Saturday, November 16, 2019

Style Inspiration: Marisa Coulter from His Dark Materials (BBC)

I am sometimes known for getting personal style inspiration from highly unusual places. Though I think, in this case, it's pretty easy to see why I'm inspired! Marisa Coulter from Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials series is not - to put it lightly - a nice person, but she is certainly compelling and complex. Although the 2007 movie adaptation of the first book in the series was not a particularly great success, I've always been fond of it, and I thought it was well-cast and that the set and costume design fit my vision of the story. From the two episodes so far, I think we can say the same good things about the new BBC series, and it's also a much more faithful adaptation of the source material. 

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I'm enjoying the series, though I think the pacing has been a little uneven. Episode one was an excellent start, but I was a little less sure about episode two and some of the revelations that they made far sooner than in the books. It's early days yet, though, and I'm so fond of the book series that there's almost no way I won't be watching every episode of this season as soon as it comes out. 

Ruth Wilson plays Mrs. Coulter very well, especially when she's being rather scary. I also really love the costume designs for this character, which focus a lot on rich textures and colors and these almost monochrome tone-on-tone outfits. As she tells Lyra: "The clothes you wear determine the way people see you." And Mrs. Coulter certainly dresses to be a striking figure who can't be ignored. 

I particularly like all of the blues and greens that she's been wearing in the show so far. They're colors that appear frequently in my collection of runway, red carpet, and otherwise more-fabulous-than-real-life fashion inspiration photos. I'm particularly in love with jade or teal shades this year, and well, it seems to be a trendy color right now! J.Crew, for instance, has a ton of items in a teal "spicy jade", and the "academic green" shade is also similar. 

The first screenshot above was particularly in line with items I've been thinking about recently, as I've been really struck by the idea of teal skirts in more satin-textured fabric, whether a pleated skirt or a slip skirt. J.Crew has both a pleated midi skirt option and a slip skirt option in that academic green color; Madewell has another slip skirt option; and Vince also has a pleated mixed media skirt in a similar color, which happens to be on sale in a few places. All these skirts are polyester or mostly polyester, though, which I prefer to avoid for anything that might be worn in warmer weather, even for more floaty, flow-y skirts that wouldn't be too constricting. (I'm very fussy about wearing more breathable fabrics during our very hot and humid NYC summers.) And while I've been really into the idea of silk-looking slip skirts since this summer, I do wonder if they're a short-lived trend that's destined to look a bit dated as soon as the trend goes away. 

Have any of you been watching the new His Dark Materials series? What do you think? It's my absolute favorite children's book series. Though I must confess that much of what was happening in The Amber Spyglass flew completely over my head until I revisited the series years later, while I was in college. 

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