Television in 2016 made quite the strides with many series putting their best fashion foot forward. From perspective memory of characters to fantasy to fun working mother to sassy Cookie, the variety within the series lineup was varied, fun, story teller and interesting. The genres too expanded from serious dramas, to horror and fantasy to comedy and thrillers, with relate-able and aspirational wardrobe of some interesting characters.
Probably the most prominent series for me this year, The Affair revels in perspective details and flies high with it’s undertoned and subdued styling with minimal differences. Fast paced than last season, The Affair is also about the act of storytelling and the role of storytellers—and how both are unreliable and malleable. It is not about how characters are seeing themselves but also how they perceive others within their perspectives and clothing provides that insight to the wallflower audience. Noah’s sexualization of Alison, a neckline too low, a skirt bit high, flirty summer dress or when it suits him (esp in finale where he dislikes her being in Montauk) a dull dress, pulled back hair. Comparatively, Alison is never put together for herself, unkempt hair, barely there makeup, boho and summery dresses or even the basics have a thrown on feel about them, weighed down by her grief and her own insecurities, but in the finale the dress is much more cheery, happy at the wedding. As the series progresses, one does see her evolve, more polished (an explanation for the ‘future present day’ Alison who is so much more no nonsense polished one) looks. The thing about perspectives is how one remembers people is reflected greatly in clothes and subtle changes within looks definitely give you insight on the character and viewpoints that are being told. In this season, the perspectives have been expanded to the respective partners of people involved in the affairs and the usually put together Helen, stayed true to her signature with statement classic pieces, jackets and coats from rick owens, vince and the rowe to name a few, that give her character a certain trying to hold it together polished approach. She does get her moment of going all out unabashed when she gets stoned, but she pretty much stays to her simple classic roots, throughout the season. And then there is Noah’s publicist Eden with her superficial character and up elitist outfits, bringing on the ‘glam’ accent within a realistic vibe of the whole show. The clothing gives an insight Sometimes the differences in outfits are glaringly different, at other occasions quite subtle, but that is what makes up these vantage points and people within them so interesting…like Ruth Wilson said ‘Memory is an unreliable beast’
ONCE UPON A TIME
While the fairy tale series has given us some major princess and prince vibe in the past, this season was different because of the role reversal of sorts between the dark Swan, Emma and the evil queen Regina. Even though my favorite has been the deliciously wicked Zelena, these two pretty much had their outfits on point with men opting for more armours and prince ensembles for the most part of the series. Emma’s all black look playing up with textures especially crocs and leather as well as laces, complete with white hair all leading up to her being the baddest villan. Regina on the other hand paired dresses with leather and biker jackets with aplomb giving a certain pizzazz edge to the business no nonsense look. However there were princessy moments as well! I mean come on!! why not.. capes with dresses, when our heroes come to Camelot, gave women some ethereal options to play with, as well as Zelena’s peplums and jackets all coming together for this season.
Ever since Empire premiered, one person that has stood out is the Queen Cookie. The sassy woman while made some really interesting and fun choices last season, this season however, went a bit over the top leading the clothes and makeup take a much more centre stage than the characters themselves. Needless to say, the success of first season definitely brought in the slew of designer wear with Cookie evolving from leopards to other animal prints and scored high in her opening peacock number. However she did miss a few notes with moschino and the golden rope dress. However there were two standout moments personally for me where she shone brilliantly. One being the overall golden power suit, she nailed that right bang on and now I want it for my self. It was perfectly styled without going overboard. Another one was when she had first fur moment this season. The red fur coat paired with black and those amazing oversized frameless shades perfectly rounded off her look. Anika on the other hand gave very interesting outfits as well… tailored to perfection with geometric lines and solids, a pretty antithesis of OTT Cookie. The problem in dressing someone as sassy as Cookie is the stylist starts enjoying themselves a bit too much to realize where to stop. While they showed that restraint last season, this season got a bit out of hand. Also noteworthy were Marisa Tomei’s printed suits (reminded me so much of Dent De Man).
THE MINDY PROJECT
Fun, Flirty and a Non- Conformist is probably the best way to describe Mindy Lahiri’s character and styling by Salvador Perez. The fun character of Mindy reflects in her clothes. From color to metallics to prints to even colored nursing bras, Mindy Lahiri has been inspiration for a series of jackets by the series stylist. This season Mindy became a mother but without compromising her wardrobe. We specifically got to see some fun printed PJs during her stay-at-home mom phase as well as she did not disappoint when back on first day at work. She knows it’s hard work and makes no bones about acknowleding her own efforts and going the extra mile. She loves to dress up and revels in it. Like she puts it very aptly, ‘Its’s hard being on your own, balancing work and family while also finding time to stay slutty anime level hot’
HOW TO GET AWAY WITH MURDER
Strong personalities, Stronger wardrobe. the crime drama series has every character meticulously crafted right down to a T. From Annalise Keating’s statement pieces, to Laurel’s boho chic looks, Michaela’s carefully crafted image or Connor’s bad boy next door look, every complete look is a window in these character’s past and their personalities. High on drama, this season saw personal styles evolve more with a certain Ms. Famke in the picture with some interesting wardrobe choices. While the vibe does remain very formal thanks to Davis’s profession, needless to say, the stylists do manage to keep it interesting. If you want to learn how to do snazzy corporate with just the right amount of attention, watch this show.
The Hamptonites return with their last season and Queen Vicky does not disappoint. Margeaux’s parisian style mixed with hamptonite sensibility came to the forefront and evolved much more than any other character in the series (hated that blonde fringed bob) , Emma/Amanda switched to much more military inspired basics with jackets, shirts and pants with occassional outings of her enviable wardrobe of DnGs, it was however enigmatic Victoria that kept things interesting with designer pieces and luxe ensembles… A Queen never loses her charm easily. The two along with Nolan too gave us some interesting looks in Hamptons-worthy designer. Nolan with pastel jackets and printed pieces, double collared polos and prints on prints keeping things interesting and kept me wanting to come back to the show despite the bleak plot.
AMERICAN HORROR STORY
Lady Gaga…. need I say more?
Pastels, furs and bling …all seemingly a nod to the movie Marie Antoinette, with the name as conspicuous as Chanel of the main character, the fashion had to be A game to the forefront. The over the top statement pieces, combined with the superficial-ness of horror meets comedy, the series which has been renewed for a second season displayed the sorority fashion to a T. Think bitchy, think bad ass and yet perfectly manicured (a lady never gets her hands dirty), the statement fur jackets, tailored dresses and some fun silhouettes helped them achieve all that and more. If not anything, watch it for the outfits.
A series based in late 1970s, Fargo’s fiesty beautician Peggy with her wardrobe that includes striped polo necks, flares, berets, skirt suits, blouses and fur-collared coats. The period drama wanting to be high on authenticity and fashion brings the period on the small screen with synthetic sweaters with suede patches, belted blanket coats and blouses with prints that hurt the eyes, reminiscing the era of our parents.
The Queen of oouterwear on television, Olivia Pope sported a variety of jackets from basics to patterned to statement trenches, this woman knows how to look fab while handling crisis and she does it well. The good thing is despite oversized jackets, Washington owns them making it her own. What kind of jacket has she not sported…draped, peplum, printed, plain, short, long and all the lengths in the middle, biker, tweed … you name it, she has it in her closet of endless jackets.
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