Sarah Arthur, costume designer for series 1 is back for another round of wonderfully designed costumes. Series 2 started off with some great costumes, some will become iconic to the fans such as the sheet worn by Sherlock. Using the same costume designer brings a visual continuity to the story, and makes the viewer feel right at home with the new series. There are many familiar pieces for Sherlock and John, the now iconic Belstaff coat worn by Sherlock and my personal favorite John’s Haversack jacket . The Spencer Hart slim suits and Dolce & Gabbana shirts worn by Sherlock and John’s plaid woven or striped knit shirts with most likely Uniqlo jeans are all reminders of the first series.
There are many new lovely designs and pieces worn by the characters. Sherlock owns two more dressing gowns one red and the other red plaid. We also get to see the deerstalker, not originally worn in the books but made famous by illustartor Sidney Paget. New additions are a suit with open cuffs and a diagonal pocket at the chest, but still slim and appear to be in the design of a Spencer Hart. The sheet is also very comical and one may think easy to pick out but the color and fabric is very important. The sheet is not white, if it were it would be very stark against the surrounds. The sheet is surprisingly not very wrinkled so it could mean a cotton blend or at every break in filming it was steamed to death. Whatever the fiber content or color, it was very funny.
John Watson has new editions to his wardrobe, a Barbour and Folk jacket. The Barbour International 75th anniversary waxed jacket in sandstone, is a brown heavyweight 8oz wax with a cotton check lining, a storm collar made from corduroy with an adjustable neck strap. The label has been removed for the costume and replaced with a leather black patch, the corduroy and leather is reminiscent of John’s Haversack jacket. Barbour designs outdoor and country clothing with a hint of utility. The color recalls back to John’s earthy color palette, it is breathable and waterproof, perfect for John Watson.
The Folk overcoat is from their spring/summer 2011 collection, sourced fabric from Japan, it is a tight weave but not waterproof, pockets are made from chambray for strength with cotton poplin lining. Jacket details include a leather strap and a draw string that can be worn inside or outside. John’s drawstring had been changed to white and the green color fits the earthy color palette. Folk founded in 2001 by Cathal McAteer, inspired by vintage styles, the company stresses high quality fabrics and understated designs. I still love the Haversack but the Folk overcoat is a strong second. The leather strap is unique and a pleasing design, the lines are simple and classic, and that makes for a beautiful coat.
Molly Hooper wears a very notable costume during the Christmas party, a black body-hugging dress with rhinestone trim, matching straps, and a pair of red Mary Jane pumps. Molly is overly accessorized with matching large rhinestone circle earrings and a silver gift bow in her hair. The costume tells a story to the viewer, it explains who she is and what her intentions are at the Christmas party. Sherlock a little heartlessly describe the outfit’s intentions, just like the lip stick matching the gift wrapping the brilliant Sarah Arthur also matches the red shoes to the lip stick. I feel the costume is perfect, capturing Molly’s fanciful side in the sparkle of the rhinestones, a little festive, hopeful, and cute with the gift bow in her hair, the huge earrings that look like they were from a yesteryears trend, and the awkward bra straps. Molly Hooper a very hard worker would not have the time to be always updating her wardrobe. She is dressed to impress but she may have missed the window slightly. I can imagine her over thinking the outfit and ending on a very Molly Hooper look. Molly Hooper is a wonderful character and I think she would be a treat to design for.
When we first see Mrs. Hudson again she is wearing a wonderful jacket with lace embellishment, puff sleeves, and a scalloped edge. Her costumes are very feminine and reminiscent of Victorian clothing. Series one her color palette is jewel tones, but this series she has branched out a little with a green cardigan and multicolor scarf. The green cardigan also has a nice embellishment of buttons down the cuff and gathering at the sleeve cap. She always has a little more color thrown into her costumes compared to other characters, and I think this really reflects Mrs. Hudson.
Irene Adler, the character and costumes have a huge impact on the viewer and story. She is a strong female character and the costumes reflect the power she holds in the color and design. The designs are classic and have a very simple beauty. Adler’s lingerie is feminine with lace trim or all lace; it is absolutely beautiful. A personal favorite is the green peignoir, it is perfect, and I only wish we got to see more of it. Alder knows who she is and part of her job she must know the needs of others. The first dress we see her in is the Illusion-Bolero Sheath dress from Alexander McQueen, ivory in color, and made from a wool crepe. The dress has beautiful lines and being the first time we meet Irene Alder the color ivory is significant. Ivory is a much more sophisticated color than white, it has more depth and interested, and white is not a very forgiving color on many. Worn with the dress are stockings with a seam and Christian Louboutin shoes, the red sole is a dead giveaway. The contrast of the ivory dress and the red soled shoes is the perfect mix of the character personified in an outfit. Later we see her in a black dress, the details are very hard to make out but it flows and drapes gorgeously. The last dress we see is a highly embellished black dress, it has a great neckline but whole dress is hard to make out. The characters story and dress go hand and hand, each has significance and can be interpreted how you like.
Sarah Arthur has a great eye and did a fantastic job, I cannot express enough how much I love her designs.
Update: Irene Adler's beautiful black dress is from Jacques Azagury Autumn/Winter 2010 collection. Check it out for a little more detail, it is dress T17.
Thank you to wearsherlock for the identifying the ivory dress, check out their tumblr for great Sherlock prop and costume information.