Monthly Archives: January 2012

Seen very early in the A Scandal Belgravia, the viewer only catches a glimpse of the very sophisticated and gorgeous lingerie dress. The short peak we get at Irene Adler allows the viewer an early judgment on the character. The costume helps the discerning viewer start to understand who Irene Adler is.

The dress comes from Agent Provocateur Soiree spring 2010 collection, a line that is very high quality with interesting embellishments. The dress has a bias cut in the front and back that connects to a hip high slit, long sleeve, and a cowl type neckline. The lace dress never went into production sadly but it can be seen here.

Store opening in La Rinascente, Milan

It is first down the runway at the Soho Grand Hotel

Commercial for the Spring 2010 collection, The dress appears about 53 seconds in. NSFW

Here is a similar lace dress from Agent Provocateur, similar in design with a different neckline, and the details are a little more clear.

Check out my other Sherlock costume posts:

Sherlock: John Watson’s Costume: Part 1

Sherlock: The Suits: Part 2

Sherlock Series 2: Irene Adler 

Sherlock: Sarah Sawyer

Sherlock Series 2: A Scandal in Belgravia Costume Overview

Sherlock Series 2: The Hounds of Baskerville Costume Discussion


We have reached the middle of the adventure, the story has been fantastic and exciting, and the costume designs brilliant. The costume designs by the lovely Sarah Arthur truly enhance the excitement of the story.  The color palette for most of the characters continues to be earthy, with small splashes of brighter colors. With the introduction of Henry Knight, his costumes bring a new layer of costume brilliance.

Henry Knight played by Russell Tovey wears some great knits. From a simple pull over to a chunky rib knit sweater, the designs for this character are very classic, casual, and functional. It was hard to get a detailed look at many of his costumes therefore I did not try to identify the pieces. The knits are great for running around the moors at night and being paranoid, but in all seriousness Arthurs designs for Knight were very solid.

The Hounds of Baskerville starts out with a visually comedic costume, Sherlock’s blood covered outfit. Costume designing and blood, the small amount of insight I have into costume designing has given me peak into the process. As a costume designer and when working with blood it is very important to have multiple pieces. Like the television show 24, many times costume designer Jim Lapidus needed 24 multiples, but that show did have more violence, blood, and explosions than Sherlock. These small insights into costume designing I find very interesting, Arthur may only have needed one shirt covered in blood, since the viewer does not see Sherlock before he is covered in blood.

I am always excited to see what Sarah Arthur has designed for John Watson, The Hounds of Baskerville costume highlight for me was the Folk Jacket with the plaid shirt. The green jacket and colors of the plaid are very complementary, and looked fantastic on Martin Freeman. Another classic Watson costume was slightly changed, the Haversack jacket with the burgundy trim. This was worn with a red orange button down shirt and a burgundy knit sweater. John Watson’s slight color change could mean change for the character but the burgundy color still has earthy undertones, a color much more rich and interesting than just red. Last note on John Watson, he looks great in a cardigan.

I feel what was really highlighted in this episode was the powerful correlation between clothing and storytelling. Every costume designer knows how important the costumes are for the story and the characters, and many of Sherlock’s deductions illustrated this. Very early in the episode Sherlock deduced information from Mrs. Hudson’s dress. The dress contributes to the characters story, and this is pointed out to the viewer, but I feel many times with contemporary costume designs the meaning will be under the radar of the viewer. Another example of costume and character working together is Sherlock’s upturned collar. Benedict Cumberbatch does have a long neck and the collar creates a pleasing silhouette, but for the character the upturned collar is becoming much more than a nice coat, it is about Sherlock’s image and character. The image of Sherlock to the world, as John Watson describes Sherlock after he turns up his collar “you being all mysterious, with your cheek bones and turning your coat collar up so you look cool.” The play between character and costume is very interesting, and the upturned collar is such an integral part of the character now.

Often contemporary designs will not be as eye popping as historical costumes, but as many of you know they are just as amazing and important to the story. It is just another way a story can be told from a visual standpoint, and that is what I love about costume designing.

Check out Wear Sherlock BBC, these savvy people may have already identified some of the lovely knits. Also check out Sherlockology they will be updating soon with costume and prop information from Sherlock Series 2.

Check out my other Sherlock costume posts:

Sherlock: John Watson’s Costume: Part 1

Sherlock: The Suits: Part 2

Sherlock Series 2: Irene Adler 

Sherlock: Sarah Sawyer

Sherlock Series 2: A Scandal in Belgravia Costume Overview

Okay I’m hearing some disagreement, I’m just extremely bias. Arrested Development is my favorite TV show, created by the brilliant Mitchell Hurwitz. Hurwitz brought us the story of a family from Orange County California, a family that loses everything and is kept together by one man. Supported by an amazing writing team and a perfect cast, Arrested Development truly does rank very high in the echelon of television greats. Many of its cast members have reached great heights since the end of Arrested Development and the fans have been loyal followers.

A few years ago I acquired four costumes from Arrested Development, used in the episodes Sword of Destiny, Spring Breakout, and Prison Break-in.

Season 2: Sword of Destiny

Worn by Tony Hale as Buster Bluth

Buster Bluth playing a magician to help Gob Bluth get back into the magicians alliance, the sleeve is cut to allow a fake hand to be cut off and re attached. Kenneth Cole 100% cotton.

Season 2: Spring Breakout

Worn by Will Arnett as Gob Bluth

Kenneth Cole 100% cotton, this shirt was used twice in the second season.

Season 3: Prison Break-in

Worn by Alia Shawkat as Mae “Maeby” Funke

A.B.S. by Allen Schwartz, 97% polyester and 3% elastic, sheer fabric with sequin and bead embellishment, and empire waist with tie.

Season 3: multiple episodes

Worn by David Cross as Tobias Funke

Tuxedo worn throughout season 3

Check out the Balboa Observer-Picayune, complete information about Arrested Development, it is my go to source for Arrested Development information.

Sarah Arthur, costume designer for series 1 is back for another round of wonderfully designed costumes. Series 2 started off with some great costumes, some will become iconic to the fans such as the sheet worn by Sherlock. Using the same costume designer brings a visual continuity to the story, and makes the viewer feel right at home with the new series. There are many familiar pieces for Sherlock and John, the now iconic Belstaff coat worn by Sherlock and my personal favorite John’s Haversack jacket . The Spencer Hart slim suits and Dolce & Gabbana shirts worn by Sherlock and John’s plaid woven or striped knit shirts with most likely Uniqlo jeans are all reminders of the first series.

There are many new lovely designs and pieces worn by the characters. Sherlock owns two more dressing gowns one red and the other red plaid. We also get to see the deerstalker, not originally worn in the books but made famous by illustartor Sidney Paget. New additions are a suit with open cuffs and a diagonal pocket at the chest, but still slim and appear to be in the design of a Spencer Hart. The sheet is also very comical and one may think easy to pick out but the color and fabric is very important. The sheet is not white, if it were it would be very stark against the surrounds. The sheet is surprisingly not very wrinkled so it could mean a cotton blend or at every break in filming it was steamed to death. Whatever the fiber content or color, it was very funny.


John Watson has new editions to his wardrobe, a Barbour and Folk jacket. The Barbour International 75th anniversary waxed jacket in sandstone, is a brown heavyweight 8oz wax with a cotton check lining, a storm collar made from corduroy with an adjustable neck strap. The label has been removed for the costume and replaced with a leather black patch, the corduroy and leather is reminiscent of John’s Haversack jacket. Barbour designs outdoor and country clothing with a hint of utility. The color recalls back to John’s earthy color palette, it is breathable and waterproof, perfect for John Watson.

The Folk overcoat is from their spring/summer 2011 collection, sourced fabric from Japan, it is a tight weave but not waterproof, pockets are made from chambray for strength with cotton poplin lining. Jacket details include a leather strap and a draw string that can be worn inside or outside. John’s drawstring had been changed to white and the green color fits the earthy color palette. Folk founded in 2001 by Cathal McAteer, inspired by vintage styles, the company stresses high quality fabrics and understated designs. I still love the Haversack but the Folk overcoat is a strong second. The leather strap is unique and a pleasing design, the lines are simple and classic, and that makes for a beautiful coat.

Molly Hooper wears a very notable costume during the Christmas party, a black body-hugging dress with rhinestone trim, matching straps, and a pair of red Mary Jane pumps. Molly is overly accessorized with matching large rhinestone circle earrings and a silver gift bow in her hair. The costume tells a story to the viewer, it explains who she is and what her intentions are at the Christmas party. Sherlock a little heartlessly describe the outfit’s intentions, just like the lip stick matching the gift wrapping the brilliant Sarah Arthur also matches the red shoes to the lip stick. I feel the costume is perfect, capturing Molly’s fanciful side in the sparkle of the rhinestones, a little festive, hopeful, and cute with the gift bow in her hair, the huge earrings that look like they were from a yesteryears trend, and the awkward bra straps. Molly Hooper a very hard worker would not have the time to be always updating her wardrobe. She is dressed to impress but she may have missed the window slightly. I can imagine her over thinking the outfit and ending on a very Molly Hooper look. Molly Hooper is a wonderful character and I think she would be a treat to design for.

When we first see Mrs. Hudson again she is wearing a wonderful jacket with lace embellishment, puff sleeves, and a scalloped edge. Her costumes are very feminine and reminiscent of Victorian clothing. Series one her color palette is jewel tones, but this series she has branched out a little with a green cardigan and multicolor scarf. The green cardigan also has a nice embellishment of buttons down the cuff and gathering at the sleeve cap. She always has a little more color thrown into her costumes compared to other characters, and I think this really reflects Mrs. Hudson.

Irene Adler, the character and costumes have a huge impact on the viewer and story. She is a strong female character and the costumes reflect the power she holds in the color and design. The designs are classic and have a very simple beauty. Adler’s lingerie is feminine with lace trim or all lace; it is absolutely beautiful. A personal favorite is the green peignoir, it is perfect, and I only wish we got to see more of it. Alder knows who she is and part of her job she must know the needs of others. The first dress we see her in is the Illusion-Bolero Sheath dress from Alexander McQueen, ivory in color, and made from a wool crepe. The dress has beautiful lines and being the first time we meet Irene Alder the color ivory is significant. Ivory is a much more sophisticated color than white, it has more depth and interested, and white is not a very forgiving color on many. Worn with the dress are stockings with a seam and Christian Louboutin shoes, the red sole is a dead giveaway. The contrast of the ivory dress and the red soled shoes is the perfect mix of the character personified in an outfit. Later we see her in a black dress, the details are very hard to make out but it flows and drapes gorgeously. The last dress we see is a highly embellished black dress, it has a great neckline but whole dress is hard to make out. The characters story and dress go hand and hand, each has significance and can be interpreted how you like.

The red sole
Dress detail and Thank you to wearsherlock 

Sarah Arthur has a great eye and did a fantastic job, I cannot express enough how much I love her designs.

Update: Irene Adler’s beautiful black dress is from Jacques Azagury Autumn/Winter 2010 collection. Check it out for a little more detail, it is dress T17.

Thank you to wearsherlock for the identifying the ivory dress, check out their tumblr for great Sherlock prop and costume information.




Sherlock: John Watson’s Costume: Part 1

Sherlock: The Suits: Part 2

Sherlock Series 2: Irene Adler 

Sherlock: Sarah Sawyer

Zoe Telford plays Dr. Sarah Sawyer, coworker and love interested of John Watson. Sarah Arthur the costume designer for Sherlock did a wonderful job at visually defining the character of Sarah Sawyer. To the credit of Sarah Arthur she defines Sawyer’s image in only a few scenes and it is reinforced every time.

I loved the very feminine image of Sarah Sawyer, many of the pieces she wears have small details that make the costume designs exceptional. All the skirts worn by Sawyer have a pattern, worn with traditional blouses with small embellishments. What Sarah wears to work is classic with modern designs like a double collar and small pleats at the arms. Sarah’s color palette is mostly earth tones, similar to many of the other characters, and few wear bright colors.

Simple blouse with a double color and pleats at the arms, these small embellishments take this blouse up a notch. Just like the character the blouse is distinct and classic. Worn by a woman who clearly understands who she is and the image she wishes to convey.

Very feminine blouse, three buttons covering the shoulder, puff sleeves, pleats down the front, and with a peasant influence.

I searched for the pieces worn by Sarah Sawyer, it is a difficult task and I came up with nothing. I did find wonderful pieces that were similar in design with a greater color range. If as a viewer you are interested in Sarah Sawyer’s look here are some pieces that can help your wardrobe have a touch of Dr. Sarah Sawyer.

Each shirt is classic with a fashionable twist. Click the image to check out larger images and to buy the shirt.

The skirts worn by Sarah are straight and a line skirts with embellishments.

Interesting wide waistline, feminine bow embellishment, bow pattern, gathered giving volume, and pockets.

Large embellishment in front at waistline and pleats add a pleasing design with practical pockets. Again the skirt has a patterned fabric, adding a visually pleasing and flattering element.

Click to buy or for larger image.

Check out my other Sherlock costume posts here:

Part 1

Part 2

Irene Adler