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16th Century Fashion Police: Thou Art Under Arrest!

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They clearly hope the pretty, pretty costumes will distract you from, well, just about everything else in this camp fest.  And, to their credit, it nearly works.  Talk everything costumes, including how very, very anachronistic they are, here.

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LOL, I am binge watching The Borgias and those guys are doing the costumes correctly. I wish Reign could borrow some of them even if they would be about 50 years out of date. I think the designers think at anything floor length will work, from Empire to crinolines to strapless.

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For reference: Fashion of Reign Tumblr (complete with shopping links and prices, which is fun).

Over at TWoP a while back, a costume historian pointed out that in the pilot, three women were standing in a row, the first in a perfect replica of a 1660 dress, the second in a perfect 1760, and the third in a perfect 1860. That poster considered it a deliberate joke.

Edited by Cranberry
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I'm torn when it comes to the fashion on Reign. On one hand, I feel like this show is really becoming the spiritual successor to Gossip Girl so I understand the desire to just have things that look pretty or that reflect some modern trends to sell things to the teenage audience a la Gossip Girl and Pretty Little Liars. On the other hand, the level of historical inaccuracy can sometimes be painful and the fact that a lot of the costumes are accurate to "a" time period, if not the right one for this show, has to mean that they're referencing specific time periods. I do think things have improved since the pilot where the costumes were generally not just historically inaccurate but quite cheap looking. I don't mind the historical inaccuracy as much when I get to stare at lush fabrics and beautiful embroidery. Though it did really bug me in one scene where I think Kenna either had on feather earrings or a dreamcatcher necklace.

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Genevieve Valentine, a costume historian, writes a pretty funny blog about Reign and its lack of historic accuracy. The earlier ones are funniest when it comes to costumes, she seems to have gotten over trying to keep up with the inaccuracies, but it's still a damn funny recap. I'm pretty sure she's the one that pointed out the three different century costumes mentioned earlier.

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I am now in love with Genevieve Valentine. 

Thanks for the link to the fashion tumblr. I really like some of the jewelry, even if it's entirely inaccurate, but what is with all of these ornate headbands? Some of the dresses seem like they could pass to a layman's eye, but Greer's white dress from The Darkness episode just looks like a too-bridal prom dress.

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I love that blog. 

 

I am now in love with Genevieve Valentine. 

Thanks for the link to the fashion tumblr. I really like some of the jewelry, even if it's entirely inaccurate, but what is with all of these ornate headbands? Some of the dresses seem like they could pass to a layman's eye, but Greer's white dress from The Darkness episode just looks like a too-bridal prom dress.

Yeah it kind of reminds me of that Heath Ledger movie "A Knight's Tale" some looked vaguely medieval-ish and some looked completely modern including modern hats, it was strange. On this show its the same thing. Some look vaguely ok and others look like a high school play hasn't even bothered and just bought everyone cheap prom dresses to suggest royalty because tulle is "fancy".  

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Yeah, I just read all of Genevieve as well and loved it!  I appreciate that she points out the different eras the costumes would be from.  It's almost like the costumers on the show just thought, "Well, as long as it's not something someone would wear today we should be cool" (if they gave it that much thought).  I mean, I don't require costume accuracy for enjoyment, and there was never any way that the CW was going to OK gabeled hoods and skin covered from neck to ankle, but still . . . .  strapless dresses?  In the 16th century?  That bugs me.

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As a performer myself, I love costumes of all sorts.  I overlook historical accuracy with this show and just go "ooooh look!! Pretty".  If I decide to look the historical accuracy of a particular historical period up, I certainly will do that.  But me as a burlesque performer, if I chose to do a historical number it doesn't have to be TOO accurate (after all, it has to come off pretty easily)  I think it was Jo Boobs who once did a Marie Antoinette number and did a panier that was very open and very, very short.

Although if it is a movie where things are supposed to be really, really historical then I expect accurately historical costumes but if it is something clearly meant for entertainment and kind of soap operaish like reign then I don't really expect things to be too accurate. 

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Funny, I started watching Reign to see how bad it was. Then I sort of hate-watched to keep up with Genevieve's blog. Somewhere along the line, the silly thing grew on me and now, I want to see what's going to happen with the storyline/characters. As long as I view it as sort of historic, but mostly a bad fashion show with a plot, I think my brain is safe.

OK, Lola's white wedding dress with the veil? How many centuries before its time? That was really, really off and not that pretty, either. Super matronly. Can't wait to see what GV has to say about that one!

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OK, Lola's white wedding dress with the veil? How many centuries before its time? That was really, really off and not that pretty, either. Super matronly. Can't wait to see what GV has to say about that one!

That was terrible. It looked like a nightgown from the 60's.

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They clearly hope the pretty, pretty costumes will distract you from, well, just about everything else in this camp fest.  And, to their credit, it nearly works.  Talk everything costumes, including how very, very anachronistic they are, here.

 

Can they even be called anachronistic if they never existed in any period of time? Some of the dresses are straight up from the closet of Padme Amidala. But I usually put it aside, although the white wedding dresses did bug me, just because if you're doing all these bizarre things with costuming, can't you trust your audience to figure out/look up online that people didn't wear exclusively white wedding dresses then? It puts me in mind of the fabulous wedding dress Isabelle Adjani's Margot (daughter of Catherine) wears in "Queen Margot".

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Heh. One of the big things that got me when Genevieve pointed it out a couple of times is that Mary often  seemed to be allergic to shoulders and several dresses had long sleeves with shoulders cut out or dresses with detachable sleeves. Like they occasionally decided to go with it and at least have Mary in long sleeves but couldn’t quite bare to cover her up fully.

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I absolutely love the costumes on this show. Whether or not they or the storyline for that matter, are historically correct doesn't matter to me one iota. This show is one of my favorites and I hope it has a nice long run.

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I absolutely love the costumes on this show. Whether or not they or the storyline for that matter, are historically correct doesn't matter to me one iota. This show is one of my favorites and I hope it has a nice long run.

 

See, that's my thing. I wouldn't care either except I think so many costumes are so cheap and/or ugly looking. I know they're not working with a huge budget here but some of them look straight out of Party City's Old Renaissance Shoppe Costume section. One dress in particular that stands out is that weird dress with the floral patterns that Catherine has worn a lot. The base is dark with a maroon flowerish looking design and it's so damn sheer and flimsy looking. (This one: http://www.genevievevalentine.com/2013/12/reign-report-fated/)

 

I did like Mary's strapless green and white dress where the Scottish envoys professed their loyalty. It was ridiculous periodically speaking but it was nice.

Edited by ulkis

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Did you not like Mary's wedding dress? I did hate the costume she wore to the joust on the second day. It reminded me of that Carol Burnett sketch about Gone With the Wind and the draperies lol. I will say that I think that Kenna's dresses are probably my favorite, and I usually like almost all the hair accessories.

Edited by missbonnie
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I love the various styles, even the tacky ones. Once I realized they weren't going for historical accuracy, about ten minutes into the first episode, I just went along with the ride. I feel the same way about the popular music. It's like seeing a modern tale of Taming of the Shrew.

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Did you not like Mary's wedding dress? I did hate the costume she wore to the joust on the second day. It reminded me of that Carol Burnett sketch about Gone With the Wind and the draperies lol. I will say that I think that Kenna's dresses are probably my favorite, and I usually like almost all the hair accessories.

 

I think that one I liked the least, heh. Because in this case the writers could have made the wedding dress some other color than white and had fun and it would have been accurate. And instead they went with something pretty, but nothing memorable or particularly beautiful.

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Her dress though presumably looked nothing like that one. Nor did her hair style.

I mean I would give the writers points if I thought they had Mary in white because it was historically accurate but...something makes me think that "hey, we should do this because it's historically accurate" isn't exactly the writer's thought process. More like "PRETTY! DRAMA! ANGST! PRETTY!". Which, yeah, is sort of reflected by the fashion on the show so...points for that?

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I just got my hands on the DVD set (by the way, worth it if only for the deleted scenes. They have one or two for almost every single episode, and many of them are some pretty meaty scenes!), and thought it was interesting how the lead costume designer described Mary's ladies in waiting: Kenna is the "Bohemian look" with a lot of flow-ey fabrics, Lola is "The Romantic", which seems to mostly play into her color choices; they always want her in warm colors and reds. Greer apparently they deliberately overdress to contrast against the other girls with her lack of title. Poor Aylee didn't get any breakdown of her wardrobe but I think we can probably call her The Innocent, since she was never overexposed or overdecorate. Most of this is pretty obvious from watching, but I thought it was interesting to hear about.

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Just started watching.  Like a previous poster, I'm getting the "Knights Tale" vibe.  Lets say its about this time period, but make it pretty and give it a cool sound track so the kiddies will like it.  The totally strapless gowns do bother me, but I understand it.

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I especially loved the song during the coronation, does anyone know what it was? It seemed so fitting for the moment. I also loved the earrings Mary had on when she went to meet what's his name to thank him for bringing the German prisoners back. They looked like two stars one above the other.

Edited by missbonnie

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It took me a while to get acclimated to the costuming, but the thing I really like about it is that it reinforces that Mary and her ladies would have been the fashion plates at court. If that means that they have to showcase Marchesa, de la Renta, and McQueen to make that point, I'm fine with it.

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I personally hated that black thing that Mary was wearing for most of the last episode.  And it seemed like she was in it for almost every scene, which is strange cause she normally has several costumes per episode, no matter what the timeline is.  I just don't think black is that flattering on Adelaide.

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I personally hated that black thing that Mary was wearing for most of the last episode. And it seemed like she was in it for almost every scene, which is strange cause she normally has several costumes per episode, no matter what the timeline is. I just don't think black is that flattering on Adelaide.

I agree with you, because of her dark hair and eyes, she seems to almost disappear in head to toe black. I will also say that the white ruffled blouse/top whatever with the brownish belt was hideous. Also, I don't know if the gal that plays Claude has natural curl like that but either way I'd kill to have it. My sister has hair like that, big natural curls with no frizz and all she has to do is wash it and go.

Edited by missbonnie

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This show seems a fantasy world and the costumes are gorgeous, very creative, not to mention the hair. I recreate period dolls but this show is just interesting to watch because of the eclectic feel of the costumes. And the cute guys.

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The historical Mary actually did get married in white. It was her favorite color.

 

I know (well, now I know) Mary's wedding dress was white, but since it's wildly anachronistic anyway, I would have preferred for them to just do a cool wedding dress out of the ordinary.

 

(Sorry this response is about a year later. I could have sworn that I replied to this last year, but I guess not.)

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I can't paste the image but Google Elizabeth I.  Doesn't look like the Elizabeth we saw last night LOL.  What the hell was she wearing with that fluffy white shite as her collar?  Where's the white pancake makeup?  As for Mary, during Francis' funeral, did women really wear lace mantillas in the 1500's?

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The show has been as fanciful with costuming as it has been with history.  We went from prom dresses to feather skirts to whatever creative imagining the designers come up with.  Once you give up on the idea that it should be accurate, the costumes are quite enjoyable.

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