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Tag Archives: The Handmaid’s Tale

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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Thoughts on the 2017 Emmy Costume Design Nominations (Updated to Include Winners)

14 Jul

The Emmy nominations were the usual mix of joy, disbelief, bewilderment and disappointment and quite a few people from my dream picks had their name read out. But not enough. The lack of Leftovers nominations was not a surprise (oh hey, Ann Dowd representing this incredible show), but it is still maddening. At least Queen Carrie Coon did get *a* nomination.

There are already plenty of hot takes and reactions to what did and didn’t get recognized with Vox’s Caroline Framke giving my fave analysis and Libby Hill’s Leftovers article being pretty much the perfect reaction.

As is now tradition, I am here to take a look at which shows got nominated for costume design. For thoughts and previous winners from 2015 and 2016 click on those years.As with last two years there are separate categories for period/fantasy, contemporary and variety/non-fiction/reality. We also already know which episodes have been submitted and some of my favorite costumes from the year are included.

Of course there are shows/costume designers that have not been nominated, which I would’ve loved to see get recognition for costume design. Katie Irish for The Americans as she balances numerous disguises including an airline pilot and flight attendant and the Jennings at home. Irish does this all without screaming the ’80s at us. The episode Irish submitted also includes one of my favorite all time disguises and glasses influencer.  Also from the long list there is also Mari-An Ceo for the Bonnie and Clyde episode of Timeless and Laura Jean Shannon work on Good Girls Revolt. Yes I am still sad this show is cancelled. You can see the full list of shows submitted for the initial nomination process here.

I am thrilled to see Ane Crabtree up for The Handmaid’s Tale and we have been obsessed with Crabtree’s work since we started covering Masters of Sex, way back when. Also very excited to see Alix Friedberg nominated for Big Little Lies especially it is the finale with all the Audreys that has been submitted. And in finally getting recognized newsRuPaul’s Drag Race received a total of nine nominations including costume design!

Two of last year’s winners are nominated again and they are now in the same category; both are for different shows than their previous wins. Game of Thrones is not nominated this year (because it hasn’t aired yet) and Michele Clapton switches fantasy for period with The Crown. Lou Eyrich keeps with the Ryan Murphy team, but is nominated for Feud instead of American Horror Story. It is also interesting to note that both previous winners are up for projects based on real life figures. This category is truly stacked.

If Lou Eyrich does win, this will be her fourth triumph in a row.

One show that straddles categories is This is Us with both period and contemporary featuring. The episode submitted is the season finale, which does feature both flashback and present day and opting for the contemporary category obviously worked for them. But it is actually the period costumes that are my favorite.*

*Update! 

So the point I raised above was indeed an issue for the episode This is Us submitted and their nomination was revoked due to the rule that at least 51 precent of screen time must include contemporary costuming from a period of time covering the last 25 years. The episode “Moonshadow” had more than the allotted amount and House of Cards replaces This is Us in the contemporary category.

The full list of costume design nominations are here and congratulations to all on this list!Period/ Fantasy Costumes for a Series, Limited Series, or Movie

The Crown, “Wolferton Splash” – Michele Clapton, Alex Fordham, Emma O’Loughlin & Kate O’Farrell WINNER!
Feud: Bette and Joan, “And the Winner Is…” – Lou Eyrich, Hannah Jacobs & Katie Saunders
Genius, “Einstein: Chapter Seven” – Sonu Mishra, Martina Hejlová & Petia Krckova
The Handmaid’s Tale, “Offred (Pilot)” – Ane Crabtree & Sheena Wichary
Westworld, Trish Summerville, “The Original” – Lynda Foote & Jo Kissack FolsomContemporary Costumes for a Series, Limited Series or Movie

Big Little Lies, “You Get What You Need” – Alix Friedberg, Risa Garcia & Patricia McLaughlin WINNER!
Empire, “Light in Darkness” – Paolo Nieddu, Jennifer Salim & Mary Lane
Grace and Frankie, “The Art Show” – Allyson B. Fanger, Heather Pain & Lori DeLapp
House of Cards, “Chapter 61” – Johanna ArganKemal HarrisJessica Wenger and Steffany Bernstein-Pratt
This is Us, “Moonshadow” – Hala Bahmet, Marina Ray & Elinor Bardach
Transparent, “To Sardines and Back” – Marie Schley, Hannah Schneider & Leslie HermanCostumes for Variety, Nonfiction or Reality Programming 
Dancing with the Stars, “Halloween Night” – Daniela Gschwendtner, Steven Norman Lee, Polina Roytman, Karina Torrico & Howard Sussman
Hairspray Live! Mary Vogt & Carolyn Dessert-Lauterio
Portlandia, “Carrie Dates a Hunk” – Amanda Needham, Jayme Hansen & Jordan Hamilton
RuPaul’s Drag Race, “Oh. My. Gaga!” -Zaldy Goco & Perry Meek WINNER!
Saturday Night Live, “Host: Emily Blunt” – Tom Broecker & Eric Justian

For the full list of Emmy nominations head here.

TV at Cannes: ‘Top of the Lake’ Photocall

23 May

I’m loathe to use #SquadGoals, but the Cannes photocall for Top of the Lake: China Girl is exactly that. The above photo looks so relaxing.And I am fully in love with Gwendoline Christie’s choice of heels that look like a red version of the Black Lodge floor (Twin Peaks  is penetrating all). Just because she’s already tall doesn’t mean she can’t indulge in another few inches. 

All three women are enjoying success with multiple projects including other TV hits such as Nicole Kidman’s Big Little Lies and Elisbeth Moss in The Handmaid’s Tale. Plus Christie has season 7 of Game of Thrones premiering in July. Oh and this amazing new Vanity Fair cover for The Last Jedi

Here is the first trailer for Top of the Lake: China Girl.

It is safe to say that this is one of my most anticipated shows of 2017. 

Updated to add this Instagram delight.

View this post on Instagram

You're welcome:) #Cannes #totlchinagirl

A post shared by Elisabeth Moss (@elisabethmossofficial) on

Hopefully there will be a whole lot more promotion from these ladies. 


Out of the Box: Look of the Week

28 Apr

After last week’s color and pattern extravaganza things are slightly more dialed back in this edition of “Out of the Box,” but that is not necessarily a bad thing. Plus there are still plenty of prints on display across various events this week and the Tribeca Film Festival is delivering on a number of sartorial levels.

Between award season faves and new shows getting the promotion treatment there’s a lot to celebrate this week. We also have 2/4 of the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants cast, which seemed like something worth pointing out. Viola Davis shut everything down for the second week in a row and on the back of her incredible Time cover she wore this stunning purple Armani gown to the event celebrating this issue/list. Award season has not been over for long, but it is safe to say we’ve been missing the weekly dose of Ruth Negga in these parts. Luckily for us she took a break from filming the second season of Preacher (which I’m really looking forward to) and stopped by the Tiffany & Co 2017 Blue Collection Gala in New York wearing this fabulous Gucci ensemble.

This is ticking so many boxes including a strong collar and all things leopard print.Now entering the Tribeca Film Festival portion of the week and regular readers will know how much I love it when co-stars come out to support each others projects. The Mr. Robot crew seems pretty tight and Rami Malek was joined by his onscreen sister and sorta-BFF at the premiere of his film Buster’s Mal Heart.

They’re also doing a good job on the outfit coordination without being too matchy matchy with Carly Chaikin looking slightly more casual and I am coveting both her clutch and Portia Doubleday’s bag hard.Rami as ever is bringing it with his suit choice and what looks like a classic black take in the first shot is actually hiding the accents stripe down the sleeve; giving it that Rami edge. It is of course Dior Homme and Ilaria Urbinati is the stylist behind this great athleisure adjacent choice.How to do double polka dot by America Ferrera. While moderating a conversation with Lena Dunham and Jenni Konner as part of Tribeca Talks, America Ferrera delivers a great panel outfit and one with a fun 3D texture element. Great chunky silver platforms too. From fantastic shoes to ones I’m going to ignore as the rest of Rose Byrne’s Rag & Bone look is fabulous mixing feminine florals with leather. At the Flower premiere Zoey Deutch goes full Peter Pan collar in this super cute Chloé dress, which is everything I love about the ’70s influence that is still dominating.

I was just scrolling through the new arrivals at Chloé and I am maybe in love with these floral pants. Perhaps because this print is giving me flashbacks to a duvet cover my parents had. Another fun take on leopard print this week with Ruth Wilson in Alessandra Rich, which the belt helpfully points out and also nearly ruins this frock; can we do away with the very Calvin Klein ’90s actual labeling please. Thanks. Alexis Bledel doesn’t make a tonne of red carpet appearances, but when she does she hits all the right notes including this rainbow beaded halter Cushnie et Ochs frock at the premiere for The Handmaid’s Tale. Love, love, love the injection of even more color with the turquoise clutch and yellow sandals.

 

While I’m on the subject of promotion for the incredible adaptation of The Handmaid’s Tale here is a striking cast shot with a guest appearance by author Margaret Atwood via Samira Wiley’s Instagram.

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