Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Screen Style...and a bit of a gripe

I suppose having raved so much about Sherlock before, I do owe at least a head-nod to the controversy about Steven Moffat's portrayal of Irene Adler in the season 2 opener before doing a run down of the lovely looks that the costume & prop teams put together.

Really, I don't have much to add to this review from the Guardian and this slightly more scathing summary by Stavvers. I hate to let myself be swayed by every new thing that I read, but having gone through those two articles, it's far too easy to see the point they're making as I sit and re-watch Scandal in Belgravia.

Mrs. Hudson is the scolding motherly type: constantly badgering the boys about the mess they leave in their flat and bemoaning the provocation of Sherlock's sexy new text alert seeing as how she is, after all, of a post-menopausal age. Apparently to Moffat, this clearly means that "at [her] stage of life" Mrs. Hudson has so little libido or even emotional interest in sex that any mention of the subject is an annoyance at best.

Molly Hooper comes off slightly better. Sure, she's the forlorn and desperate puppy whom Sherlock constantly kicks, but at least her quiet disappointment provokes him to some semblance of human sympathy: arguably a moment of growth for his character. "You always say such horrible things," she tells him. And to the surprise of all present, Sherlock offers a sincere apology. Not to mention that, come the season finale, Molly is the only person Sherlock trusts to help him overcome Moriarty.

There's not much more to say on the subject of The Woman that hasn't already been said. It is a bit pathetic that she's brought down by her incongruous girl-crush on Sherlock...and then has to be rescued by him on top of it all. Sure, if you don't think about it she comes off fine: she did work through that accident with the boomerang and managed to stump Sherlock's usual methods of deduction at their first meeting; even getting the drop on him to steal her phone back. But he rumbles her faked death, unlocks her phone, and even plots her rescue and does an even better job of faking her demise than she did. That said, a mind like that of the brilliant Mr. Holmes should have been able to deduce more from the naked Ms. Adler than he did. There were still her well-manicured hands (and other bits), elaborately coiffed hair, make-up, wrinkles, expressions, and gestures to consider. And he still closes out the episode by saying to himself in an admiring tone, "the Woman...the Woman." If Moffat wrote out any chance for Sherlock to admire her for her mind, then what's left is the obvious - if again incongruous - sexual attraction or emotional connection. At least, in that case, the tone has been lowered for all parties involved, regardless of sex.

All of these complaints taken into account, I still love me some Sherlock. And A Scandal in Belgravia has brilliant music, gorgeous costuming, and an engaging - if unfortunately sexist - story line. Let's get on to this episode's look:

1) The Alexander McQueen dress that Irene wears at the episode's start is gorgeous, sleek, and sophisticated. And I have a special place in my heart for the pencil skirt silhouette.
2) The cashmere turtleneck, Karen Millen gloves, and Christian Loboutin pumps all evoke or copy bits of Ms. Adler's wardrobe. The whole set is on my Pinterest page.
3) This Sephora by OPI polish isn't the exact shade from the show, but it's an affordable alternative.
4) I wouldn't suggest pulling a Sherlock, but these bed sheets from MUJI are probably comfy enough to wear in public!
5) I wouldn't keep human ash in it (remember the guy who was convinced his dead aunt had been replaced?), but this Raku urn from Dodero Studio Ceramics would look gorgeous on a shelf. And it comes in lots of lovely colours.

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