Måneskin: Inspiring the World One Flare at a Time

“Not only is Maneskin a host of formidable talent, it’s also a band with impeccable style and an inspiring message”

You may have heard of Måneskin, the Italian rock band with the Danish name, meaning ‘Moonlight’. And if you haven’t, well, here’s your wakeup call. Not only is Måneskin a host of formidable talent, it’s also a band with impeccable style and an inspiring message. A message that encourages their fans to always be unapologetically themselves, regardless of what the world thinks. And who better to send such a message, than a young band that started their career busking in the streets of Rome and has quickly become a worldwide phenomenon, all because they never stopped being themselves?

Sharing big dreams and a love for music, vocalist Damiano David, bassist Victoria De Angelis, & guitarist Thomas Raggi attended high school together. In 2015 they completed the group with drummer Ethan Torchio, and in 2016 they made it official when they gave their band a name that will, undoubtedly, go down in rock history. And thus, Måneskin was born. From their second place win at X Factor Italia in 2017, to their first place win at Eurovision 2021, Måneskin has not only won the hearts of Europe, but the hearts of the world.

Left to Right: 1. Måneskin busking in Rome, @maneskinofficial Instagram. 2. Måneskin after winning Grand Final of the Eurovision Song Contest, May, 2021. Image by Peter Dejong.

Whether they won our hearts or stole them, one thing’s for certain; they’re most definitely aware of the power of fashion. Being as renowned for their daring trendsetting as they are for their music, I think it’s important to admire the minds behind the looks that have us Beggin’ for more. Since 2020, stylist Nicolo “Nick” Cerioni, also known for being the co-founder of SUGARKANE STUDIO, as well as being a stylist to numerous other Italian celebrities, is the man we have to thank as we drool over Damiano in bell bottoms. In an interview for VD News, Cerioni said that, when he first began working with Måneskin, he was “very impressed by their professionalism and musical artistry”. Also stating that they have “very, very precise ideas about their stylistic path”, which, is not at all hard to believe, given the confidence they exude.

“We consider fashion as self-expression, and as a way of giving more strength to one’s message” – Damiano David

While Måneskin was serving us looks even before working with Cerioni, since beginning their work with him in 2020 we have seen a number of show-stopping ensembles. Including a couple custom Etro designs made for the Sanremo Festival, as well as for Eurovision. The band was able to freely express many of their ideas throughout the creative process for the designs and were thoroughly happy with the results, as were the audience. For the Sanremo designs, Etro explained that “the group wanted the looks to represent an intrinsic expression of freedom and chose the feather as a symbol”, resulting in beautifully embroidered tulle jumpsuits that certainly made a statement. For the Eurovision looks, they channeled that glam-rock style that we all know and love, resulting in metallic leather vests & flares, embellished with metal studs and crisscrossed motif details to complete the look. Damiano has stated that Måneskin views “fashion as self-expression, and as a way of giving more strength to one’s message”, and they have certainly proven that mindset to be true. If Måneskin were encouraging us to be unapologetically ourselves, while wearing polo’s and khaki shorts, we’d probably feel a bit bamboozled.

Left to Right: 1. Måneskin at Sanremo Music Festival, 2021. Image by Maria Laura Antonelli 2. Måneskin at Eurovision, 2021. Image by Kuba Dabrowski.


Who Inspires Måneskin?


In an interview with Nikkie de Jager for her YouTube, Nikkie Tutorials, Damiano was asked who inspires them as a band. He responded saying that they “take inspiration from the old bands of the 70’s, of course, because they are the hugest example of what a band can actually do.” He then followed up with a list of more recent bands that inspire them. Naming bands like, Arctic Monkeys, Royal Blood, IDLES, and Slaves. – Hmm.. sounds like the creators of Peaky Blinders should add Måneskin to next season’s soundtrack. –

At the top of that list, however, was Harry Styles. “We really like what Harry Styles is doing, in terms of music and also in terms of aesthetic, and fashion, and the message that he sends.”, Damiano stated. Måneskin has also mentioned that Harry Styles is an artist that they would be interested in collaborating with. A collaboration that, I’m sure, the vast majority of us would be in full support of.

Left to Right, Top: 1. Harry Styles for Variety Magazine, 2020, Image by Parker Woods. 2. Jimmy Page at Shepperton Studios, 1974. 3. Harry Styles performing at the 63rd Annual Grammy Awards, 2021, Image by Kevin Winter. // Bottom: 1. The Rolling Stones, Image PR handout. 2. Jimi Hendrix performing at Madison Square Garden, 1968, Image by Walter Looss Jr.

Måneskin’s style has been described using terms such as, glam-rock, gender fluid or androgynous, and has even been placed under the umbrella of “New Masculinity”, which is, in short, exactly the opposite of ‘toxic masculinity’. Seeing their style described in these terms, and given that Styles sends a similar message about individuality and the freedom to express yourself, it makes perfect sense that Harry would be such a major inspiration to Måneskin, as does the 70’s rock influence. Similarities to rock legends such as Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Jimi Hendrix, among many others, can be spotted in some of Måneskin’s most iconic looks. On the cover of their latest album, ‘Teatro D’ira’, you can see they may have drawn inspiration from bands like Pink Floyd, or even Fleetwood Mac, creating a very 70’s bohemian style. During many of their live performances and interviews they can often be found in anything from suits, to leather and lace, to harnesses and skin. For Måneskin, style is limitless. As are talent and good looks, apparently *sobs*.

Top Left: 1. Måneskin Teatro D’ira album cover. Image by Gabriele Giussani. // Bottom Left: 2. Pink Floyd. Image by EMI Music Sweden. // Right: 3. Måneskin. Image by Francis Delacroix.


A Journey Through Måneskin’s Music Videos


What about Måneskin’s music video style? I’m glad you asked! From red carpets, to live performances, to interviews, Måneskin never fails to provide us with endless style inspiration, so why would their music videos be any different? With music videos spanning from their earliest video for ‘Recovery’, released in June of 2017, until their most recent music video for ‘I WANNA BE YOUR SLAVE’ which was released in July of 2021, Måneskin has gone through a lot of growth and transformation, and we love to see it.

During the years of 2018 & 2019, many of their music videos were styled by Rebecca Baglini, with costume designers on a few videos as well. The video for song ‘Moriró da Re’, released in 2018, had costume design by Jo Maria Contini, with characters donning some quite fantastical ensembles. From a serpent-man in bone-like armor, to a couple sets of sexy angel wings, to a few heavily jeweled looks, the ‘Moriró da Re’ music video does not disappoint. The ‘L’altra Dimensione’ video, released in 2019, was designed by costume designer Noemi Intino. In this music video, the main character travels to a seemingly different dimension, where he is celebrated amongst people wearing vibrant and jubilant robes and headdresses. Both videos were also styled by Rebecca Baglini, who was the stylist for the music videos of ‘Torna a casa’, ‘Fear for Nobody’, and ‘Le parole lontane’, before Nicolo Cerioni took over in 2020.

Since Cerioni became the stylist for Måneskin, he’s worked with them on three of their latest music videos. From the colorful flared pant-suits of ‘VENT’ANNI’, to the leather and mesh of ‘ZITTI E BUONI’, Cerioni’s styling gives us all the rockstar fashion we desire. The latest music video for ‘I WANNA BE YOUR SLAVE’, features all of the aforementioned styles and more. A must watch if you love lace & ruffles, floral suits, spikes & pearls, leather and a whole lotta BDSM *winks*.


“There is no question, style counts 100% and fashion 0%”

Nicolo Cerioni, Sound Identity Interview

In an interview with Sound Identity, Nicolo was asked how important an artist’s individual style is versus the importance of keeping up with fashion. Cerioni responded stating, “there is no question, style counts 100% and fashion 0%”. The contrast between style and fashion is an important distinction to understand, as an artist’s personal style does not always coincide with what is trending in fashion. In cases like Måneskin or any other musician, their music tells their story and their style enhances the narrative.

Style is unique to every individual, it gives us a glance at who that person is, what they like. If you meet someone for the first time and they’re wearing all black leather, it sends a message. If they’re wearing every color under the sun, it sends a different message. What we choose to style ourselves in everyday is like our costume, it helps to tell our character’s story. Fashion on the other hand, is viewed on a much broader scale. If our style helps to tell our individual story, fashion tells the story of society as a whole. As a stylist, Cerioni has to help his clients send a message through their clothing, so it wouldn’t make much sense to prioritize fashion over style.

Måneskin, 2020. Official Måneskin Instagram.


Because celebrities have such a vast following, they often influence fashion through their personal style. So, what trends have we seen gaining popularity in 2021?


Bell Bottoms


Måneskin definitely loves a good flared pant, and they’re not the only ones. This once popular silhouette has been making it’s comeback as of late and, unlike it’s return in the 2000’s, this time it’s not just a trend for the women. That’s right, we’re going all the way back to the 70’s. Bell bottoms for all!

Left to Right: 1. Måneskin official Instagram. 2. Måneskin for Billboard Italia, 2020.

The 70’s are Back Baby


Flared pants aren’t the only 70’s trend we’ve seen circulating recently. 70’s color palettes, platforms, vibrant, or dare I say groovy patterns, crochet, among many other 70’s trends have been rising in popularity in 2021.

Måneskin, 2020. Image by Francis Delacroix.

Rings & Men’s Nail Polish


These particular trends have been popular amongst rockstars for decades, but lately they’ve been spreading themselves beyond just the edgy daredevils we might expect to see them on. Celebrities such as Brad Pitt, Jason Momoa, Keanu Reeves, among others have been seen sporting nail polish, and the fun doesn’t end there. Funky nail art has been trending amongst women recently and it seems that men have decided they wanna be included in all the excitement. While in the past we may have seen just a single, solid color, now we’re seeing many men going for fun designs and crazy prints.

Damiano David, VENT’ANNI music video, 2020.

Also, Men in Dangly Earrings


We’ve seen men in earrings in the past, oftentimes it was a set of studs or a solo dangle, but lately many men have been donning dangles on both ears and, honestly, I’m here for it.

Damiano David at Eurovision, 2021.


Music has the ability to inspire those who consume it, and clothing has that same power. Combine the two so that they enhance one another, and you practically have an unstoppable powerhouse. Add in an inspiring message and you’ve got a band called Måneskin.


Måneskin for the I WANNA BE YOUR SLAVE music video, 2021.


Måneskin has never been shy about constantly finding new ways to express themselves, without feeling the need to apologize for it, so it’s no surprise that the message they want their fans to gain from their music is to be yourself without fear of judgement. Their Eurovision song ‘ZITTI E BUONI’ discusses just that, and it’s the reason they use the name Marlena in many of their songs. Måneskin has said that Marlena is the personification of being confident, of the freedom to express yourself. She’s an “ideal and also a value”. So, whether it be through clothing or action, Måneskin challenges societal norms and the judgements of others, and they encourage their fans to do the same.


References:

Jeriana San Juan and The Costumes of Netflix’s ‘Halston’

This year, audiences were blessed with a real Netflix treasure, Halston. Netflix’s Halston is a masterpiece, strengthened by the performances, sets, music, but most of all, the costumes. Costume designer Jeriana San Juan is nominated for a 2021 Emmy, and wow, talking about well deserved! Let’s dive into the costumes of Halston and why I think the costumes by Jeriana San Juan are some of the best I’ve ever seen. Included are some quotes from my interview with Jeriana, which can be heard in the YouTube video below or by listening to The Art of Costume Blogcast through Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you like to listen!

Jeriana San Juan was the costume designer on this project, but she also worked as a consultant, a real inspiration to actor Ewan McGregor. You see, Ewan had to become Halston in every way possible, meaning he had to know what it’s like to be a fashion designer. “We worked together on how to pull fabric off the roll, how to manipulate a model wearing clothes,” Jeriana told me in an interview on The Art of Costume Blogcast. Jeriana continues by saying she also showed Ewan “those little details like how a designer works, where your eye goes to and when, how you reflect in the mirror for the whole image.” I love this story because it highlights the magic and worth of fashion and costume designers.

One of my favorite parts of this show had to be Krysta Rodriguez’s interpretation of Liza Minnelli. Who doesn’t love Liza with a Z, not Lisa with an S? Krysta’s performance was perfect, but then paired with the brilliant costuming of Jeriana San Juan…a match made in heaven. I loved every look from the “Liza With a Z” performance to Liza’s rehearsal outfit in France. Honestly, I could do an entire show on Liza’s costumes alone. Don’t tempt me with a good time!

Halston was known for his tie-dye silk chiffon caftans, which served as a real breakthrough in the designer’s career. Jeriana approached this “unique challenge” by immersing herself in the research, gathering photos, and even visiting archives. “There are three that are authentic pieces; one was a very special piece,” Jeriana told me, explaining that one of the caftans was actually a garment of the real Halston collection.

My favorite episode of television this year has to be “Versailles.” The Battle of Versailles Fashion Show is one of the more legendary fashion events in our history, taking place on November 28, 1973, in hopes of raising money for The Palace of Versailles restoration. The show pitted French designers Yves Saint Laurent, Pierre Cardin, Emanuel Ungaro, Marc Bohan, and Hubert de Givenchy against American designers Oscar de la Renta, Stephen Burrows, and Bill Blass. Anne Klein, and of course, Halston!

Images Courtesy of Netflix

We had these moments in the script that felt almost mythological,” said Jeriana. “When I initially even took on this project, I just always thought in the back of my mind we would never get to really do Versailles. We just wouldn’t; it’s too massive!” Not only was Jeriana responsible for the costumes of Halston and all of the American designers, French designers, and everyone in the crowd. This episode could have been its own mini-series! Jeriana had to find the voices of each of these designers in small little segments, piecing together books and images of the show from photographers such as Bill Cunningham and Andy Warhol. This episode also gave Jeriana a chance to do more dance costumes, as Liza performed “Bonjour Paris” at the fashion show. “I LOVE dance costumes,” Jeriana excitedly told me, mentioning her use of the Halston signature clear sequins for these costumes.

The time has come for us to visit Studio 54! Wow, what a dream! Jeriana was charged with recreating some iconic regulars visiting Studio 54, such as Bianca Jagger, Steve Rubell in his infamous Norma Kamali sleeping bag coat, Divine, and of course, Liza Minnelli. The masterful costume design combined with the colorful sets brought the audience into a world that felt like it could have been the real Studio 54. I remain blown away. The scenes might have been short, but they left a long lasting impression.

When working with the crowds of Studio 54, Jeriana focused on color and playing with textures. “Studio 54 was a real celebration of sequin, beads, denim, t-shirts, and disco heels. There was a combination of textures there that I just appreciate,” said Jeriana. “I really had just too much fun.

Images Courtesy of Netflix

I absolutely loved this show. Each of these episodes was its own work of art that can be binged or seen on its own. However, a large amount of credit goes to costume designer Jeriana San Juan, who gave a masterclass in costume design. Her work told Halston’s story through all of the highs and lows of his life. She used fabric, color, and textures as her weapon and delivered a show that I will always go back to for years to come.

Listen to The Art of Costume Blogcast Interview with Jeriana San Juan on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or on Youtube! Don’t forget to follow Jeriana San Juan on Instagram!

The 93rd Academy Awards – Best Dressed

I can’t believe we’ve made it to the 93rd Academy Awards! After everything we’ve been through, it was so lovely to sit back and enjoy The Oscars. I am also so relieved to see that the Red-Carpet fashion is also returning! Nature is healing! Join me as I break down my favorite looks of the night and crown the Best Dressed of the 93rd Academy Awards!

Carey Mulligan

I’ll be honest, I can’t think of a time I have ever seen Carey Mulligan on The Oscars red carpet, but what a brilliant entrance. Carey shined in a gold Valentino Haute Couture gown, and I was captivated the moment she stepped onto that red carpet. One of my favorites of the night!

Regina King

Whenever someone asked me about my best-dressed predictions for the red carpet, I always said it would be Regina King. I hate to say it, but I might have been right! Regina showed up to this year’s awards in a beautiful, custom blue Louis Vuitton gown with winged shoulders lined in silver. Regina is a master of the red carpet, one of my favorites of the night.

Amanda Seyfried

I am in love! Amanda Seyfried graced the red carpet in a sickening Armani Privé gown. The shape of this gown is just incredible. The neckline is just so right, and the fit of this gown is just exceptional. 

Coleman Domingo

By far my favorite suit of the night! Coleman Domino rocked this pink Versace suit. In recent years, pink suiting on men has been this new trend that I am absolutely in love with, and Coleman has only added to this fire within me.

Viola Davis

Surprising to no one, Viola Davis dominated the red carpet in a white Alexander Mcqueen gown. I love the fantastic cut-outs that blend into the drape of the gown. Viola looks incredible!

Maria Bakalova

Maria Bakalova showed up to the Oscars in a classic Hollywood silhouette. This v-neckline matched with this large tulle skirt is perfect with the matching necklace. While this look isn’t anything new, it’s expertly executed and deserves its praise!

Zendaya

Another day, another slay. Zendaya brought this red carpet to its knees as she graced The Oscars in this yellow Valentino Haute Couture dress. Zendaya looked terrific; I don’t even have words. I love the shape of the bodice with the perfect necklace.

Angela Bassett

I think it is safe to say I have had Angela Bassett on every Best Dressed list I have ever done, and it’s for a good reason. Angela shut the red carpet down, wearing this red gown in exaggerated, puffed sleeves with a perfect slit in the front. I love this classic silhouette. We have seen this shape on Angela before, but that’s because it’s perfect for her. All hail the queen. 

Trish Summerville

For a long time, I have waited for Trish Summerville’s time on the Oscars Red Carpet, and it was well worth the wait. Costume Designer Trish Summerville stunned in a black and white gown with a strong shoulder. I love the fabric and textile of this gown. Trish, you deserve this moment, and I am so happy for you!

Best Dressed

This choice was so simple, which is rare for me. Regina King was obviously tonight’s best dressed, and honestly, no one should be shocked. Regina absolutely killed it! Congratulations Regina! Thank you, everyone, for reading along. If you agreed with my picks for the Best Dressed of the 93rd Academy Awards, let me know in the comments below! I want to know who wore your favorite looks.


The 78th Golden Globe Awards – Best Dressed

Another day, another pandemic red-carpet! After everything we have been through during this past year, I am just grateful that we even got to watch The Golden Globes. Hey, at least I don’t have to feel guilty this year watching from home in sweatpants. This time, it wasn’t my fault! There were not as many celebrity appearances as we are normally used to, but there were still quite a few fashionable moments to rave about! As always, I have put together a collection of my favorite looks. I hope you will enjoy it, then let me know your favorites in the comments below! Cheers to the beginning of awards season!


Andra Day – Chanel

Credit: Myriam Santos; Courtesy HFPA

I think this is my favorite Andra Day look, and that is saying a lot because continuously sets the bar very, very high! Andra Day won the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama for her role in The United States vs. Billie Holiday, all while wearing this beautiful Chanel dress.

Angela Bassett – Dolce & Gabbana

Photo by Todd Williamson via Getty Images

Angela Bassett is just the greatest and I honestly don’t think I have ever left her off my list of favorite looks. She may have only been a presenter, but was the real winner tonight, wearing a purple Dolce & Gabbana gown.

Amanda Seyfried – Oscar De La Renta

Credit: Marcus Mam

Woah! I was speechless when I first saw Amanda Seyfried wearing this coral-colored Oscar De La Renta gown. I am obsessed with this gown on her, by far my favorite Amanda Seyfriend red-carpet moment, ever!

Catherine O’Hara – Vera Wang

This was likely Catherine O’Hara’s final award show appearance for Schitt’s Creek so of course, it makes the perfect amount of sense for her to pay the ultimate tribute to our hero, Moira Rose! Catherine wore a black and white Vera Wang suit, as she won the Best Actress in a Musical or Comedy TV Series award, her first Golden Globe award!

Gillian Anderson – Christian Dior

Credit: Andreas Ortner

The incredible Gillian Anderson might have been watching from home, but that did not stop her from giving one of the stronger couture moments of the evening. Before winning the award for Best Supporting Actress in a Series, Miniseries or Television Film for her role as Margaret Thatcher in The Crown, we got to bask in the glory that is this Christian Dior gown with a fierce, skull emblem bodice.

Laura Dern – Givenchy

Credit: HFPA/HANDOUT/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

I loved this Givenchy suit Laura Dern wore to The Golden Globes. It was a simple, classic suit that was really just quite stunning. Also, I was just really excited to see Laura Dern because she is perfect.

Laverne Cox – Thai Nguyen

Credit: Courtesy of Laverne Cox/Instagram

I am a big Laverne Cox fan. She really said, “what pandemic?” and gave us one of her top red-carpet looks to date. This Thai Nguyen gown is stunning. Like the rest of the world, Laverne has been open about her love for the new Netflix show, Bridgerton. Well Laverne, tonight you are the diamond of the season! (Wow, that was pretty nerdy.)

Regina King – Louis Vuitton

Credit: Matt Sayles

Oh wow, Regina King looked amazing. I mean this is really not a surprise, she always looks amazing. I feel robbed knowing that I didn’t get to see Regina rock this Louis Vuitton gown down the red carpet. This is best-dressed material! I am obsessed.

Sarah Paulson – Prada

Photo: Courtesy of @karlawelchstylist

I’m sorry, if you thought an injury would keep Sarah Paulson from dominating the red-carpet, you are so mistaken. Not only did we get to see Sarah in one of the most beautiful Prada gowns ever, but she had her arm in a custom Prada cast as well. Now that is iconic.

Shira Haas – Chanel

Credit: Matt Sayles

I thought Shira Haas looked so good in this black Chanel dress! I loved the simple square-neck silhouette. It was simple, yet modern and edgy. Sometimes less is more and Shira wore this dress perfectly.

Viola Davis – Lavie by CK

Courtesy of Pomellato

Easily one of my favorite looks of the night. Viola Davis wore a color, exquisite gown constructed prints inspired by Cameroon. The designer of this gown is Claude Kameni, an emerging Cameroon-born, LA-based designer who has been on a quest to bring African prints to the forefront of fashion. All hail the queen!


See, that was pretty fun, wasn’t it! It’s time for me to pick my top three looks of the night. Ugh, this is pretty hard actually. I can’t settle on just three. Well, it’s my column so I make the rules, I am picking my top four and you will deal with it!

These four were just so good! If I had to pick a favorite though, I think it would be Viola Davis in Lavie by CK. I am just obsessed with the prints! So good!

Whether you think I got everything right, or maybe you think I need to lay-off the Trader Joe’s wine, please leave your thoughts in the comments! I would love to hear who wore your favorite look! Have a great week everyone, and please stay safe and healthy! Thank you all for reading.

Recreating Royal Wedding Gowns: The Crown

Featured Image: Emma Corrin as Princess Diana. Netflix: The Crown, Season 4 Episode 3. Photo: Des Willie/Netflix

The Royal family has always used fashion for power, control, entertainment, traditions, new trends, or just to enjoy the pleasure of having the nicest fabrics, trims, and accessories to adorn themselves as they please. Among these different uses of fashion, the ones that caused the most impact in British society were: The sumptuary laws during the Tudor dynasty, the Masques organized by the Stuarts, the extravagant court dresses of the Georgians, and Queen Victoria’s ivory wedding gown, which imposed the still present tradition of brides to wear white on their wedding day.

Throughout the years, the Royal wedding has always caught the entire world’s attention, allowing us to witness how grand and exquisite these wedding gowns have been. For many of the past monarchs, we only have paintings to admire and learn from. Fortunately, Queen Elizabeth’s II reign has been portrayed on the acclaimed Netflix series The Crown, where the production team has made outstanding work to highlight the beautiful and delicate fashions that belong to the Royal family. In many of the cases, they have recreated outfits, while other times they have combined period silhouette with character interpretation to create some impeccable designs. The costumes of The Crown, designed by Michele Clapton in season 1, Jane Petrie in season 2, and Amy Roberts in seasons 3 and 4, have been incredibly amazing and are a huge part of what has made this series as astonishing as it is.

Each one of these designers has been in charge of making the wedding gowns for Queen Elizabeth II, Princess Margaret, and Princess Diana, and the result has been magical.

Right: ‘‘Queen Victoria in her Wedding Dress’ by Franz Xaver Winterhalter, 1849. Photo: Royal Collection Trust/© Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2018

In the first episode of the series, we have the delight to see Princess Elizabeth’s and Philip’s wedding. The production of The Crown made it feel as if history was happening all over again. Every single detail mattered, and everyone on the team made a tremendous effort to portray how important this day was in Queen Elizabeth II’s life.

Her gown, originally designed by Normal Hartnell, maintained a 1940’s silhouette, princess style, with a tailored bodice, high neckline, long sleeves, and full skirt made of ivory satin. The latter was all embroidered by hand with a floral design that included 10,000 seed pearls and crystals. Since the wedding occurred during the post-war period, clothing was rationed. So, the materials for Elizabeth’s dress were purchased with rations coupons, some given by the government, and some donated by brides-to-be from all over the country.

“We were keen to create a small number of costumes as exact copies or to make them as close as possible, particularly the pieces that were well known and well documented. I felt by doing so we could gain the respect and confidence of the viewers, which would then allow us to make creative decisions to aid in the storytelling of the private, undocumented side of the family.”

Michelle Clapton, Costume Designer

Left: Claire Foy as Princess Elizabeth Netflix: The Crown, Season 1 Episode 1. Photo: Netflix

Michele Clapton (Costume Designers Guild Award Winner), knew the importance of the gown for Princess Elizabeth, and hence the importance it was going to have for the series, so every single detail had to be right. For the same reason, Clapton was given an unusually large budget, which allowed her to maintain all aspects that involved recreating the gown. From choosing the right fabric and materials to embroider the entire gown by hand with a team of very talented people. “It took approximately six to eight weeks for us to re-create the dress, with a team of six embroiderers working on the train throughout this time. Another team worked on the dress skirts, and my key embroiderer worked on the neckline. We had a cutter and two makers, and it required a number of fittings”, shared the designer in an interview. The result was stunning, and not only the dress and production design but the marvelous performance of Claire Foy in this episode contributed as the appetizer to begin telling the fascinating life of Queen Elizabeth II on the series.

In 1960, Princess Margaret married Anthony Armstrong-Jones, which we witness in season 2 of The Crown. Although the episode doesn’t show a lot of what the actual wedding was like, her gown captures the audience’s eyes and it undoubtedly becomes the protagonist of the moment. Just as her sister, Queen Elizabeth II, Princess Margaret’s wedding gown was designed by Norman Hartnell. In this case, the Princess asked for a rather simple gown, without any kind of embroidery or appliqués. The dress consisted of plain silk organza with a fitted, tailored bodice, long sleeves, and a full-length, voluminous skirt with a small train. Its cut followed the 1950s New Look silhouette by Christian Dior. A long veil of matching silk organza and the magnificent Poltimore Tiara were the ultimate details for the wedding outfit.

In season 2 of The Crown, Jane Petrie (Costume Designers Guild Award Winner), had the challenge of recreating this iconic gown which still continues to inspire thousands of brides from around the world. Even though it was a simple gown, that made it more challenging since every single detail had to be absolutely accurate. The dress was made in a week, and due to lack of time, Vanessa Kirby didn’t have a fitting. The key to achieving a successful gown is always the fabric and the pattern, and in this case, it was a complete triumph.

“It’s iconic, so there was no point in changing it, we just needed to try and capture the details accurately. We used the same quality material to capture the weight and the feel”

Jane Petrie, Costume Designer

Right: Vanessa Kirby as Princess Margaret. Netflix: The Crown, Season 2, Episode 7. Photo: Alex Bailey/Netflix

Finally, in season 4, we have the privilege of reviving Lady Diana and Prince Charles’s love story. Diana became not only an important icon for the Royal family and British society but also a fashion icon in the ’80s, hence all of her outfits and designers were always carefully chosen. For her wedding day, Diana wore an ivory silk taffeta and antique lace gown designed by David and Elizabeth Emanuel. The dress had bouffant sleeves, a V-neck front with a taffeta bow, and a full skirt which expressed the bride’s taste for romantic styles. The train was 25 feet long (8 metres), making it the longest train in a royal wedding and one of the most important features of the dress. And, on top of its size, it was hand-embroidered with sequins and pearls.

As mentioned above, during this season we see how fashion plays an important role in her personality and transformation in becoming a Princess, both for Lady Diana and for actress Emma Corrin. The wedding dress, designed by the brilliant Emmy-Award Winner Amy Roberts, is one of the most precious pieces from the season as it captures the magic and spirit of the original dress, without being a replica. For Amy, it became absolutely important to portray the essence of the actress and to revive the audience’s feelings on the young couple’s wedding day.

“It’s the colour, the big sleeves, the big skirt and that massive long train. It’s almost like a kind of Walt Disney Princess… I think we just had to be true to the spirit of the dress. It was just to give you a big impression of it… That amazing moment when she came out, and that’s what I think we tried to do”.

Amy Roberts, Costume Designer

Left: Emma Corrin as Princess Diana. Netflix: The Crown, Season 4 Episode 3. Photo: Des Willie/Netflix

Since the beginning of the design process, David Emanuel was absolutely collaborative with Amy Roberts and provided her with essential elements she incorporated from the original design. “He (David) was not precious about it, he sort of gave it to us”, shared Amy Roberts in an interview with Netflix. The lace from the original dress was made in Nottingham and the costume department for The Crown used the same company for the production. The dress was made in four weeks and 600 hours, and 95 metres of fabric and 100 metres of lace were used. The train was actually 30 feet long, and there were 5 fittings needed to tailor it to perfection.

The process of recreating history is always an arduous path which includes a lot of research on every single aspect of the period. When recreating fashion for the Royal family, the details matter even more because every piece has meaning through symbolism. Being accurate to the period goes beyond copying the silhouette. It has to do with fabric, embroidery, lace, trim, and when talking about a wedding dress, the feeling to it. For every bride, royal or not, the feeling can be a mixture of excitement, pressure, anxiety, joy, and nervousness. These same feelings are those that the designers of each one of these iconic gowns had, and that it is passed over to the production team in charge of recreating the life of the Royal family. So, for the actress to embody the character of each one of these Princesses, the costumes, in a team with hair/makeup, contribute and make it possible.

Whether it consisted of replicating every pearl and stitch, in capturing the details accurately, or in interpreting the spirit of it, the three designers that have been working with The Crown had created a spotless work by recreating magical pieces. The bridal gowns are just a pivot point to enhance the beauty of the production, but every single piece designed for this show is awe-inspiring and deserves its own crown for stunning hard work.


The Crown is a Netflix original Series. Season 4 is now available to stream!

To dive in more into The Crown’s Costume Department:

Halloween or Hollyween? How Pop Culture Changed the Holiday

It’s that time of the year! Haunted houses, Pumpkin Spice lattes, trick-or-treating, and more. Even though it’s looking like the spooky holiday is going to be virtual this year, there is one thing that does not require quarantine — Halloween costumes!

We don’t often think too deep about our costumes. We just put on our Batman suit and go. But what if I told you that the costumes we wear today are nothing like they were 2000 years ago? With the rise of pop culture, trends, and memes, Halloween costumes have changed drastically. Why is that so? Well in order to fully understand, let’s first take a look into the story behind Halloween and the soon to be the long-lasting tradition.

Celts surrounding a bonfire during Samhain

Halloween is based on the pagan festival, Samhain. The festival was celebrated by ancient Celts who lived in Ireland, parts of France, and the United Kingdom. Samhain represented the end of the harvest season and the beginning of the dark, harsh winter season that was to come. For some Celts, this was very special since it served as an important time for the deceased. Gaels — a subgroup of Celts — believed that during this period ghouls, creatures and other supernatural beings would return to Earth. This would allow people to reconnect with loved ones who have passed on. Sacrifices of animals were made and bonfires were lit to keep away evil spirits and please good ones. Some people would leave out offerings for the spirits too in hopes that it was a loved one crossing their path. On the other hand, some people were very cautious and dressed up to disguise as evil spirits. They did so in hopes that they could trick them into thinking that they were their own kind and prevent being harmed. People would even prank one another and blame it on the creatures, especially the fairies, for fun. This tradition continued for many years, eventually sparking interest in Christians.

Altarpiece called Maestà (also known as Maestà of Duccio) painted by Italian artist Duccio di Buoninsegna in the 14th century. The work captures the Blessed Virgin Mary and Jesus surrounded by saints and angels

In 609 AD Pope Boniface IV — with the attempt to spread Christianity and put a Christian spin on Samhain — made a decision that would change Samhain forever. On May 13th, the Pantheon was dedicated as a church to the Blessed Virgin Mary and all other martyrs. This day was declared as All Martyr’s Day. A couple of centuries later this celebration was moved from its original May 13th date to November 1st by Pope Gregory III, which just so happens to be the last day of Samhain. All Saint’s Day (or All Hallow’s Day) was born and instead of only honoring Martyrs, all Saints who have passed away and gone to heaven were commemorated as well. Originally named Hallowe’en, the word Halloween actually derives from All Hallow’s Eve which takes place just a day before All Saint’s Day. It is not exactly clear why the day was moved so close to Samhain but it is speculated that in doing so, Christians hoped that it would help convert more people to Christianity. Christians eventually adopted some of the same traditions that were carried out on Samhain and the holiday as we know it began.

Most of the costumes before the 1900s were homemade. There is very little information on exactly what was used to create the costumes but those worn by the Celts were said to have been made with animal skin. Masks were popular during that time since they concealed the wearer’s identity from the spirits. It has even been noted that cross-dressing was a popular part of the holiday as a means of hope for marriage and a fun way to go door-to-door for sweets.

The Victorian Era strived further away from the original concept of costumes. Instead of dressing up to protect oneself from harm, costumes were used more as a means of fun. With the rise of gothic literature and art, costumes had darker themes to them. You could see people dressing up as bats, skeletons, and witches. They also started to become more ethnicity-based as the interest in culture peaked, especially when it came to Egypt. 

With Halloween being such a European celebration, when did costumes start to gain so much attention in the United States? Due to a mass European migration to America during the 19th and 20th centuries, the spread of Halloween and its costume traditions grew even larger. Citizens loved the idea of disguising themselves and being anything that they wanted to be.

The 1920s sparked a change in Halloween costumes. The holiday started to become more commercialized as manufacturers proved much success from selling their costumes. Companies like the Dennison Manufacturing co. who made boxes, labels, and tags entered the Halloween world by producing disposable paper costumes. The costumes, made from Crepe paper, consisted of a paper mask and apron that were printed with different designs on them. We start to see costumes stride away from simple themes such as ghosts and witches and lean more towards pop culture. Some of the biggest costume manufacturers during this time were Collegeville Costumes and Ben Cooper, Inc. Halco (also known as J. Halpern company) was another costume company said to have been one of their biggest competitors too though not much information is provided. Founded in 1946 by Julius Halpern, this company was seen as Ben Cooper, Inc’s largest competitor, since the two competed over costume licenses. Halco, licensing popular cartoon characters such as Popeye and Olive Oyl, ended up partnering with Terrytoons while Collegeville Costumes had the Warner Brothers. The costumes created by the companies came in a box and consisted of a mask and smock. The mask was made out of plastic and had a rubber band attached to it which was used to secure the mask around one’s head. The smock was sleeveless and made out of rayon or vinyl.

Collegeville Costumes (previously named Collegeville Flag and Manufacturing Company) was once one of the biggest costume manufacturers ever. In 1923 this family-owned business who previously sold flags turned to costumes with the rising emergence of Halloween. Their switch was inspired by a client who requested several clown outfits for a vendor. They used leftover pieces from their flags to create the costumes. Thus beginning the legacy that is still carried on to this day.

Like Collegeville Costumes, Ben Cooper, Inc was a family-owned business. Founded in 1937 by brothers Ben and Nat Cooper, this Brooklyn based company is highly credited for the introduction of pop culture to Halloween. From the 1930s to the 1940s, the company’s main goal was Disney. They began to license as many Disney characters as possible ranging from Mickey Mouse to Cinderella and even Star Wars characters. They did not just stop at Disney either. They went on to license television shows, comic books, and even musical artists. Much of their success was from their genius strategy of purchasing the license to many works before they came out. The most known was Snow White whose release was a major success. It was estimated that Ben Cooper, Inc “owned about 70 to 80 percent of the Halloween costume market by the 1960s.” Even though they are now owned by Rubie’s Costumes Co., Ben Cooper, Inc’s ethical business practices and genuine love and passion for Halloween is why they are one of the most successful Halloween costume manufacturers in the world.

The 1950s sought help from these booming Halloween companies and babies, to gear the holiday more towards children. Plus the Golden Age of television led to pop culture taking over more than ever. We do however start to see another change around the 1970s. As a result of the Civil Rights movement and the birth of a counterculture, costumes started to shift from loosely fitted vinyl gowns to tighter and more revealing wear. This sudden trend was caused by the LGBTQ+ and feminist communities. It was a way for them to freely express themselves without feeling judged or shamed. This era also saw an introduction to political costumes. Richard Nixon was one of the most known presidential figures whose likeness was used in conjunction with Halloween. Following the Nixon Scandal in 1972, the Nixon mask soared in popularity. It is also said that the mask was introduced following the event of an anti-Vietnam War protestor, who attended the Counter inaugural demonstrations in 1969 while wearing a paper mache Nixon mask.

From the late 1970s to the 1990s costumes returned to their darker roots with the burst of horror movies. Characters such as Michael Myers, Chucky, Freddy Krueger, and Jason Vorhees could be seen everywhere on Halloween night. People still continue to wear these costumes to this day, following the sequels of some of these classic horror films. In the meanwhile, music was another growing factor during this time. When Michael Jackson’s hit song “Thriller” came out, fans could not contain their excitement. This Halloween anthem is a staple for costumes. Designed by Deborah Nadoolman Landis, Jackson’s signature red leather jacket with black stripe detailing is still replicated to this day.

Using trends from the previous decades, Halloween in the 2000s became a melting pot of pop culture. The introduction of social media, memes and advanced technology made costumes more creative and interesting. Costumes from the early 2000s focused mainly on pop culture from the late 1990s. Released in 1995, Clueless was a timeless hit that inspired so many teens. Because of its already iconic looks, it served as the perfect wear for the night. Literature was another defining part of costumes. The publishing of Harry Potter introduced a world of wizards, donning their round frame glasses and Gryffindor robes. But we can’t forget Frozen. When that movie first came out in 2013 it was huge. Children and even adults were dressed up as the lovable characters from Anna and Elsa to Olaf. And that hype did not stop when Frozen 2 was released. According to the National Retail Federation, in 2014 an estimated 2.6 million children planned to dress up as one of the Frozen characters. Superheroes play a major role as well. According to the same study, another 2.6 million children planned to dress up as Spider-Man for Halloween. Since the release of the new movie Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse the number of Miles Morales has definitely spiked. Black Panther was another movie that has left such an impact on Halloween. Coming from a former Halloween store employee, as the movie was released people rushed to buy the costume of their new favorite superhero. Even Spirit Halloween, or as I call it “the modern-day Ben Cooper, Inc.,” sold out quickly of the high demand costume. We can also thank celebrities for the role they played in Halloween. Their elaborate costumes paired with their extravagant Halloween gatherings have influenced so many to participate.

Who knew that this annual event would turn into the major holiday that it is now? I am looking forward to seeing what trends will inspire the costumes this year. Based on what has happened in 2020, I expect to see lots of costumes based on politics, the Coronavirus, and the smash-hit game Among Us. Even though Halloween is a time for parties, gatherings, and more social events, it is also very important to stay safe. So please be careful and enjoy your Halloween as much as possible. And if you do plan to participate this year, what are you planning on dressing up as?


Sources:

Alibhai , Zaina. “The History and Tradition behind the Ancient Festival of Samhain.” Inews , Associated Newspapers Limited , 31 Oct. 2019, 5:25pm, http://www.google.com/amp/s/inews.co.uk/light-relief/offbeat/samhain-2019-rituals-traditions-festival-halloween-meaning-when-date-353070/amp.

“All Saints’ Day.” Edited by The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., http://www.britannica.com/topic/All-Saints-Day.

Cerini , Marianna. “From Pagan Spirits to Wonder Woman: A Brief History of the Halloween Costume.” CNN, Cable News Network , Oct. 2019, http://www.google.com/amp/s/www.cnn.com/style/amp/history-of-halloween-costumes/index.html.

Enochs, Elizabeth. “The History Of Halloween Costumes Is Way Weirder Than You Could Have Guessed.” Bustle, Bustle, 18 Oct. 2016, http://www.bustle.com/articles/189827-the-history-of-halloween-costumes-is-way-weirder-than-you-could-have-guessed.

Griffiths , Josie, and Jacob Dirnhuber. “What Is Samhain, Is the Same as Halloween and How Do You Pronounce It?” The Sun, The Sun, 29 Oct. 2019, 6:00pm, http://www.google.com/amp/s/www.the-sun.com/news/3391/what-is-samhain-is-the-same-as-halloween-and-how-do-you-pronounce-it/amp/.

“Halloween.” Edited by The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 19 Oct. 2020, http://www.britannica.com/topic/Halloween.

“Halloween: Origins, Meaning & Traditions – HISTORY .” Edited by History.com editors, History, History , 18 Nov. 2009, http://www.google.com/amp/s/www.history.com/.amp/topics/halloween/history-of-halloween.

Handwerk , Brian. “Halloween: Costumes, History, Myths, and More.” National Geographic , National Geographic , 18 Oct. 2019, http://www.google.com/amp/s/api.nationalgeographic.com/distribution/public/amp/news/2018/10/101029-halloween-costumes-ideas-history-science-nation.

Lakritz, Talia. “The Most Popular Halloween Costumes over the Past 150 Years — and the Fascinating History behind How Costume Trends Have Changed.” Insider , Insider, 1 Oct. 2020, 10:32 am, http://www.google.com/amp/s/www.insider.com/halloween-costume-trends-history-2018-10?amp.

Lang , Cady. “What Is Samhain? What to Know About the Ancient Pagan Festival That Came Before Halloween.” Time, Time USA, 30 Oct. 2018, 10:30, http://www.google.com/amp/s/time.com/5434659/halloween-pagan-origins-in-samhain/?amp=true.

Little , Becky. “Halloween Costumes That Disguised, Spooked and Thrilled Through the Ages: Photos.” History.com, A & E Television Networks , 8 Oct. 2019, http://www.google.com/amp/s/www.history.com/.amp/news/halloween-costume-trends-photos.

Moss, Charles. “The Man Who Invented the Modern Halloween Costume.” Slate Magazine, Slate, 31 Oct. 2013, 11:28 am, slate.com/human-interest/2013/10/ben-cooper-costumes-how-the-popular-plastic-outfits-reinvented-halloween.html.

Moss , Charlie. “The Bizarre Story Behind Those Amazingly Terrible, String Halloween Masks.” Thrillist, Group Nine Media Inc, 30 Oct. 2017, 12:01 am, http://www.google.com/amp/s/www.thrillist.com/amphtml/entertainment/nation/ben-cooper-costumes-halloween-mask-company.

“Samhain.” Edited by History.com Editors, History.com, A&E Television Networks, 6 Apr. 2018, http://www.history.com/topics/holidays/samhain.

The Presidential Style of Selina Meyer – VEEP

America, hopefully, I don’t have to remind you of the fact that we are in the midst of a very pivotal election. I am feeling all of the side-effects of election season, high blood pressure, the constant urge to phone-bank, arguing with loose acquaintances on Facebook, and of course- the CONSTANT urge to rewatch one of my favorite shows, Veep, starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus.

Veep is a hilarious political-satire comedy on HBO, that follows the miserable journey of Vice President, Selina Meyer. Throughout the show, we watch as Selina endures through constant political controversies, relationships, and multiple elections. If you haven’t seen the show, you really must, but one of the great pieces of this show is Selina’s fashion. The show started with costume designer, Ernesto Martinez – (18 episodes, 2012-2013), and followed through with Kathleen Felix-Hager (47 episodes, 2014-2019).

The sad reality is, America is yet to have a female president or vice-president. So when it comes down to wardrobe, the costume designers really got to add their own flair to Selina’s fashion. In an interview with VOGUE, Kathleen Felix-Hager told Steff Yotka that “in the world of Veep, (Selina) was the first woman vice president and she was the first woman president; there were no fashion rules we had to follow since none existed”. The designers used bold, bright colors, and unique-powerful silhouettes. It just reinforces the fact that the world would be a much better place with strong-confident women in charge.

Check out this gallery of a few of my favorite Selina Meyer looks! Photos Courtesy of HBO

Photos Courtesy of HBO

All right everyone, I want to leave you with a little message. The U.S General Election is in FOUR DAYS. Please, go out and vote! Make a voting plan, drop off your ballot in a dropbox, or vote safely in-person at an early voting site, or on November 3rd. I can’t stress to you how important this election is.

If you need details on where you can find your nearest voting site is, local ballot drop boxes, or maybe you need to check your registration status, go to iwillvote.com for more information.

2020-11-03T12:00:00

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I’m not going to tell you who I think you should vote for. Instead, I’ll let Selina Meyer tell you what she thinks...


WORKS CITED

Political Fashion Doesn’t Look Like ‘Veep’-But Maybe it Should, Yotka: https://www.vogue.com/article/veep-final-season-costume-designer-kathleen-felix-hager-interview

How TikTokers Pale in Comparison to Tim Burton

A popular trend on TikTok has creators showing off their fashionable closets by assembling outfits based on their favorite director’s iconic aesthetic. An exciting part of this trend is seeing TikTokers calling attention to the lack of diversity in a director’s work, while showing what it would look like if more people of color were cast. 

Tim Burton’s film’s aesthetic has inspired many TikTok videos that led me to realize most of his fans have a misunderstanding of the fashion in his films. Even though his casting lacks color his costume design definitely does not. An element TikTokers are getting right is Burton’s “pale” black and white gothic aesthetic highly criticized because it is supposedly used as an excuse for him to continue casting pale actors who “look that part”.

These Burton-inspired TikTok videos are not completely off the mark. Many of the creators have been inspired by A Corpse Bride, set in the Victorian era. Burton IS known for using Victorian and Gothic influence in many of his films. 

Women’s fashion changed throughout the Victorian period. The beginning was marked by high necks, long skirts/dresses, and bonnets — very prudish and modest. Tiktokers that take inspiration from Corpse Bride choose the easy route of wearing a wedding dress like the iconic corpse bride, Emily.  However, I would love to see a TikToker more inspired by Victoria or Victor’s classic Victorian costumes, but with a modern twist on the modest Victorian silhouette style .

Modern Gothic fashion is generally dark and gloomy clothing that contrasts with pale makeup. Think black lace, layered chain belts or necklaces, and influences from the occult — perfect attire to wear to a picnic at a graveyard or a meeting with a coven. Some TikTokers attempt to add their own elements of this in their fashion choices for this trend, but they tend to end up looking more like they work at HotTopic and not the star of a Burton film.

Although Burton has Victorian and Gothic elements in his costume and set designs, TikTokers often forget that his aesthetic is largely Camp. Camp fashion is deliberately exaggerated and avante garde, typically for humorous effect. Can’t picture Camp? Remember Lady Gaga’s four spectacular costume changes at the 2019 Met Gala? She epitomized Camp.

How do these different fashion styles fit together for Burton’s filming style? Let’s take a walk down a “Film Studies 101” glossary through the lens of  German Expressionism as characterized by highly stylized sets that dramatize a  character’s internal state of mind.

Imagine the cobweb-filled, ruinous Gothic castle where Edward from Edward Scissorhands resided. The neglected setting was a reflection of Edward’s empty and lonely life without his creator. 

Using modern Gothic elements, the iconic costume designer, Colleen Atwood, dresses Edward in a leather one piece accented by belts and loops. These design choices represent how physically constrained and constricted he is with his scissor hands. This also makes his Scissorhand character stand out among the regular suburbanites who reject him based on how he looks and dresses.

Another subtlety in design is Edward’s hair. When his creator was alive, Edward’s hair was smooth and combed through. When his creator died, his hair became wildly unkempt. How could someone with scissor hands comb their hair by themselves? To the outside world, his hair is a sign of his otherness and neglect.

In contrast, when Edward begins to be accepted by his neighbors, he gives them wacky, zany haircuts. These hairdos are an important detail for TikTokers to replicate because many of them style their hair messy like Edward’s. They should be reminded to pull more inspiration from the creative hairstyles donned by other characters.

As with Edward Scissorhands, utilizing costume choices to represent the inner world of a character is an element TikTokers should incorporate more — if they decide to stick with a gloomier aesthetic. They could even create a backstory for why their character wears a particular outfit — one that reflects that character’s inner-turmoil.

Burton uses highly stylized archaic Gothic and Victorian aesthetics to contrast with modern-day, ridiculously bright and colorful, Campy worlds. This is where the TikTok trend goes off course. In Burton’s world, dark and gloomy cannot exist without Campy costumes and colors. 

The mundane suburbia outside of Edward’s castle in Edward Scissorhands perfectly contrasts with his costume design. This heightens society’s distaste for him and their feeble attempts at transitioning him to their “normal” world. This point is exaggerated with his new family dressing him up in “regular” men’s dress attire — making Edward look more ridiculous.

I am not asking TikTokers to create an elaborate backdrop or background characters to contrast with their outfit. But if they decide to do something that lacks prominent colors,  they should not create a design that is equally bland and simple. Choose that funky, outdated sweater with the hole in the collar. Not the chiffon top that reminds one of the Changeling.

Because of his heavy Goth and Victorian influences, the misconception of Burton’s costume design is understandable. However, his movie’s plots often surround ”strange and peculiar” characters dressing for an out-of-the-ordinary occasion. Hopefully, this is a long-lasting TikTok trend that evolves to a more accurate portrayal of Tim Burton’s iconic aesthetic. Looking tired and pale while posing to Danny Elfman music does not mean one has got it right. Either way, showcasing more diverse fashionistas and their wicked Burtonesque outfits is a trend that I’ll never get bored of.

Edward Scissorhands is a drop in the bucket for all of the colorful examples that can be pulled from Burton’s filmography. I’ll return with Batman Returns in the second installment of this series!


Follow Ruby Tyler on Instagram: @rubyxx_cube

Supreme Style: Remembering The Notorious RBG

It is with deep sorrow that I must write, on Friday, September 18th, 2020, we lost Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Also known as The Notorious RBG. Justice Ginsburg was a real-life superhero. She was someone that I and countless others all over the globe looked up to. Long before she was nominated to the Supreme Court, Ruth Bader Ginsburg was an iconic champion in the fight for equality. She fought gender-based discrimination at every point in her life. She fought for women’s rights, equal dignity, equal opportunity, a woman’s ability to choose, widower’s rights, marriage equality, pay discrimination, and equal protection under the eye of the law. Justice Ginsburg spent her entire life, fighting for others. 

Amongst the many incredible things that made her so incredible, Justice Ginsburg had a supreme sense of style. Even when it came to her uniform on the bench, Justice Ginsburg sought to make her voice heard. To honor her, I thought I would look back at the way Justice Ginsburg transformed the uniform and made it her own, despite the masculine construction of the gown.

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/2011 Getty Images

The justice gown is often a standard black robe. Yet one thing I never thought about, was the masculine construction of the gown. In 2009, in an interview with The Washington Post, she explained the design of the gown, “You know, the standard robe is made for a man because it has a place for the shirt to show, and the tie,” said Justice Ginsburg.

On July 7, 1981, President Ronald Reagan, who had pledged during his 1980 presidential campaign to appoint the first woman to the court, announced he would nominate Sandra Day O’Connor as an Associate Justice to the United States Supreme Court. Justice O’Connor was the first woman to be appointed. The reason I bring this up is that the first female justice wasn’t nominated until 1981. The federal judiciary was established through the Judiciary Act of 1789. The first session of The Supreme Court took place in 1790. That means 191 years went by without a single woman on the bench. It’s no wonder the justice gown took on such a masculine construction.

Justices Ginsburg and Justice O’Connor decided to take the robe and make it their own. “Sandra Day O’Connor and I thought it would be appropriate if we included as part of our robe something typical of a woman. So I have many, many collars.” Justice Ginsburg told The Washington Post.

Thus, brought to light the many collars and jabots that the Notorious RBG made so popular. For inquisitive minds, a jabot is defined by Oxford Languages as “an ornamental frill or ruffle on the front of a shirt or blouse, typically made of lace.” Over the years, we got to know the many collars and jabots collected by Justice Ginsburg. On multiple occasions, Justice Ginsburg shared her collection comprised of gifts from all over the world. Her jabots became a symbol of justice. One could even predict her opinion on a case by what she was wearing before she even took her seat on the court.

Justice Ginsburg’s personal favorite was a South African crochet collar. It was simple, soft, and feminized the look of the justice uniform, pushing back on the male-dominated courtroom and casting aside any prior misogynistic precedent.

(Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Not only did Justice Ginsburg have some fashionable pieces, but she also had some statement pieces. When Justice Ginsburg was apart of the majority opinion, she wore a gold, yellow crocheted style suspended from a gold chain, with beads at the hem. She wore this collar when she knew she was to speak for the majority of the court. These were here shining moments and were symbolized by her golden collar.

Then, of course, Justice Ginsburg had her collar she wore for those often dark days. The infamous, “dissenting collars”. Whenever Justice Ginsburg found herself apart of the minority on the court, Justice Ginsburg would read her dissents from the bench armed with her more serious, collars. Her dissenting collar was an embroidered collar, sitting on a black band. Perhaps not so coincidentally, Justice Ginsburg wore this collar the day after President Trump was elected to office. One of my favorite collars was this gold-feathered collar she wore in her first photo with Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/2011 Getty Images

The collars and the jabots were one part of Justice Ginsburg’s supreme sense of style. I cannot wrap up this article without mentioning her impeccable means of accessorizing. Particularly, I loved her affinity for gloves. After multiple cancer treatments, Justice Ginsburg felt it was important to protect herself. Being the public figure she was, she began to wear gloves. But after a while, she grew to love wearing these gloves and made it apart of her wardrobe. My favorite photos of the Notorious RBG often featured her wearing a pair of lacy gloves. Usually, they were black which made me love her even more.

Sebastian Kim for TIME Magazine

I am beyond heartbroken with the loss of The Notorious RBG. If I am being honest, I wasn’t even sure if I could write this article. I knew it would include a lot of tearful moments and it certainly did. Like I mentioned at the beginning of this piece, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was a real-life superhero. She was selfless, bold, courageous, kind, hilarious, and dedicated. She worked up until the last moments of her life, fighting for the equal rights of all people. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg will forever be a true hero. I, and so many others, will carry her guiding light for the rest of our lives

The world feels incredibly dark right now. The United States is going through a time of deep division. But I firmly believe that Justice Ginsburg would want us to stay strong, come together, and continue the fight to ensure everyone is treated equally under the law. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg used her voice throughout her life in order to defend others. For those of you reading within the United States, it’s now your turn to use your voice. Register to vote, and vote early. This year’s election is set to be one of the most important elections of our lifetime. Vote like your life depends on it… because it does.

Register to Vote. Check Your Voter Status. Set a Voting Plan.

USA Today.

Bibliography:

Fisher, Lauren Alexis. “Banana Republic Reissues Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s Iconic Dissent Collar.” Harper’s BAZAAR, Harper’s BAZAAR, 22 Sept. 2020, http://www.harpersbazaar.com/fashion/trends/a25779096/banana-republic-ruth-bader-ginsburg-dissent-collar/.

Foussianes News Writer Chloe is a News Writer for Townandcountrymag.com, Chloe. “Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s Collars Decoded: What Each Neckpiece Means.” Town & Country, 19 Sept. 2020, http://www.townandcountrymag.com/society/politics/a25362496/ruth-bader-ginsburg-collar-meaning/.

Friedman, Vanessa. “Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s Lace Collar Wasn’t an Accessory, It Was a Gauntlet.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 20 Sept. 2020, http://www.nytimes.com/2020/09/20/style/rbg-style.html.

Garnes, Robert. “Justices Have Differing Views of Order in the Court.” The Washington Post, WP Company, 4 Sept. 2009, http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/09/03/AR2009090303790.html.

“Justice Ginsburg Exhibits Her Famous Collar Collection.” Yahoo! News, Yahoo!, 31 July 2014, news.yahoo.com/video/justice-ginsburg-exhibits-her-famous-194517521.html.

Knizhnik, Irin Carmon and Shana. “A Tribute to Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s Style.” The Cut, 26 Oct. 2015, http://www.thecut.com/2015/10/tribute-to-ruth-bader-ginsburgs-style.html.

Osterman, Giovanna. “Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s Supreme Style.” CR Fashion Book, CR Fashion Book, 15 Mar. 2020, http://www.crfashionbook.com/fashion/a31338643/ruth-bader-ginsburg-supreme-court-justice-style/.

Robertson, Erin. “Let’s Talk about Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s Fishnet Gloves.” The Washington Post, WP Company, 3 May 2019, http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/reliable-source/wp/2015/04/17/lets-talk-about-justice-ruth-bader-ginsburgs-fishnet-gloves/.

Scalia, Antonin. “Ruth Bader Ginsburg.” Time, Time, 16 Apr. 2015, time.com/collection-post/3823889/ruth-bader-ginsburg-2015-time-100/.

A Short History of Costume Design At the Emmy’s

While taking a look at the Costume Design & Supervision nominees for the Emmy Awards this year, I was stunned by how genuinely excellent costuming has been this past year. All twenty-two nominees across the four categories are incredible examples of how costume design is integral to creating the characters and worlds we love to escape into. There was nothing to not like, from the bright, bold, and energetic costumes of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisal to the subdued, stark surrealism of the Handmaids Tale. This also got me thinking, who were the costume design nominees for the first Emmy’s? Where they all as excellent as this year and who won? To find the answer, I visited the Television Academy’s list of all the Emmy nominees and winners of the last 72 years, scrolled down to the first awards in 1949, and found nothing. I thought ok, television was just getting started in the forties surly by 1950 it should be a category. Again I found nothing. So I went through each year until I found the very first-year Costume Design was a category of the awards.

At the 18th Primetime Emmy awards in 1966, the first two tv shows to be recognized for their costume design were nominated under the category, ‘Individual Achievements in Art Direction and Allied Crafts – Costume Design.’ The nominees were The Hollywood Palace on ABC with costume design by Ed Smith, and Danny Thomas’ The Wonderful World of Burlesque: Second Edition on NBC with costume design by Ray Aghayan and Bob Mackie. Unlike today where most nominees are from scripted dramas or comedies, both The Hollywood Palace and The Wonderful World of Burlesque were variety shows. 

The Hollywood Palace, nominated for its second season, was an hour-long program hosted by a different celebrity every week. Each week the host and other guests would perform multiple musical numbers and sketches unique to that week. Needless to say, there was a lot for Smith to keep up with. For example, in episode 20, Smith had to design two large musical numbers. The first number was for host George Burns called History of the Dance, where he sings about several decades of dance trends. Each dancer was dressed to represent a different decade of dance in the song.

George Burns and ensemble perform History of Dance.

In the second number, Connie Stevens performs, Married I can always get. She is accompanied by an ensemble of bridesmaids and groomsmen dressed and ready for a wedding. Stevens wears a beautiful tea-length dress that takes her from a wedding guest reluctant to get married herself, to become the bride of her own wedding effortlessly. Another stand out from the season was episode 19, when the Harlem Globetrotters visited to play the Palace ‘Dribblers’, a team comprised of that night’s celebrity guests. For the match, Smith designed custom basketball uniforms for the home team and a chic jumpsuit for Connie Stevens as she played referee. These are just a fraction of examples from the 35 episodes season. With such a high volume and quality being delivered weekly, it’s easy to understand why Ed Smith was honored with a nomination. 

Connie Stevens and ensemble perform, Married I can always get.

Danny Thomas’ The Wonderful World of Burlesque, nominated for its second edition, was also a verity show hosted by Danny Thomas with guest stars Jerry Lewis, Shirley Jones, and Lucille Ball. While the designs by Ray Aghayan and Bob Mackie are excellent in each sketch, it is the second skit, a parody of “White Cargo,” that really stands out. In this sketch, the costumes really do their job, letting you know exactly who each character is. Lewis and Thomas look the part of quintessential 19th-century English explorers while Ball is dressed to the nines as the “temptress.”

Lucille Ball, Danny Thoman and Jerry Lewis

Bob Mackie design for Lucille Ball

However, the night’s truly unique look was a ballet costume designed by Bob Mackie for Lucille Ball’s slapstick burlesque routine. As Ball hilariously stumbles through the performance, Mackie’s beautiful butterfly inspired costume provides the perfect foil to her actions. It is also essential to the performance, with the removal of the detachable wings are a huge part of the routine. Ray Aghayan and Bob Mackie character-defining costumes that genuinely add to every performance earning them the nomination

With each of these shows equally matched in 1966, the Emmy for Individual Achievements in Art Direction and Allied Crafa – Costume Design wasn’t awarded to either nominee. I couldn’t find out why there wasn’t a winner only that it wasn’t uncommon. In the early years of the awards, occasionally, categories only had nominees no winners. While my question of who the first nominees were had been answered, I still didn’t know who the first winner was. Thankfully I didn’t need to go far to find the answer. The first Emmy from costume design was awarded in 1967 to Ray Aghayan and Bob Mackie for their work on the 1966 TV movie adaptation of Lewis Caroll’s Alice Through the Looking Glass on NBC.

Right Ricardo Montalban as The White King & Nanette Fabray as The White Queen; Middle Judi Rolin as Alice; Left Robert Coote as The Red King & Agnes Moorehead as The Red Queen
Judi Rolin as Alice

The costumes designed by Agheyan and Mackie bring the fantastical world of Lewis Carroll’s Wonderland to life, with an infusion of the mod style popular during the 60s. This mixture of current fashion was a departure from the usual Victorian-inspired designs reflective of when the books were first published. This creates a unique look for the movie and helps make distinctions between Wonderland and Alice’s world. Wonderland’s fantasy is evident in the design of red and white, kings, and queens. Their costumes are lavishly designed and over the top, bringing Wonderland’s whimsy to the screen as soon as they appear. In contrast, Alice’s simple mod-inspired look makes it apparent that she doesn’t belong in Wonderland. Since it’s never clear if Alice is dreaming, all the other characters are designed with a mix of mod and whimsical elements, creating the possibility that she imagining everything.

For the movie, the costumes were essential to telling the story and creating the world because the set design was minimal. This may be because it looks as if it was performed and shot in a theater. Aghayan and Mackie’s designs were genuinely worthy of the honor for bringing Lewis Carroll’s world alive in such a unique way. In addition to being the first winner of the costume design award, Alice Through the Looking Glass was the only program nominated for costume design in 1967.

Left Jimmy Durante as Humpty Dumpty Right Judi Rolin as Alice
Red & White Kings and Queens Court Dress
Red & White Kings and Queens Court Dress

I didn’t expect costume design to appear as a category so late in Emmy’s history; however, it’s first nominees and the winner did not disappoint. The Hollywood Palace and Danny Thomas’ The Wonderful World of Burlesque, this glitzy, celebrity-filled verity show created new unique designs every week, earning them the first nominations. To the fantastical skeptical of Alice Through the Looking Glass, that brought new life to the classic story. These designs by Ed Smith, Ray Agheyan, and Bob Mackie helped set the bar for excellence in costume design for television that every year designers surpass and set higher.