TV dramas clothes the book on stylish attire
Great shows don’t need fabulous fashion to be the jewels they are, but it round them out beautifully
It’s all about the hot priest in Fleabag these days. Or rather the #hotpriest, as the brilliant Andrew Scott, who plays him, may now forever be known. But if you could just tear your eyes away from his cassocks for a moment, you would discover how very fine Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s own raiments are.
Starting with that slash-fronted black jumpsuit she wears in the first scenes of the second series (Waller-Bridge evidently liked it so much she’s worn it since in real life), taking in the Breton stripes, dungarees, leather jackets, Joan Crawford red lips and waved bob, this is one very stylish bit of TV dressing. TV has long held that all outfits in anything other than a period piece must be uniformly bad, while anything pre-1979 should be exquisite. When you think how little access The Past had to good hair products, the rudimentary dentistry and that people made their own clothes, it’s really quite extraordinary how marvellous they all look.
But something – Netflix? Waller-Bridge’s innate stylishness and growing clout? – has caused a sea change. It’s not just Fleabag (and viewers) who are benefiting. The otherwise disappointing Sex Education is rendered marginally interesting thanks to Gillian Anderson’s wardrobe (more fab jumpsuits).
The ludicrous The Split was actually quite gripping thanks to Nicola Walker’s wardrobe of Erdems and Alexander McQueens and the ludicrous and ploddy MotherFatherSon becomes endurable if you focus entirely on Helen McCrory’s gorgeous dresses (more Erdem), wide trousers and silk blouses.
Fleabag didn’t need fabulous clothes to be the jewel it is, but they round it out beautifully. The arch, kinky Killing Eve is better still thanks to Jodie Comer’s stellar labels (the imminent second series features Armani, Isabel Marant, Chloé, William Vintage). Take note TV producers: those two words “witty” and “stylish” have always worked well together. Aim high with the clothes.
– © Telegraph Media Group Limited (2019)