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Lockdown costume envy

The past few months have been a repetitive soiree for our wardrobes with loungewear sets being the peak of a put-together outfit through multiple lockdowns. With little reason to dress up, our screens have become our main source of style inspiration, TV proving provider of major fashion envy from the comfort of our beds. Netflix dramas like The Crown, The Queen’s Gambit and Bridgerton, have gifted us the escapism that we so required. The impressive royal recreations, stunning sixties fits and mouth-watering regency ballgowns brightened up our binge-watching with pieces to die for, possibly even to take inspiration from when we’re eventually allowed to leave our homes. Here are the highlights of last year’s envy striking enterprises.

The Crown: Season 4 of The Crown was a popular Christmas binge. Arriving just in time to bring some otherworldly drama into our lives. We witnessed new characters switch up the dynamic of show, but as for royal fashion, we think of Diana, with costume designer Amy Roberts succeeding in her portrayal. The season followed Diana from naïve teen to certified People’s Princess, her messy journey towards finding her iconic style being reflected through recreations of some of her most out-there outfits of the early 1980s. Roberts’ beautiful attention to detail helped leave a whole new generation in awe of Diana and her style this Christmas.

An ‘80s pastel look was adopted for a younger Diana at the beginning of the series, with a bold graphic cardigan in place of Diana’s floral shirt, paired with real-life-identical overalls. This, being a favourite look of Diana’s that she wore for an engagement at Vogue in summer 1981. Whilst remaining true to the Princess, The Crown’s nod to this outfit provides a fun sense of Diana’s youthfulness at the start of her courtship with the Prince.

A personal highlight of the series was Diana’s black halter neck gown for Christmas at Balmoral. An early nod perhaps to the iconic revenge dress (whose recreation we anticipate in season 5), this stunning power-gown marked Diana’s transition into a woman ready to fight for her place. Of all the looks the audience were blessed with, this was most enviable.

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The Queen’s Gambit: With 62 million viewers in its first 28 days, Netflix’s unexpected hit told the heart-wrenching story of Beth Harmon’s journey from orphan to World Chess Champion. An absolute visual pleasure, this drama captivated viewers as much with its stunning ‘60s outfits as it did with its story.

Costume designer Gabriele Binder fashioned Beth’s wardrobe with a harmonic mix of custom items and vintage finds, helping Anya Taylor-Joy to stun in every frame. Beth brings to the modern viewer, true to the period, sixties staples. Highlights include oversized knits to more formal outfits, her signature retro printed shirts, as bold and decisive as her chess moves, and that game day outfit with cat eye sunglasses, a striking A-line mini and a silk headscarf. We can all take something from the outfits of this series to add a little power to our own wardrobes.

Bridgerton: The 238-strong costume department’s work to create 5000 full costumes for this new period drama has not gone unnoticed. Bridgerton has managed to steal hearts this lockdown. The genius team led by Ellen Mirojnick took inspiration loosely from the Regency period. Heavy influence is noticed from ‘50s and ‘60s Dior to create breath-taking empire gowns, with corsets designed by Mr. Pearl, who was responsible for Kim Kardashian’s iconic 2019 Met Gala look. While there is nothing envious about the odd social matchmaking frenzy the young ‘eligible’ ladies have to endure on the show, the dresses are another story.

Ballroom-scene after ballroom-scene takes us away from thoughts of lockdown this new year as we become lost in flowing dresses and stunning dance routines. The undeniable fashion highlight was Daphne Bridgerton’s entrance to the final ball of episode 3, after she has been rebuffed by the Duke, inciting that if you’re going to be turned down by that man, you want to do it looking this good. The music rightfully stops as Daphne comes to the top of the staircase in her dazzling white empire gown adorned daintily with pearls, sparkling elements down the back, and bust catching the light as she moves while soft curls escaping her elaborate hairdo to frame her face. Her positively princess-like entrance was a powerful moment of the series.

Costume envy arising from lockdown binge watch parties is real. We have in the past experienced high fashion through a TV screen but never in this light.

Image credit: Pixels-Pixabay