Vanessa Friedman, Fashion Director and Chief Fashion Critic of The New York Times, said in one of her latest newsletters going under the name of “Open Thread,” that last year’s best fashion shows took place in TV series. She pointed out that designers should look up to the streaming firms for their future fashion shows, and that the streaming firms themselves should take advantage of these media to connect with fashion.
This is an avant-garde consideration, especially in 2020, where reinventing has been the key to every field, starting with fashion. What if, at the end of an episode, in addition to the “Continue” option, there was also the possibility to buy the looks worn by the characters from that same episode? Fans of Emily’s looks in “Emily in Paris” or the coats flaunted by Nicole Kidman in “The Undoing” would go crazy and, as a result, new marketing frontiers would open, combining the TV series with fashion in innovative and stunning ways.
The examples we have made are not driven by chance, since they recall some characters and, perhaps, also some unforgettable looks that, in 2020, made us sigh and think, “I want it too!” and understand why an outfit was designed for a specific scene, situation or moment.
While waiting (and hoping) to be able to buy looks on streaming platforms, or to see fashion shows as if they were the episode of a TV series, let’s discover the fashion icons of the 2020 TV series!
Robyn Brooks – “High Fidelity”
Actress: Zoë Kravitz
If you’ve read Nick Hornby‘s novel of the same name, or if you have seen the movie starring John Cusack, you’d better forget everything you saw in there. Or almost. Or rather, forget that Rob, and welcome this Robyn, a more contemporary and cheeky (but always disappointed with life) version of the original character. Music is still the common thread of the series, but to catch the eye (in addition to the interpretation of Kravitz) are Robyn’s looks: a casual, comfortable, and underground style, where vintage band shirts stand out, plus the printed shirts, the leather jacket, and the grunge combinations, which give a cool and effortless touch to the protagonist. Just what you would expect from the owner of a vinyl store, but with an always surprising twist!
Beth Harmon – “The Queen’s Gambit”
Actress: Anya Taylor-Joy
Is there anyone who hasn’t heard about this series? No? Exactly. The Netflix exclusive series based on an adapted screenplay that bet all the records, in addition to showing chess moves that most of us had never heard of before, also impressed us with the stylistic evolution of the protagonist towards her climb to world consecration. From an orphan with strict uniforms and dull colors to an emancipated young woman who discovers a world of coats, skirts below the knee, dresses that shape the silhouette, geometric prints (chess above all, of course), and accessories such as gloves, sunglasses, and scarves. Worth to mention, the “rebellious” phase characterized by unmatched looks and graphic eyeliner. Besides the desire to play chess, with this series we wish that the 1950s style came back! Hello 2021 trends, can you read us?!
Emily Cooper, Camille, Sylvie – “Emily in Paris”
Cast: Lily Collins, Camille Razat, Philippine Leroy-Beaulieu
Whether ill or well, what matters is that people speak about it! This is true for “Emily in Paris,” criticized for its stereotypes but praised for the fun, contemporary, and catchy story. Even when it comes to the looks flaunted by Emily, the gap remains open: some are a part of the “The looks of a basic American girl that wants to look Parisian and therefore exaggerates with Chanel dresses and accessories” front, and those who instead support the “A creative mix of colors, original combinations and attention to trends and designers” party. As for co-stars Camille and Sylvie, almost everyone agrees that their outfits match their personalities and that they have embraced the Parisian style in two completely different but equally right ways. Another point on which everyone agrees? Fashion plays a leading role, sans aucun doute!
Catherine the Great – “The Great”
Actress: Elle Fanning
Welcome to the court of the Russian Emperor Peter III, were shouting “Huzzah!” is a must, even in the most unbelievable situations, and where, hiding in the shadow (but not too long), young Empress Catherine (the Great, and this is not a spoiler) plots, willing to be respected by her husband, court and subjects and, why not, also to get a crown of her own. In this satirical series (with several historical licenses), Elle Fanning wears historical clothes, designed by Emma Fryer, which are as opulent as we expected them to be. The costumes are a mixture of historical references to the paintings of 18th century Russia and contemporaneity, such as the fuchsia shade of one of her most famous dresses. There are then velvets, richly decorated fabrics, tight coats with fur inserts, and a color palette dominated by pastel hues. Huzzah for the costumes!
Camille Washington, Claire Wood, Raymond Ainsley – “Hollywood”
Cast: Laura Harrier, Samara Weaving, Darren Criss
Can you hear it? The appeal of Hollywood’s Golden Age, when cinema offered entirely new and unique possibilities to explore, but where, at the same time, discrimination was everywhere. These are the premises of the new successful series by Ryan Murphy, a kind of love letter towards those years, or rather, towards what those years would have been if they were seen through contemporary eyes. In this true-untrue Hollywood, the costumes designed by Lou Eyrich and Sarah Evelyn are undoubtedly realistic, also thanks to the fact that many dresses are authentic vintage pieces. Inspired by the movies and photos of the time, the costume designers created uniforms for boys, dresses ranging from pastel shades to the most lively ones, suits with a high-waisted skirt, fur inserts, and sumptuous embroidery. In a world where appearance was everything, the clothes in this series remind us of the importance of fashion as a way of expressing yourself, and of sharing your ideas, and showing your personality above all.
Mildred Ratched, Lenore Osgood, Gwendolyn Briggs – “Ratched”
Cast: Sarah Paulson, Sharon Stone, Cynthia Nixon
The premise of this TV series was already excellent in itself: directed by Ryan Murphy (yep, still him) and focused on the life of nurse Ratched, perhaps the most famous in the world thanks to the success of “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,” it has a stellar cast that we were looking forward to seeing. When the series began, and we were impressed by the incredible ‘40s looks made by costume designers Lou Eyrich and Rebecca Guzzi, that was the icing on the cake. There are bright colors, suits that recall Christian Dior’s New Look, hats of all kinds, and accessories (such as gloves, sunglasses, and handbags) that are small jewels. And this applies not only to the structured and impeccable suits of the protagonist (by the way, the nurse’s uniforms are inspired by historical photos) but also to the other women of the show who, with their formal and composed outfits, furs, and red lipstick, play the role of the femmes fatales. But be careful not to let your guard down!
Grace Fraser, Sylvia Steinitz, Elena Alves, Haley Fitzgerald – “The Undoing”
Cast: Nicole Kidman, Lily Rabe, Matilda de Angelis, Noma Dumezweni
During the last weeks, you may have been asked or you might have asked yourself the following question: “Have you seen Nicole Kidman’s coats in ‘The Undoing’?”. Seriously, have you seen the coats she shows off in this miniseries? Whether they were by costume designer Signe Sejilund or by famous brands (above all, Max Mara), they caught the eyes of the whole world because they match the different moments that Grace deals with throughout this difficult, and surprising story. But it’s not only the sophisticated and seemingly perfect charm of this Upper East Side woman that is admirable: there are also the looks of co-stars Sylvia, Elena and Haley, three women equally fascinating, but in a completely different way, and who, between more or less daring or formal outfits, but still rich in details, deserve to be mentioned. So the question you should get or ask at this point might be: “Have you seen the protagonists’ looks in ‘The Undoing’?”.
Lady Diana, Princess Anne, Prince Charles, Princess Margaret – “The Crown”
Cast: Emma Corrin, Erin Doherty, Helena Bonham Carter, Josh O’Connor
You don’t need royal edicts to know that the fourth season of “The Crown” has revived the “Lady Diana” mania, especially when it comes to style. Accomplices to the extremely faithful looks worn by actress Emma Corrin (we know that you are thinking about the wedding dress and the looks from official duties, but we would also like to mention the overall, the sweater with the sheep and the pink and white checked trousers symbols of a carefree age), the eyes of the whole world were pointed on the screen to retrace the relationship between Diana and Charles (equally impeccable in the formal and rigid looks that recall the extremely composed personality of the prince), and to discover the events that the British Royal Family went through from 1979 to 1990. Other honorable mentions in terms of style are Princess Margaret, who, with her printed dresses and bold accessories that perfectly match her sparkling soul, is always a vision, and Princess Anne, who embodies the spirit and trends of the ‘80s. We can’t but mention the Barbour too, the English windproof jacket par excellence that cannot be missing in your wardrobe if you plan to stay in Balmoral!