One of my good friends has a sister who is a costume designer based in Los Angeles; she has dressed celebrities across all genres (you’ve seen her work in Mad Men, True Blood, The Curious Case of Benjamin Buttons and more). One of her greatest complaints about the Oscars is that the Costume Design award usually goes to period films. The reason for her complaint? That period films are the easiest to design because they are almost all “research and copy”. Where’s the challenge in that? Well, what if you take one of the most vivid period characters of literature, spin him on his head through a movie rendition, and then bring him to modern times through a television series?
I speak of Sherlock Holmes.
There were many reactions to the drastic change of dress that Robert Downey Jr.’s Sherlock character donned versus the traditional attire worn by actors such as Christopher Plummer and Basil Rathbone. One site actually gave readers suggestions on where they could buy similar items worn by Downey from the first Sherlock movie! Now enter the latest Sherlock, running side by side practically with the recent films, but from a different era. The PBS series Sherlock starring Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock and Martin Freeman as Watson (the second series premiered last night), takes place in modern London. Modern London, with a modern wardrobe.
However, instead of trying to find items similar to what the characters wear in this series, a few fans decided to help you don the look directly from the show. Enter, Sherlockology. According to their “About” page, “Sherlockology is an unofficial BBC Sherlock fansite, which was started by a group of individuals who work within the media industry with various backgrounds such as social media, internet marketing, web development, graphic design, photography and video editing.”
This site not only gives insight into characters, episodes and behind the scenes, but it also has an entire section devoted to the wardrobe of the series. Working men, put on your best Sherlock, Watson or even Moriarty! And I’m not talking about Halloween costumes here – many of these items can easily translate into your working wardrobe. The reason is partly because this series doesn’t necessarily follow the belief that Sherlock and Watson are actually quite poor (in fact near broke). That may have been the case in the previous movies and the original stories, but in present-day London, Sherlock dons shirts from Dolce & Gabbana and suits from Spencer Hart while Watson’s black coat is from Haversack priced at £725.00. Granted the Sherlock series does completely take the characters out of their original time period within which Arthur Conan Doyle had them placed, so I can take that suspension of disbelief a little further.
Despite what fans and followers of Sherlock Holmes (new and old) may say about story lines, the clothes are fantastic. They fit the actors, represent the characters, and demonstrate tremendous modern-day style. It’s not often you can showcase both fashion and fandom while still following your office dress code.