from The Handmaid’s Tale and the way this look has been adopted by political resistance movements IRL.

Disguises to Adidas: The Americans Costume Designer Shares Tricks of the Spy Trade

Another repeat interview subject for me is Katie Irish, The Americans costume designer. This time we discussed retro sports apparel, using high school year books for research and her personal connection to one particular disguise from season 5.

TV For All Seasons: Costumes Across Climates on The Americans and Girls

The idea of summer and winter shows is something I have been obsessing about for a long time. I wrote about it for The Observer.

How Call Me By Your Name Dispels the “Beard” Stereotype By Portraying Sexuality As Fluid

I haven’t stopped thinking about Call Me By Your Name, it is my favorite film of 2017. So I am very pleased that in my first piece for Bustle, I explored the portrayal of different forms of desire and how this film didn’t lean into ‘beard’ stereotypes.

What Princess Margaret’s Love Story on The Crown Can Teach Us About Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s Relationship

Another piece that allowed me to fall down a New York Times archive hole while looking at the parallels between a romance on The Crown and the recent Prince Harry/Meghan Markle courtship (going old school). Things haven’t really changed a great deal since 1960 when it comes to the way tabloids discuss Royal romance.

For all Best of 2017 pieces including my personal essay on The Americans head here.

Happy New Year! And thanks for reading.

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TV Rewind: Gilmore Girls, “Pilot” & “The Lorelais’ First Day at Chilton”

10 Dec

Gilmore Girls, Episodes 1.1 & 1.2
“Pilot” & “The Lorelais’ First Day at Chilton”
Original Air Date: Oct. 5 & 12, 2000

Gilmore GirlsJulie: There are certain shows you love so much that you envy people who haven’t yet seen them and get to experience the shows for the first time. I know I felt that way about Breaking Bad and The Wire and the first season of 24. I’m feeling that right now with my son, to whom I’m reading the Harry Potter books (we’re on Prisoner of Azkaban). I’m always like, “You are the luckiest person in the world! You have no idea what’s to come. I wish I were in your shoes.” But at least I get to experience it vicariously through his eyes.

Maybe some of our readers are jealous that we’re Gilmore Girls virgins.

Going into the pilot, I knew very little about the show. I knew Lorelai and Rory were mother and daughter. I knew Lorelai had Rory at a very young age. I knew there was a Paris. And a Luke. That’s about it. I actually thought the show took place in North Carolina for some reason.

Let me just say that two episodes in, I am HOOKED. I’m actually going to have to force myself not to skip too far ahead, because all I want to do right now is binge watch Gilmore Girls. I’m here for all of it — the mother/daughter/mother/daughter stuff, Luke shipping, the private school bitchiness, etc. I’m even here for the snappy dialogue my husband so maligns. It works for me. Probably because Lauren Graham is everything. I may have a tiny huge crush on her right now. I want to be her. I want to wear Daisy Dukes to drop my kids off at school. (Maybe I will, but no one will know because they’ll be under my parka and snow pants.)

Before we get into the episodes, what is your history with the show and how did you like the first two episodes?

Gilmore Girls 1.02 Rory and LorelaiEmma: Judging by the response to the Instagram photo I put up saying I was about to start watching this show for the first time and my Twitter mentions I can safely say that there is that kind of ‘you’re so lucky reaction.’ The reunion at the ATX TV fest this year was huge on my TL as was the announcement that they’re doing a revival and it’s nice to watch a show that means a lot to so many. Plus I have a friend who has been trying to get me to watch for forever because he knows how much I adore teen shows. And because of this my hopes for Gilmore Girls are set to high and these first two episodes do not disappoint.

As with you my knowledge of the show is very thin – I know there are several guys in Rory’s life who I know from other shows like Matt Czuchry, Jared Padalecki and Peter Petrelli (who Alexis Bledel dated IRL) and that there is debate over who she should be with (isn’t there always?). And I knew about her mom having her at a young age and that they don’t have your typical TV mom/daughter relationship.

The fast paced snappy dialogue was also something I was expecting as I’ve seen the longer than normal script length referenced before. But really it’s a pretty clean slate. Like I didn’t even realize Chad Michael Murray was in this being as skeezy and squinty as always. The WB and CW REALLY wanted to make him happen.

Count me in too and I am so ready to watch a show that focuses on a mother/daughter relationship of a different kind (it made me think of Jane the Virgin in this respect) and I already love how much it embraces both humor and emotion. Making jokes is how these ladies deflect and this makes them my kind of women. And the private school stuff is also right up my street.

I don’t think I’ve ever seen Lauren Graham in all that much (I still need to see Parenthood) but yep I also heart her. It’s is also instantly believable that Alexis Bledel is her daughter as the chemistry is there. Rory feels very much like a Felicity, but with parents of a different kind and I think they would definitely be besties (Rory’s actual bestie is pretty great and I’m glad she’s still around even though they’re at different schools).

It also gave me so many flashbacks to 2000 from Macy Gray to a whole lot of ill fitting baggy jeans. I am looking forward to reliving fashion disasters of this decade.

So we’ve covered what we knew going in, how did you think it did in setting up who everyone is/the vibe of the town?

Gilmore Girls 1.02 jorts and plaidJulie: I’ve also never seen Parenthood. Maybe after Gilmore

It’s funny that we’re watching this right after Felicity, so we can pick up where we left off, fashion-wise. I’m loving Lorelai’s short-skirt business suit. Though, I went to Catholic school and no way would we have worn our skirts as long as Rory wears hers. I’d be rolling that thing up and down all day.

I also knew that Melissa McCarthy was in the show (pre-superstardom). She’s cute here, as usual, though her character, of all of them, seems a bit thinly drawn right now. The clumsiness is already wearing thin, considering we don’t have much more to go on with her at this point. She seems to be a capable chef, though, and I’m sure we’ll see more of that as the show progresses. (And I’m already shipping her and the peach delivery guy.)

Luke, the owner of the diner, has a great contentious rapport with Lorelai, but that also seems like too much at times. And I’m not sure how I feel about the writers hinting at a romance already in episode two. Let it simmer, guys! We feel the tension. We know where this is going. No need to draw attention to it at this point.

I did not realize that was CMM bugging Rory at Chilton. What a jerk. I suppose that’s par for the course with Chad, though.

The other relationship I’m totally digging so far is Lorelai’s with her mother. It’s so heightened, yet so real at its core. I live only a few blocks from my mom and dad. I love it for so many reasons. They are always around to help out. But. They are always around to help out. I will always be their baby. They are always ready with loving advice or suggestions. Sometimes it’s welcome, and sometimes it’s like, “I’m an adult! Let me be.” I really felt that in all of Lorelai’s interactions with her mom.

How are you liking the town of Stars Hollow?

Gilmore Girls 1.01 Gilmore ladiesEmma: Timeline wise this does feel like a natural post-Felicity watch even though we’re going back to high school, although the weighting of the characters puts the adults as equals in terms of storylines. It will be nice in that respect rather than Felicity and Ben’s parents showing up to add more drama. I am all for parents being just as integral and Lorelai is just that.

The Sookie is super skittish and clumsy thing did get a bit much in the pilot and I get that they have to ham it up for the pilot but that was one fire too far. The peach thing was better and I like the dynamic she has with Lorelai. Hotel employee wise I also liked how everyone is a little brash from the harp player to Michel and I maybe laughed quite a lot when he was asked by the old ladies where to find the best antiques. It is the kind of thing that also might get tired pretty quick so hopefully there is more to him beyond French sass.

It does feel like a very lived in town even if it borders on small town quirky – do places like this exist? I do like cake so I’m glad there’s a good bakery. Miss Patty is my fave town person so far especially her threats about Harry Potter. I also found it surreal to see her smoking because it seems to recent for that to be okay.

What I liked about Lorelai and her relationship with her parents is that it’s difficult because of all of them; they didn’t kick her out when she got pregnant and that’s not why they’re estranged but there’s definitely this aspect of her feeling like she didn’t live up to their expectations. Yes she’s achieved so much and her stubborn streak is part of why she is so estranged from them and I’m looking forward to seeing how this develops now they are very much back in their life. And not just for the holidays.

The Luke stuff is early and I’m with you on it being unnecessary to push it this early. And yeah they don’t want to not be able to go back there – those chilli fries looked so good.

What did you make of Rory?

Gilmore Girls 1.01 Rory and DeanJulie: Oh, my god, that Harry Potter moment was my favorite. The dialogue on this show is really very sharp.

Since it’s early, I’m willing to give most of the characters a pass. All of the supporting characters are their own most dominant trait right now. Mrs. Gilmore is 100% nag. Mr. Gilmore is just a bumbling dad who falls asleep at the dinner table. Sookie is clumsy and distracted. And Luke is a total sad sack. I mean, right now I don’t even want him and Lorelai to get together. He’s too depressing. Lighten up a bit, Luke.

As far as Rory goes, I don’t love Alexis Bledel’s line reading. I kind of figured that going in based on the little I’d seen of the show before. She’s cute and she looks like she could be Lauren Graham’s daughter, but she’s not the best actress. I’m sorry if that hurts people’s feelings. Maybe she gets better. Maybe I’ll get used to her.

I do like the character, though, and I love that she first tries to help Paris and then stands up to her in class. She’s a tough cookie. I appreciate that.

What’s your take on Rory? Are you excited to see high school through her eyes?

Gilmore Girls 1.02 Rory and ParisEmma: Lorelai is definitely the one who feels the most fleshed out so far, but as you say it is fine at this early stage for the supporting cast to have such broad characteristics. I kind of like Luke’s grumpy demeanor, but he is not love material at this point. I was also kind of surprised that Rory’s dad is still on the scene or that they know what he is up to at least. I don’t know why that surprised me or what I was expecting (a lot of shows tend to kill of the young dad), but I expect he will show up at some point.

So I quite like Rory so far and I quite like Alexis Bledel in general as she’s very non-offensive, but Rory also has a bit of fight in her thankfully. I just checked her IMDb page and this is her first role (aside from an uncredited part in Rushmore) and she definitely comes across as pretty green. So I think she will get better. I also just remembered that she’s married to Pete Campbell IRL. Matt Weiner sure loved casting from teen shows of the 90s/00s which is exactly how I would cast a show.

What I like about the whole Rory high school set up is that she isn’t just a poor student going to a fancy school a la Ryan Atwood; instead there is money in her family but also SCANDAL. So it is a fish out of water tale with a twist. And because she isn’t afraid to ask questions or confront others like Paris and CMM about the whole Mary thing (ugh). I am so ready for boy drama and rich school politics.

One other thing I’m wondering is if the town is going to have a dark side or maybe I’ve been watching too much cable drama. It all seems to lovely at the moment to be real. Which, considering how the real world is right now I’m kinda ready for a whole lot of pleasantness with a big side order of passive aggressive and bitchy comments.

Gilmore Girls 1.01 LukeJulie: My scant knowledge of this show does include the tidbit that Rory’s dad does come back into the picture at some point. When? I have no idea.

Matt Weiner is all of us. I think you’re right about Rory, too. She’s not bad. She’s just not on par with Lauren Graham yet, who is stellar. It’s a lot to ask of a girl taking on her first acting roll. She’ll get there, I’m sure. And I love her and Vincent Kartheiser together. I think they even have a secret baby now and everything.

There are, what, seven seasons of this show? I’m anticipating we’re going to see all of it — from class wars to romance to town mysteries. I can’t wait!

Julie Hammerle is, according to Klout, an expert in the areas of both Morgan Freeman and glasses. Her writing can be found at chicagonow.com/hammervision and you can holler at her on Twitter as well.

Behind the Insta-Scenes: Photos from the Set

15 Jul

An all Comic-Con special of “Behind the Insta-Scenes” with plenty of TV shows represented at the annual event held in San Diego. Get ready for plenty of cast love-ins, social media rivalries and more excellent outfits.

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MAY THE FORCE IBE WITH HUGH

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Hugh Dancy strikes a pose and borrows Bryan Fuller’s amazing and on point jacket.

 

And here is the Hannibal Pannibal trio sans flower crowns.

 

It was Agent Carter versus Agents of SHIELD via the Dubsmash app and while Hayley Atwell is the undisputed queen (and co-star James D’Arcy is also pretty, pretty good) the SHIELD crew had strength in numbers.

 

Mic drop moment indeed.

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In most beautiful English sandwich. #COMICCON2015

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Pre full on Dubsmash battle Chloe Bennet posted a picture sandwiched between her co-star Elizabeth Henstridge (excellent cartoon eye blouse) and Hayley Atwell offering up a whole lot of confused faces.

 

Everything about this is exactly how I imagine it would be like to meet Bill Murray.  And it looks perfect.

 

Maisie Williams looks far more in her comfort zone here dancing up a storm with onscreen sister Sophie Turner in a stripy tee which I’m coveting – Maisie killed it with her outfits over Comic-Con – and all I want is for the pair to be reunited onscreen so they can burn Westeros to the ground (well at least burn Ramsay to the ground).

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#MophieIsReal #EWComicCon #GameofThrones

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The pair is very happy to see each other and they even have their very own word blend name # (and the EW Instagram has a whole host of excellent behind the scenes shots from Comic-Con).

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#apocalypse

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Sophie Turner also had the pleasure of hanging out with Oscar Isaac while promoting X-Men: Apocalypse and this has also been a good week for fans of Isaac as the first trailer for the HBO miniseries Show Me a Hero was released.

 

A full on worlds collide selfie covering Harry Potter, Game of Thrones and Doctor Who (also Skins).

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#AHSHotel has checked in! #EWComicCon

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Sarah Paulson is all of us right now.

 

I was skeptical about Fear the Walking Dead (that name) but after watching the first full trailer I am so in and not just for Kim Dickens reasons. Dickens looks stunning here alongside co-stars Elizabeth Rodriguez (OITNB) and Alycia Debnam Carey (The 100).

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Squad goals. #OrphanBlack #SDCC @entertainmentweekly

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This cast! Without fail I do that thing where I wonder where everyone else is only to remember that Tatiana Maslany is everyone else. Plus a better look at the Tatiana’s amazing outfit and the one I crowned best of Comic-Con.

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#comiccon2015 in route to somewhere!

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Superheroes from The CW bus.

 

The Flash has such a likable cast that I can’t help but smile at a photo like this (and also covet Danielle Panabaker’s polka dot frock).

Behind the Insta-Scenes: Photos from the Set

20 May

The first half of this week’s Behind the Insta-Scenes is pretty much a game of spot the CW star unleashing a whole world of even more crossover potential if these photos are anything to go by. Plus saying goodbye to Mad Men and spending more time with the cast who are dominating behind the scenes shenanigans at the moment.

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I kidnapped them all.

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First up ‘How many CW actors can you fit in one selfie?’ courtesy of Arrow’s Emily Bett Rickards. Cute bow tie, Carlos Valdes.

 

Followed by ‘How many CW stars can you fit in an elevator?’ selfie thanks to Paul Blackthorne (Team Arrow cast is killing it with these group shots).

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A family photo at #thecwupfronts

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An almost all Jane the Virgin cast with another group photo taking place in the background; stacks and stacks of selfies. Definitely into Jaime Camil’s glasses, however I have a feeling Rogelio would not feel the same way.

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I'm creepin on @brettdier.

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The crossovers continue on board the plane with Grant Gustin taking a peak at Jane the Virgin’s Brett Dier from a few rows back.

 

And while I recover from the emotionally draining and brilliant Flash finale here is a very cute outtake from the recent Variety issue. 

 

I adore Petra on Jane the Virgin so let’s continue the CW love with this very comfy looking yellow rug and Yael Grobglas.

 

And one cake covered last night of shooting for a CW star as Nina Dobrev departs The Vampire Diaries.

 

After I watched the Mad Men series finale this made me cry. It’s been an emotional week (yes it’s only Wednesday).

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Maybe that was as good as it gets? #EndOfAnEra

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Feelings on top of feelings. What became of Ginsberg?

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Peggy and Stan Forever:)

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In so much agreement with this and Peggy’s ending made me very happy.

 

Photographer Lisa Guerriero shares some shots from the Mad Men set including this close up of Peggy’s plaid and polka dots. This was a repeat season 7 outfit; Peggy wore it when Joan gave the best answer to a lunch question and alone in the office when she spilled coffee all over the floor.

 

Also from Lisa Guerriero (whose work we also featured here) and a sneak look at break time activities.

 

The You’re the Worst cast continue to be the best at this including Huey Lewis and the News serenading.

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#youretheworst Fashion edition.

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Pattern clashing with these dudes forever.

 

And more with an all important edition of Sunday Funday!

The Wish List: Jane’s Summer Dress on Jane the Virgin

21 Jan

It is far from summer dress weather and the grey sky that is my current view is rather uninviting; however I finally caught up on Jane the Virgin which has charming and a generally sunny disposition while set in an almost always warm climate (with the occasional hurricane). The costuming is a whole lot of flirty frocks, shorts, tanks and vest tops all ideal for Long Beach. Jane’s attire tends to be on the more relaxed side although her teaching placement requires a less casual approach to her dress choices. Sometimes this goes array as was the case when she fell asleep in her clubbing outfit (which became almost school appropriate with the addition of a cardigan).

Chapter SixThe dress I want to talk about (and add to my own collection) appears in Chapter Six and falls into Jane’s work wear category. It’s floral and cute, plus it has pockets which is what I want from a dress. And guess what? It is also super affordable! H&M is where you can find this dress and it makes me so happy to see Jane wear clothes that make sense for her budget. And even though this is a summer wear for Jane, a pair of tights, cute ankle boots and a cardigan could easily turn it into a winter floral frock. The pink belt is a good extra touch and there are plenty of color belts that would work.

H&MBy doing these wish lists I often marvel at the cost of some character’s clothing collections and it doesn’t always make the most amount of sense considering their job or lifestyle – even Olivia Pope with her two $2000 cardigans seems like a stretch. In Chapter Six Jane’s favorite store Target even gets in on the multifloral dress action. This isn’t to say that Jane doesn’t wear more splurge heavy clothes as in the same episode she’s wearing a Joie romper that was originally priced at just over $300, but hey it is a start.

While thinking about the cost of my closet I know I have a couple of more expensive pieces (coats, dresses and shoes mostly) with the majority coming from stores at price points like H&M or Uniqlo and it is encouraging to see costume designers utilizing brands like these when a character doesn’t have an endless stream of disposable income.

French Connection’s Pre-Fall 2014 Collection: Dressing Arrow’s Felicity Smoak

17 Jun

A year ago I started the Fantasy Costuming as a way to look at new offerings from designers and stores alongside some of TV Ate My Wardrobe’s best dressed characters. For Scandal’s Olivia Pope, high end designers Olivia has previously worn such as Burberry Prorsum (and I picked that coat) were featured among some more affordable pieces. It is meant to be just a bit of fun and in no way am I saying that these items should feature on any of these shows, rather it is about whether you could see this character wearing this garment and drawing influence from what they have worn in the past.

The first character to receive the Fantasy Costuming treatment was Jess Day from New Girl using French Connection’s autumn wardrobe and it is only fitting then to use this brands pre-fall collection and one that has recently been released. Instead of treading ground with a character that has been featured heavily or has previously been Fantasy Costumed, I am going to take a look at a character I adore and who should be a more frequent TV Ate My Wardrobe staple and that is Arrow’s Felicity Smoak.

Felicity SmoakFelicity does the whole funky office wear with peplums and blouses – including this French Connection fitted jersey dress (also seen on The Mindy Project) – and French Connection’s pre-fall selection is perfectly suited for Felicity’s transitional style that bounces from clothes to wear behind a computer to chic, smart attire with a hint of out in the field work (even if it is sitting in a van and then using said van as a weapon).

There are no masks in Felicity’s wardrobe, neither is leather a key component and yet Felicity doesn’t wear just one type of garment or signature tone as both pattern and color blocking feature throughout. It’s not a choice of skirts or pants and Felicity can dress up or down for what the scenario demands. As Felicity’s confidence has grown so has the boldness of her costuming and season 2 saw raised hemlines and more fitted silhouettes. I don’t want to lose the empathetic qualities Felicity possesses along with her fierceness and so the mosaic and floral prints that dominate French Connection’s pre-fall wardrobe add a sense of whimsy in a world that grows darker.

FC long sleeve dressFC penicl skirtFC JeansClick on the photos below to see more picks for Felicity from the French Connection pre-fall collection and to purchase/browse head here.

 

 

Julie Hammerle

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