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The return of ‘Suits’: great fashion on television

By: Canadian Living
Canadian Living
Style

The return of ‘Suits’: great fashion on television

By: Canadian Living

Suits Costume Design

Season three of Suits finally returns to Bravo on March 6, 2014. The legal drama, set in New York but shot in Toronto, is anchored by Harvey Spector (Gabriel Macht), a partner at Pearson and Spector and Mike Ross (Canadian Patrick J. Adams), his genius associate, who get involved in all kinds of legal shenanigans.

Though the law features strongly in  Suits, I think the show’s been a hit for other reasons: The writing is great (amazing banter and scenes of lawyerly drama), and the ensemble cast is supremely talented. The lawyers, paralegals and executive assistants in this world are real, flawed and their relationships (professional and otherwise) are the driving force of the show. Meltdowns, broken hearts, professional secrets, wins, losses and power plays— Suits has it all. But the element that really makes this drama shine? The costume design.  Suits’ characters have unbelievable designer wardrobes. Jolie Andreatta, the show’s costume designer, has taken business style to new levels. She outfits the men in sharp, impeccably tailored suits, and the women, from executive assistants to senior lawyers, wear labels that make me pine for a distant pay grade. (The suspension of disbelief is necessary while watching the show—how much can a paralegal actually pull in to afford such a wardrobe?) Harvey Spector and Mike Ross spend their days in Tom Ford or Burberry. Harvey, as the firm’s closer and serious power player, often wears three-piece pinstripe suits with spread collars and windsor knots. In contrast, his underling, the loveable Mike, sticks with dark, conservative suits with slim-notch lapels and narrow ties. They both look like a million bucks. The women also wow with elegant, form-fitting designer pieces from Victoria Beckham, Dior, Prada and Burberry. Managing partner Jessica Pearson (Gina Torres) is jaw-droppingly gorgeous in structured shift dresses, which sometimes have sculptural draping or other unusual architectural elements. Paralegal Rachel Zane (Meghan Markle) usually wears sophisticated separates—think sexy blouse with streamlined pencil skirt. Donna Paulson (Sarah Rafferty) amps up the executive assistant look with sexy knit dresses and plunging necklines. There are no busy patterns or extraneous fabric on any of these characters, only the empowered look of bold, solid colours and a sleek silhouette. I would argue that costume design has been integral to the success of  Suits. What these characters wear is as important as what they say. In this world, business attire illustrates status—like a badge of power, strength, independence, sexuality or even vulnerability, the clothes tell the story before anyone says a word. Season three will finish in 2014 but the series is far from over. The USA Network has ordered a 16-episode fourth season. I’m looking forward to seeing where the costume design goes next—the bar’s already pretty darn high. Photos courtesy of Bell Media
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The return of ‘Suits’: great fashion on television

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