While the standards for a good TV show or movie primarily depend on things like an enticing plot and on-screen chemistry, the costume design carries a lot more importance than an average viewer might think. Each character’s clothing communicates the essence of their personality to the audience and often hints at hidden meanings. Whether it was the designers’ intent or not, even detailed choices in costume can lead to a larger conversation and discussions surrounding the plot. Just look at Portia in the second season of The White Lotus, whose quirky and questionable style has become highly debated across platforms from Twitter to Vogue. And when Alicent Hightower stepped into Rhaenyra Targaryen’s wedding in the first season of House of the Dragon, she was wearing a striking emerald-green gown, which viewers were quick to decode as an act of war.
Costume choices also have an impact on how characters’ legacies are carried on to future audiences. There’s a reason even in 2022, fashion folks are still making wardrobe references to Rachel Green and Dionne Davenport. There’s more to great entertainment than A+ actors and an intriguing script.
From the ’90s and Y2K inspiration in Do Revenge to the decadent Regency looks in Bridgerton, keep scrolling to see the best on-screen moments of the year. End scene.
It’s been a few years since everyone was buzzing over Game of Thrones, but its prequel gave the long-awaited fans more to sink their teeth into. Along with the same drama between houses and questionable romances, there was also a resurgence of decadent gowns, gold jewelry, and royal paraphernalia.
Don’t Worry Darling certainly caused public discussion off-screen, but we promise that the costumes on-screen are also worthy of your attention. Set in 1950s Palm Springs, it showcased plenty of mid-century outfits that’ll have you ready to buy floral shift dresses, headbands, and silk gloves.
While the plot of The Crown‘s fifth season may not have been the most highly rated, you can always rely on the looks of Princess Diana to bring sartorial joy. This season featured more of her mature looks, with iconic moments like her BBC interview and revenge dress sprinkled in.
While Christina Ricci’s Wednesday Addams in the ’90s was always seen in a classic white-collared black dress, Jenna Ortega’s 2022 version is taking a Gen Z approach. The collared dresses are still there, but there is also checkered knitwear, tulle dresses, and chunky-heeled Mary Janes.
Leave it to Bridgerton to bring another wave of princesscore into the scene. With a new season to release in 2023, we predict there’s not yet an end to the love of corsets, ruffles, and pastels.
If you combined movies like Clueless and Mean Girls, you would get Netflix’s Do Revenge. Costume designer Alana Morshead created vintage and retro-inspired ‘fits that reflected iconic looks of the ’90s and ’70s teen cinema. And aside from the eclectic party and going-out looks, even the school uniforms were clad in pastel purple and greens.
When Euphoria was first released, it kick-started a new aesthetic in both the fashion and beauty spheres. The second season garnered the same amount of viewer devotion (if not more). Costume designer Heidi Bivens was devoted to creating a world where every character’s style was uniquely distinctive of their character, which can be seen with Lexi Howard in Miu Miu and Maddy Perez in vintage Mugler. The show’s gotten some backlash for putting high schoolers in vintage designer, but Bivens is interested in creating an artistic vision, not one that mimics reality.
HBO’s The White Lotus was able to grasp our attention yet again, if not more than the first. And despite it being December, the show offered a winter escape, transporting everyone to an Italian summer. But despite its hooking plot, the costume design has been a burning topic of social media conversation. Whether your vacation look is minimal and comfortable (like Harper’s) or colorful and free-spirited (like Daphne’s), the show will have you thinking about your summer wardrobe. (And, it’ll teach you what not to do to so you don’t end up murdered on vacation.)
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