From Reel to Real Life

by Allysha Nila
Subculture is the new mainstream, whether you like it, know it or not. And this is the year of TV and film revivals and adaptations. If you haven’t heard of any of these smashing shows, we have you covered
The Beguiled

The Palm d’Or-winning, Sofia Coppola-directed film is an adaptation of the 1966 Southern Gothic novel, A Painted Devil, by Thomas P Cullinan. An injured Union soldier is rescued and taken in by a group of rural Mississippi women running an all-girl boarding school… and they’re all pretty damn twisted. He quickly develops relationships with each woman, turning them against each other. Channel the nastiness of the characters by conjuring a repressive façade: Wear high collars, intricate detailing and soft tones – they’ll never see the wickedness coming.


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Twin Peaks

One of most iconic scenes from the surreal drama is set at The Red Room, the mysterious lounge where murder victim Laura Palmer and FBI agent Dale Cooper finally meet. (It’s also where director David Lynch left his viewers on Season 2 in 1991). Fast forward to 2017. Both characters are dressed in the same black tie garb from 26 years ago, yet looking ever so “now”. Learn a thing or two from Palmer: Pick a killer outfit, tailored and sharp; mix your silvers with gold; incorporate chevrons in some form, why don’t you.


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For this X-Men comic adaptation, director Noah Hawley visualised a TV series that blends the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s with modern-day elements. The result is a stylish masterpiece, set at an ambiguous time frame. May we bring your attention to protagonist David Haller’s outfit – that’s his asylum’s patients’ uniform, and a chic one at that. The show’s wardrobe borrows elements from sportswear, favouring mellow colour palettes that include browns, mustards. You, too, can experiment with graphic exotic skins and contrast piping for an effortless retro look. 


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The Handmaid’s Tale

This is a Vermeer-like TV adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s 1985 dystopian novel, set in a not-so-distant future United States. Renamed Gilead, the country has become a totalitarian state that oppresses women, subjecting them to what’s basically state-sanctioned rape. But wait, there’s more: They’re all made to wear a strict uniform of white winged bonnets; full-length red garb and combat boots. Grotesquely relevant to the prevalent extremism happening around the globe, this story giving new meaning to the colour red as a symbol of female rebellion.


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Images: Ben Rothstein/Focus Films (The Beguiled); Suzanne Tenner/Showtime (Twin Peaks); Michelle Faye/FX (Legion); George Kraychyk/Hulu (The Handmaid's Tale)

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