Box-set dress­ing: now tele­vi­sion is tak­ing over the cat­walk

Char­lie Gowans-Eglin­ton on the hit se­ries whose plot­lines are in­flu­enc­ing de­sign­ers’ hem­lines

The Sunday Telegraph - - Features -

As win­ter draws in, it is a strong will in­deed that can re­sist the lure of an evening in front of the TV. And, frankly, with shows this good, why would you want to? The Crown, The Hand­maid’s Tale and Stranger Things II are all wor­thy of binge-watch­ing, not just for the plot lines but for the cos­tumes, too. If the spring/sum­mer cat­walk shows last month are any­thing to go by, we’re not the only ones that think so, with de­sign­ers pledg­ing al­le­giance to their se­ries of choice. It’s com­mon for fash­ion to nod to pop cul­ture, but it’s rare that the ref­er­ences are quite so lit­eral as what we have seen re­cently.

Wel­come to box-set dress­ing...

Haute hand­maids

When the stylised se­ries The Hand­maid’s Tale came out in April, it chimed per­fectly with sum­mer’s trend for mod­est fash­ion – hem­lines es had dropped from above-knee to mid-calf, and dresses came with full-length sleeves. The launch of fash­ion e-tailer The Modist, fo­cus­ing ing on mod­est dress­ing, seemed par­tic­u­larly timely, and Pu­ri­tan­i­cal al dresses were ev­ery­where from the e high fash­ion houses to the high street, from Valentino to Zara.

But last month’s Preen by Thorn­ton Bregazzi’s cat­walk show w dur­ing Lon­don Fash­ion Week took k it one step fur­ther, as co-de­sign­ers s Thea Bregazzi and Justin Thorn­tonn paired their sig­na­ture lace and silkk dresses with bon­nets – the mod­estt head­gear worn by hand­maids.

Even the colour pal­ette of brightt white and blood red matched those e seen on screen: the let­ter As em­broi­dered in scar­let on to said dresses were, of course, a ref­er­ence ce to Nathaniel Hawthorne’s 1850 novel, notes of which are echoed inn Mar­garet At­wood’s dystopian fu­ture. re.

Mean­while, over at Vera Wang, black bon­nets recre­ated the lines of The Hand­maid’s Stranger Things the hand­maids’s own ex­actly, paired with black tai­lor­ing that hid hands and feet. This crossed a line from mod­esty into sup­pres­sion but, just as in the show, there’s sub­ver­sion in the sever­ity of th­ese designs – a jacket pulled off a shoul­der, a long skirt slit to the thigh. Clearly Wang, a fan of the novel and its TV adap­ta­tion this sum­mer, would like to re­write the story some­what.

Crown chic

A high­light of Lon­don Fash­ion Week was the Er­dem show, which didn’t so much ref­er­ence the Queen as of­fer a wear­able, beau­ti­ful reimag­in­ing of her mid-cen­tury wardrobe. Al­ready one of the Duchess of Cam­bridge’s favourite de­sign­ers, Er­dem Mo­ralioğlu sought in­spi­ra­tion from an in­fa­mous meet­ing be­tween Queen Elizabeth II and Amer­i­can jazz pian­ist Duke Elling­ton in 1958; Her Majesty made such an im­pres­sion that Elling­ton com­posed a suite of mu­sic for her.

It is this pe­riod of the Queen’s life that has been recre­ated in tech­ni­colour in the next in­stal­ment of Net­flix’s glossy se­ries The Crown. Se­ries one cov­ered the Queen’s corona­tion and early reign, fin­ish­ing in 1955; the sec­ond will fol­low her to 1963.

The cos­tumes for the se­ries struck a bal­ance be­tween his­tor­i­cal ac­cu­racy and on-screen glamour, some­thing Mo­ralioğlu echoed. Mo­tifs from the Nor­man Hart­nell-de­signed corona­tion gown such as the this­tle and the rose were reimag­ined and red bows at the right shoul­der em­u­lated those the Queen wears to dis­play her or­der brooches – but we doubt Her Majesty would opt for quite as much em­bel­lish­ment. But since se­ries two launches on Net­flix on Dec 8, per­haps we can be for­given a lit­tle ex­tra sparkle.

The strangest thing

It is saidsa that fash­ion treads the line be­tween­be­twe art and pop cul­ture, and nowherenowh was that more ap­par­ent than at LouisLou Vuit­ton’s SS18 show. A model wear­ing­weari a Stranger Things pro­mo­tional T-shirtT-sh lay­ered over a printed blouse and white trousers walked down the cat­walk­cat in the Lou­vre to close Paris Fash­ionFas Week. It would seem that Ni­co­lasNi Gh­esquière, the brand’s cre­ativecr di­rec­tor, has been await­ing the sec­ond se­ries of the Net­flix sci-fi se­ries,ser which saw Wi­nona Ry­der an­dan Mil­lie Bobby Brown re­viv­ing Eight­iesEi fash­ion, as ea­gerly as the re­stre of us.

An­dAn days be­fore, Stella McCart­ney tippedtipp the show a wink in her own Paris Fash­ion Week show. Marc Ja­cobs was ana early adopter, show­ing over­size­dovers cor­duroy jack­ets in his New York f fash­ion week show last Fe­bru­ary. With the sec­ond se­ries due to land on Net­flixNet­fli on Oct 27, things are likely to get even stranger – or, at least, pro­vide a timely Hal­lowe’en cos­tume.

Life im­i­tat­ing art: Lon­don and Paris have seen fash­ions that seem to step straight out of, clock­wise from left, Tale, TheeCCrowno aanddS

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