The way we consume media has changed considerably over the last decade. Since television and film is a visual medium, it means we are consuming on-screen fashion in a different light. There’s a directness to it and unprecedented access to feasting our eyes on the most coveted designs the world has to offer. The age of streaming has given fashionistas a sort of costume department overload, as we binge-watch show after show, from eras when we didn’t exist, or current-day shows that try to capture all the trending styles in one 10-episode season. Read on for some of the best outfits you can find on shows (old and new) that are currently streaming.
1. Emily in Paris
Emily in Paris gave fashion fiends something to look at with either complete admiration or horror as the titular character made her way through stereotypical Parisian scenarios. Her outfits were either a parody of a wannabe Blair Waldorf or hit the right notes of high fashion. I chose two strong outfits that represent Emily perfectly: fun and quirky, but always polished and the sophisticated, glamorous woman.
2. The Nanny
Most TV sitcoms try to embody some sense of reality, especially when dressing their cast of characters. However, The Nanny embodied the over-the-top, carefree nature of its main character Fran Fine. Her outfits are unique, straight from the runway and are amazingly relevant today, as more and more celebrities opt for that 90s vintage vibe (think of Kim Kardashian West, Kendall Jenner and Hailey Bieber). There are so many to choose from, and thankfully someone had the smart idea of curating all of Fran’s outfits in one Instagram page.
3. The Queen’s Gambit
The Queen’s Gambit pretty much rocked our world with its satisfying plotline, strong female-lead, and surprisingly subversive moments (the lack of an evil adoptive-mother was a breath of fresh air for many viewers). The 1960s provide an era of shorter hemlines on skirts, cute knee-high boots, and clean lines. Beth’s fashion evolves from the little girl in plaid dresses to a seasoned chess player in A-line dresses, to the grandmaster chess player extraordinaire in a monochromatic, all-white outfit that would be a hit, even today.
4. The Great
Let’s take a dive into a historical, period piece that may be one of the best shows of 2020. The Great tells the story of Catherine the Great, and her inevitable coup on her husband who seems more or less worthy of the position of Emperor of Russia. The Great features some of the best period costumes I have seen in years, with intricate details to help distinguish each character. Catherine’s fashion evolves throughout the show; she starts with plain dresses with childish flair, but she matures into a strong leader, and her clothes reflect that progression. She is rarely adorned in jewels, as if to say her intelligence and wit are her most prized possessions.
5. The Crown
The Crown takes liberties with its storytelling, but the costume department often tries to remain true to its source material. Recreating Princess Diana’s iconic looks with slight modifications was not an easy task, but the crew managed to pull it off. In turn, this would lead to many season 4 viewers discovering the beauty of Diana’s style. She embodied all the good qualities of the 1980s and 1990s fashion scene. The costume department brilliantly captured the essence of Diana’s style, with strong shoulder pads, bright colours, and glamorous evening gowns.
Contributed by Kim Girard