‘The Crown’ Battles ‘Feud’ and ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ in Period Costume Emmy Race

IndieWire | 8/10/2017 | Staff
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This season all five period costume design nominees are steeped in politics and culture. But the smart money’s on “The Crown,” Netflix’s most prestigious and expensive series to date. Here the wardrobe of Queen Elizabeth II (nominated Claire Foy) expressed both her regal power and personal sacrifice. Plus Peter Morgan’s historical drama also fills the “Downton Abbey” void.

However, don’t underestimate the power of Old Hollywood with “Feud: Bette and Joan,” in which the contrasting wardrobes underscored the bitter rivalry between Bette Davis (nominated Susan Sarandon) and Joan Crawford (nominated Jessica Lange).

Feud

“Feud”

But there’s a dark horse to be reckoned with: “The Handmaid’s Tale,” in which red dresses symbolized menstrual blood and political rage in capturing Margaret Atwood’s dystopian America along with the anti-Trump zeitgeist.

Wardrobes - Westworld - Humanity - Theme - Park

And the contrasting wardrobes of “Westworld” defined the best and worst of humanity inside the theme park and the futuristic programming center. Finally, “Genius” mixed politics with science by dressing up and down the young and mature Albert Einstein (Johnny Flynn and nominated Geoffrey Rush).

“The Crown”

Wedding - Coronation - Dresses - Challenges - Costume

The wedding and coronation dresses offered distinct challenges for costume designer Michele Clapton (three-time Emmy winner for “Game of Thrones”). Authenticity, particularly the iconic silhouette, was important for the wedding dress, as was a comfortable fit for Foy as Elizabeth by altering the arms slightly. But the train alone alone took six weeks to complete with its own dedicated teams of embroiderers and beaders.

“The Crown”

Coronation - Dress - Silk - Satin - Emblems

The coronation dress, meanwhile, was created using white silk satin embroidered with the emblems of the UK and the Commonwealth. At Elizabeth’s insistence, there was a new design in the newly made purple Robe of Estate. And the embroidered cipher and border of wheat ears and olive branches took 35 hours to complete. Together, the outfits began to tell a deeply personal story about a very relatable Queen.

“Feud: Bette...
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