We have arrived at episode two and the wedding is upon us. With loved ones in attendance and everyone dressed to the nines thanks to the talented costume designer Sarah Arthur. With a very established look and feel of each character it is wonderful to see the characters in the context of a wedding, an event that requires very special and specific clothing. John and Sherlock are in full morning dress, the morning suit has a long history, originating during the early 19th century. It slowly transformed into a mixture of a riding coat and frock coat, during this time it was called a cutaway. In the early 20th century it was the uniform of a professional, today the morning suit is a wedding centric item (V&A Collection).
An item that of great importance in reality and fiction is the wedding dress, Mary is stunning in a Jane Bourvis dress. Beautiful cream lace, soft, and ultra feminine: an ethereal and gorgeous choice that is just breathtaking on Amanda Abbington. The dress truly speaks of the character, being inspired by the 1920’s and 30’s it is removed from your average ball gown wedding dress, as it should be since Mary she is not your average woman. Events leading up to the wedding are interspersed within the main event consisting of some interesting costume moments.
The viewers have always been privy to some of Sherlock’s process but not like this, the dimensionality of Sherlock’s process calls for a more in-depth visualization. With this the viewers get a sense of Sherlock’s own costume design work. This is an interesting area to explore, designing in Sherlock’s shoes. His deductions and perceptions of these women result in a complete design, just like a costume designer, most notable on Vicky in her bright red. Vicky being opinionated, feisty, and strong: she is wearing a red leather jacket and a rigidly red dress. Finally the use of uniforms, they play a large role in this episode.
From Sherlock “into battle” in full morning dress to the group women in very recognizable uniformed careers, uniforms can be strongly tied to identity. Major Sholto being stabbed in his uniform, items of clothing that play a strong part in his identity and downfall, an artistic way to be murdered. I have written a lot about the importance of the coat to Sherlock’s identity and it is fantastic the importance that clothing plays in the series. To all humans and through history clothing has been used for protection and identification, just a few uses among countless reasons. Lines like “battle dress” or “into battle” are layered with the importance that clothing plays in our lives, it is wonderful to see this in a television show.
Check out Wear Sherlock for identification of props and costumes.
V&A Collection: Coat. Retrieved January 30, 2014, from http://www.apastyle.org/learn/faqs/web-page-no-author.aspx.