The Façade: A Brief Look at His Last Vow

 While we wait for series four let’s review His Last Vow. The twist and turns kept us on the edge of our seat, the Sherlock fandom was screaming, and the costume lover in me enjoyed many small costume moments. Sarah Arthur is always excellent in her designs, and defines each character so richly within the Sherlock universe, she keeps the viewer in a comfortable place with each main characters. The new additions to the cast bring a composed vigor to the palette.   

Bill Wiggins is a nice addition to the shows costume palette, first seen in a nice mix of texture: knits, patterns, and leather. A great design and I can’t wait to see more in the future. A one time addition is our villain Charles Augustus Magnussen, making the viewers' skin crawl earlier in the episode his costumes remain subdued and balanced. Described as a shark, his costumes are sleek, and at one point he wears a silky gray suit. His power does not need to be explicit in his costume, he is feared and needs only to express his inner businessman. In the end his facade has dropped, the image of an evil empire is replaced with a savvy businessman, the costume is still sleek but missing the hint of mastermind villain. The balancing act of pushing color and small details helps us believe he is an archetypal villian, and when color is pulled in another direction and ties are changed, his image changes to just a businessman.

Janine in her short time on screen was taken to emotional heights and brought crashing down with some well earned monetary compensation. Her costume mood changes so quickly that in her short time we get to see love and heartbreak visualized. Janine starts out in the ultimate western romantic story arc costume, the “morning after” men’s shirt. An interesting costume choice, is the viewer being pushed to an area we are familiar in story costume archetypes or does Janine have some media influenced ideas? I don’t know but it gave me much to think about. Janine’s next costume is flower patterned dress, light in color, and a cardigan. An innocent design that is fresh like spring and new relationships. Much later in the day, Janine is wearing a saturated blue tailored dress, it is professional for work and mature. The many facets of a human are held within her design for the short time on screen. Finally Janine post break up, dressed professionally but there is rigidness to her design, the colors are strong and she is lacking her original softness. Janine’s costume story is a quick lesson in costume design. With many other excellent small costume moments the final episode of series three was very satisfying and I’m excited for the next adventure. Sarah Arthur will hopefully be back for series four and I can’t wait to see what detailed designs she comes up with.  

While we wait, in the time honored tradition, want to rewatch series 1-3 with me?

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