Mad Men is a show that is superlative to others in many ways: the outstanding acting, the on-point direction, the ridiculously perfect casting, attention to detail by set design, a script that any actor would kill for…. and, oh yeah, the best wardrobe department in the business.
Any man or woman I know (and even some kids, have you seen Sally’s outfits?) would be content for the rest of their days having only a few pieces of that audacious, colorful, sexy, classy collection.
All that being said, Mad Men was not the first show, and not the only show currently on the air that has amazing threads. So let’s explore the truly stellar ones, shall we?
10. Hannibal - Christopher Hargadon
“Hannibal,” a deliciously creepy new NBC drama (if you have not watched the first season, DO IT, it’s amazing), centers on the notorious psychologist with exotic tastes.
Costume Designer Christopher Hargadon wanted to mark this distinctly fresh take on the Hannibal story through the title character’s pointedly refined style: ”Even though this series is roughly based on the book and previous films, it has its own approach—in a sense it’s a prequel, but this is not the Hannibal we’re familiar with. He’s a sort of athletic, courtly, sophisticated European. I wanted to dress him with a feeling of the past and tradition and a rich heritage, but in looks that are also really appealing to the contemporary eye.”
Hannibal’s attire is dominated by three piece suits, elaborate, Deckard-type ties, pocket puffs and textured shirts. Slim-legged pants, “with an almost Edwardian fit,” Hargadon says, paired with piqued-lapelled jackets, round out the character’s custom-made wardrobe.
With few exceptions—a few cashmere sweaters, going tieless while working with the FBI in the field, or prepping for dirty kitchen work in an apron—the doctor is the perfect picture of a refined sociopath. In regards to the character’s palette, Hargadon worked with paler color schemes at the season’s start, but implemented darker tones to reflect the increasingly ominous story line. He said:
“I started him very light and approachable looking. As he unmasks himself over the 13 episodes, he becomes much darker—but always sophisticated.”
I love how his style coincides with the finesse of the visual mastery of the show. The way he cooks, kills and dresses all go hand in hand, as they seem effortless and calculated. He is a man that picks his suits days in advance, lays them out, maybe even tries them on first to see what occasion they would be best suited (no pun intended). And with his victims he does the same. He picks a recipe, goes through his Rolodex of acquaintances, and picks what goes with what. The best serial killers are the most well dressed, apparently!
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