‘A Very British Scandal’ Costumes, Fashion Breakdown: Photos, Details – WWD – Pen 18

The real-life Duchess of Argyll, Margaret Campbell, is best known for her title-making divorce from her second husband, Ian Campbell, Duke of Argyll. However, his signature style has also become an important part of his legacy.

The Duchess and her ex-husband are the subject of a new Amazon Prime Video and BBC three-part limited series called “A Very British Scandal”, which tells a dramatic version of the couple’s high-profile divorce, where the Duke (played by ) by Paul Bettany) leaked nude images of his wife to the media.

Costume designer Ian Fulcher was tasked with creating the wardrobe for the series, which debuted Friday on the streaming service. In the nearly 16 years between the 1940s and 1960s, Fulcher had plenty of references to 85 costumes made for the Duchess (played by Claire Foy), but decided not to make identical replicas of her wardrobe.

“With Margaret, the approach was that we always wanted an essence of who Margaret was, but it wasn’t really copying the clothes she was wearing,” Fulcher explained. “We wanted to create something that a contemporary audience could identify with more and not make it so period. We are still adhering to the true period silhouette of clothing, but making little use of elements that are about You wouldn’t think they would have worn that.

Fulcher said he wanted to create continuity with the Duchess’s style over a 16-year period by using the same Venetian wool in all of her dresses. She added that the Duchess’s style evolved over time as she adopted popular styles such as the pencil skirt in the 1950s and the boxier silhouette in the 1960s – her style was consistently defined as sensual and bold, reflecting her style. Reflects personality, he said.

Claire Foy in “A Very British Scandal”.
Alan Peebles/BBC

“I describe [the duchess’ style] The period in which we are seeing her, which is mainly in the 1950s and 1960s, is very typical as an elite woman,” he said. “What I loved is that the older she got, the more statement she was making. The hair got bigger, the pearls got bigger, which I think is really fun. The fact that all of them Through the statements, it’s always her statement. I felt like she never really gave a damn about what people thought. She did what she wanted.”

While Fulcher introduced a few pieces — especially trousers — to the Duchess’s wardrobe that weren’t part of her actual lifestyle, she also took some of the hallmarks of her style and put her own spin on them.

For example, in the 1970s the Duchess of Argyll was regularly seen in animal-print kaftans and dresses. Fulcher didn’t think an animal print outfit suited the “A Very British Scandal” aesthetic, so she incorporated a tiger-print scarf into Foy’s courtroom outfit instead.

Fulcher thinks that since the Duchess had a signature style, costumes play a part in Foy’s portrayal of the character.

“It’s about her identity and it’s her armor,” he said of the real-life Duchess’ style. “We made this sexier, stronger person on camera and she, to me, always stood out for it as Claire hugged her and the clothes hopefully woke her up.”

When it came to creating costumes for the Duke of Argyll, Fulcher took less creative liberties. He explained that the Duke consistently wore the same cut of three-piece suits until his death in the 1970s and wanted to stick with that silhouette for Bettany.

Despite using the same silhouette for the 16-year run time of the series, Fulcher diversified through color as Duke.

“When we first see him, he’s in soft colors,” Fulcher said. “Then when we see him in Biarritz, he’s in these summer colors, and then when we see him toward the end, it’s these fiery reds that he accentuates. This is his short journey Which is depicted in color, which always plays a strong role in the massively in the costumes.

Overall, Fulcher stated that his mission with the series’ costumes was not to detract from the dramatic plot but to advance the characters’ stories.

“Costume plays such an integral role in any production because as a viewer you have to be directly engrossed in what you are seeing,” he said. “Sometimes, if you design costumes that are all over the top and there is a lot, the audience can be put off by the play. So, really, with a lot of clothing and clothing it’s not particularly doing that, so that you’re still engrossed in what’s happening in front of you. ,

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