The Empty Hearse: A Quick Look
The months have been filled with theories, repeat viewings of series two, and a patiently waiting public. Two years later and we have arrived, welcoming old friends into our life for a three episode run. Already upon the second episode, excitement is running high, and I’m sure it will all end with shock, suspense, and possibly some heartbreak. The Empty Hearse brings us back into the familiar world of slim suits, utilitarian designs, and the coat. This episode is marked by John Watson and Sherlock Holmes finding their way back to the familiar with slight tweaks to the color palette.
A spectacular opening that included a coat fluff, hair ruffle, kiss, and a bungee cord. It was exciting but Anderson’s theory, breeze to John Watson, two years older and designed with utility in mind. A character who is a doctor, went to war, and lost his best friend: his design is slightly ridged in utility yet always fashionable. Sherlock Holmes introduction is laden with costume design love, each item receives adequate attention. The complete look is paramount to the character slipping back into his life. The clothes we wear can change how others perceive us and how we interact with the world. The recognizable feel of a wool slim suit, fitted shirt, and leather shoes: it is the feeling of slipping back into a former life. Finally the coat, specifically referred to and highlighted in the scene, I loved it. It would not be possible to be Sherlock Holmes without the coat, it is the essence of Sherlock.
The introduction of Mary Morstan, absolutely lovely in lavender, the dress is embellished, and she is radiant. The design is ultra feminine and a breath of fresh air to the color palette, just as the character is to the story. John and Sherlock’s palette tends to be a bit darker and more saturated and Mary’s grand entrance is in lavender, character emphasis and a great color on Amanda Abbington. At the end of the night Mary is designed in a fur coat, it is practical and so fun!
A beloved character of mine and wonderful to see her brightly colored costumes gracing my television again, wearing the familiar design of patterned blouses, cardigans, and bright colors. Utility and youth are markers for Molly, she wears a conventional coat with a multicolored jumper, vintage pattered blouse, and long striped scarf. Molly’s design is forever youthful, highly emphasized now that the viewers are getting to know her outside of St. Bart’s Hospital. We also get the treat to meeting Molly’s significant other. First introduction of Tom causes a big giggle, the use of a long coat with a wide collar and a scarf is shorthand for Sherlock. It is wonderful to see the emphasis of costume in the script, a great opportunity to learn the importance that costume plays in storytelling.
Wearing blue, a much softer color that his normal stark white or saturated purple, Sherlock’s color palette has slightly altered making room for the character and the viewer to explore new facets. Yet at the end of the episode we are treated to the characters uniform, John in his Haversack coat, tan knit trimmed with leather, and blue check shirt. Sherlock in the Belstaff coat, scarf tied just right, slim saturated shirt, narrow collar suit, and most importantly the deerstalker. Ending on costumes that have been made famous by critical acclaim and passionate fans, it feels like home.
Check out Wear Sherlock -the team has been working furiously finding items from the first two episodes!