Fashion in series

Carrie Bradshaw, Blair Waldorf, Alexi Carrington, Wilhelmina Slater or Betty Draper, these names must evoke you some female characters with a high sense of fashion.

Betty Suarez on Ugly Betty

Some series takes place on the fashion world like Ugly Betty, the ugly duckling that arrives at the fashion magazine MODE redaction. Betty Suarez has… how can we say it… her own style that we don’t really want to borrow. Even if her character is a real caricature, her style gets better with the seasons until she wears passable looks at the end of the serie. On all the episodes, we can notice that the stylists were very creatives and inspired to be able to make her look so surprising. But, on Ugly Betty, the character that we loved to hate and who had nothing to change on her look (exept for her too bulky brushing sometimes), that’s Vanessa William alias Wilhelmina Slater, the artistic director of the magazine. She is a barely masked caricature of Miranda Priestly played by Meryl Streep on the film The Devil wears Prada. Miranda Priestly who was herself a caricature of famous Anna Winter, editor in chief at Vogue Us, portrayed as a real dictator by her formal assistant who became the famous author of The Devil wears Prada, Lauren Weisberger.

Wilhelmina Slater on Ugly Betty

On Gossip Girl, Blair Waldorf is the daughter of Eleanor Waldorf, famous New-York fashion designer. Of course every girls who used to watch this series had her favorite. Some preferred the beautiful blond Serena Van der Woodsen and other preferred her best frenemy Blair Waldorf. Serena’s style was solar, sexy without being too vulgar. Even if sometimes some of her low cut dresses made us forgot during the two first seasons that she was still supposed to be on high-school. My favorite was Blair Waldorf and her pretty neo bourgeoise look. Her daddy’s little girl look did not prevent her to elaborate the best schemes. Her character tells herself passionate by films with Audrey Hepburn and she copies her looks on the modern princesses like Grace Kelly or Kate Middelton. She hides under her wise dresses and her pearls very fine pieces of lingerie. Sometimes during scenes on her room, we have the chance to have a look on her dressing which looks like a real little paradise with all kinds of shoes and dresses of all colors.

Blair and Serena on Gossip Girl

Having the same dressing of our favorite series female character is possible. This is what the website The Limited offered in 2015 by launching a collection named Scandal Clothing. We were able to purchase a collection inspired by the looks of the charismatic Olivia Pope from the serie Scandal. Her smooth talk and her assured way to walk seems to be linked to her chic and pointed looks which made her looks more sure of herself in that male world of the american politic.

Olivia Pope on Scandal

Without waiting one more second, let’s talk about the most famous of all stylish female characters : Carrie Bradshaw. Carrie stays a reference even if the serie is getting a little bit old. It fist appeared on TV on June 1998, which means almost twenty years ago ! Nevertheless, this adaptation of Candice Bushnell novel which is supposed to deals about relationships between men and women and how hard it is to find its soulmate on a world city like New-York, the serie finally ended up by turning around the topic of fashion. Carrie’s character is crazy about shoes and designers clothes.

Carrie Bradshaw on Sex and the City

She even says on an episode that one day, she preferred buying Vogue instead of something to eat with her last dollars. This serie made Manolo Blahnik a true character in Carries’s life as she purchased during the six seasons a real collection of shoes in this brand. Brand names arises quite often on the serie. But it is on the two films released on 2008 and 2010 that product placement broke records with no more than 67 luxury brands identifiable or quoted.

Fashion, it is what motivates us to keep watching some series until the end while the action is not crazy. Even if I loved Gossip Girl and Ugly Betty, I admit that I followed until the last episode to keep watching at their looks.

Alexis Carrington on Dynasty

This is also why I loved an old soap opera serie from the eighties called Dynasty. I remember crushing about the pad shoulders colored jackets and the crazy amount of jewelries women were able to wear. I watch an umpteenth rebroadcast when I was 15 years old and I literally devoured all the episodes waiting patiently to see Joan Collins to appear on the screen. She was the meanest, most glamorous and most dramatic character ever created on tv. I am talking of course of famous Alexi Carrington. Lately, I noticed that Netflix spreads a reboot of the serie… I haven’t watch it yet, I hope it will be the same success.

The looks is what made me watch seven seasons of Mad Men too. Even if watching Jonh Ham playing Don Draper, an advertiser courted by women and all the best companies of the city was not unpleasant, the elegancy of the dresses from the sixties had all my attention. Despite of her tormented and depressive nature, Betty Draper, always smoking a cigarette, used to wear the most beautiful looks. Especially when she had to attend to a special event with her husband and that jewelries and hair cut made her look more fantastic.

Betty Draper on Mad Men
Joan on Mad Men

The character of Joan uninhibited curvy women showing us that she was the female character of the series who was the most successful with men thanks to her assets.

Fashion on series is not only attractive on contemporaries screenplays. Les dresses worn by Adelaide Kane playing Marie Stuart, Queen of Scotland on Reign and the looks of her ladies seems strangely from our times. We even are pretty close of the anachronism when we see their shoes which looks clearly too moderns for the Royal court of France in 1560.

Mary Stuart and her ladies on Reign

Same heart stroke for the looks and stage sets of the shop The Paradise. A tv adaptation of the novel Au bonheur des Dames written by Emile Zola. Denise, a young and moneyless girl came to town to find a job. She is hired by the shop that brings together all the most beautiful and refined luxury goods of the country in 1870. As a salesgirl for ladies, she never change herself and she always wear a heavy black dress. But, the articles that she sells and her clients offers to the spectator a nice pallet of these times looks.

Denise on The Paradise

To sum up all these informations, I advise you to watch or watch again :

  • Gossip Girl, Ugly Betty, Sex and the City, The carrie Diary, Lipstick Jungle or even Devious Maids if you like fashionistas looks.
  • If you like stylish charismatic and inspiring female characters you can watch Scandal, Dynasty or a more recent one Girl Boss.
  • Finally, if you prefer beauties and styles from the past you can watch Mad Men, Reign, Velvet, The Paradise, The Crown, Downtown Abbey, The Collection or The Tudors.

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