Well, I didn’t blog! Someone in TV Land decided that the Emmy’s should be in August this year, right smack dab in the middle of my family’s’ beach vacation. And if there’s one thing I believe in, it’s an unsullied-by-technology beach vacation. When I returned, I thought about writing a full review of the Red Carpet, a week after the event, but then I decided that rather than weigh in on what every one else has likely already said, I would take the opportunity to review the fashion from some of the TV shows that were nominated for Emmys.
There are entire apps and websites dedicated to allowing viewers to purchase the actual or similar clothes as their favorite TV characters, and specialty retailers have even gone so far as to design entire collections based on a popular TV show. The Banana Republic Mad Men Collection was released in concert with the show’s own seasonal debut. In fact, as long as we’re mentioning Mad Men, they might be the most influential of shows in recent years (fashion wise), literally inspiring fashion designers everywhere, reviving 1950’s fit and flare dresses, gloves, and frame purses. The current season of Mad Men has evolved into the mod 1960s with incredible accuracy — even the undergarments are of the time, so as to give the actors the “feeling” of the era, quite literally. (itchy, scratchy, pointy?) Megan Draper, in particular, has taken over as the show’s Fashionista (formerly Betty Draper) in the most iconic and daring outfits of the time.
Another favorite amongst the fashion industry is Scandal. Olivia Pope is known not for wearing her “white hat” as she often admonishes her “Gladiators” to don, but rather pale satin pajamas, elegant silk blouses, and clean lined trousers. The last season of the show, Kerry Washington, who plays Pope, was pregnant. Very, very, pregnant. Besides the usual well placed lap tops and tea kettles, the show’s costume designer did a brilliant job of finding every A-line, collarless coat from here to DC and topping them off with a “one in every color” Prada tote bag. If there was one item Ms. Pope is known for fretting in on the show, it would be her coats. In a given season, her character wears at least 15 different style coats. They are all pale in color, with dramatic collars and sleeves, and often with gloves. They make me want to go coat shopping and have a coat wardrobe and wear coats to bed. Stunning, each and every one.
Julia Louis Dreyfuss in the HBO comedy VEEP is a queen of sheath dresses, which she frequently wears in color, most likely because red polls well on her character Salina Meyers. Far more feminine and stylish than actual Politicians, there is even a scene that revolves around a laboring Dreyfuss as she attempts to accept her nomination in a pair of Louboutin’s she saved just for the occasion. Ironically, Washington DC is both a melting pot of transplants from around the country, and far enough from NYC to be fairly devoid of style. The combination of out of towners and women using fashion to be taken more seriously seems to have squeezed out any sort of edge from their wardrobes, and this is reflected well on TV in most cases.
Another DC Drama, Showtime’s Homeland dresses it’s main character, Carrie, in far more utilitarian looks. Clean, kinda boring, navy or gray pants suits for this CIA Special Ops whatever-she-is. Think Ann Taylor or Calvin Klein at Macy’s (not the Collection). The suits are probably Armani, but the disheveled, harried, and always on the verge of tears Carrie somehow makes them look like they’re from the mall. Or net-a-porter, at the very least. After all, when would she go to the mall?
Yet another show that takes place in our nation’s capitol, House of Cards has a similarly “down to brass tacks” approach to it’s fashion. Far more stylish than Carrie, Claire Underwood KILLS it (literally…..) in each episode with the MOST perfectly tailored sheath dresses and pencil skirts. Topped off with her classic horn rimmed Ray-bans and no fuss pixie cut, Robin Wright is elegant, sharp, and just enough of sexy. If you are a minimalist, look to this show for inspiration. Not a stitch of jewelry, aside from a cast aside wedding band, on occasion….
My trendslation of TV-to-Closet Fashion? I think it can be a great way to find your own style and a rich source of outfit inspiration. I won’t be shopping the Game of Thrones Collection for Target any time soon, and HELL to the no on any kind of Downton Abbey corsetry and the like, but the ladies I write about here have real world style worthy of an emulation AND an Emmy.