Of royal inspiration.
Described as a sometimes true story, the last drama of the Stans period Great is a fun piece of escaped television. With Elle Fanning and Nicholas Hoult, Great takes us back to 18th century Russia when a young Catherine the Great married for the first time the Emperor Peter III. The show traces her rise as a leader as she transforms from an idealistic girl into an ambitious and strong woman.
Written by Australian Tony McNamara, who also wrote the critically acclaimed period drama The favourite, the show combines historical narrative and follies of comic and witty fiction.
From Peter III dining with the heads of Swedish soldiers on the tables to a chained bear being a regular presence at royal festivals, Great is a wild glimpse of the extravagance of the Russian royal court in the 1700s.
The show was compared to the 2006 Sofia Coppolas film Marie Antoinette for its blend of period drama and contemporary style, and while it is not recommended if you want a perfectly historical account of the rule of the empress, it is a welcome respite of ten episodes from real life .
The costumes were designed by Emma Fryer who had her first big break while working on another drama of the remarkable period, Shakespeare in love. To create the appearance of the characters Great, Emma studied Russian imperialist history, including the original court paintings.
To give the costumes a more modern touch, she used fabrics that were not used at the time and was inspired by contemporary designers such as Versace, Dior and Alexander McQueen.
The result is a mix of bright and royal colors, bold accessories and striking silhouettes. I have selected some of the most memorable style moments so that you too can move forward and take inspiration from the wild world of Russia’s oldest empress.
Exceptionally noisy dresses
When we see Catherine for the first time, she is dressed in a delicate yellow dress. But as time advances and Catherine grows as a woman and character, pastel and cream colors transform into bold statements of leadership and femininity and one of the most memorable looks is this bright pink dress.
Just like Villanelles iconic pink tulle dressed in Killing Eve, this dress is a real show stopper and a powerful statement of its position in the yard. If you are looking for an evening dress inspired by the era, the sustainable Sydney label Skills has a modern take on the eye-catching look of Catherines.
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Knee high boots, of course
Worn by Peter III, a childish emperor who desperately wants to be as tall as his father, knee-high boots are a constant for the chaotic character, worn as he slams vodka and borscht and tramples around the Russian palace , wreaking havoc.
Three hundred years later, leather boots are still an essential winter purchase. These Ganni are great and they also look sturdy, something I like because it means you can kick Peter III while wearing them without hurting your feet once you watch the show, you will understand what i mean. Vodka not included with the purchase, of course.
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Pearls of wisdom
Look, I don’t know much about eighteenth-century gender politics in Russia, but despite being a hyper-masculine and completely unforgiving emperor or at least trying to be Peter III, he never not afraid of an androgynous look inspired by Harry Styles. Always a mummy boy, he wears his mother’s pearls in almost every scene, and I’m digging them out.
Just like our cultural obsession for Connells Channel in Normal peopleI hope, Great will rename the pearls for men around the world on its just a matter of time before they were blessed with an Instagram account @peterspearls. Either way, this Gucci necklace covers you.
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All in velvet all
Played by Sebastian de Souza (former students of Normal people and Skins), Leo Voronsky is hired by Peter III as a lover of Catherine the Great when it is obvious that she is not happy within the court. He is also, incidentally, the boyfriend of everyone’s dreams.
While the romantic poet who drinks wine is usually undressed or lying with an unbuttoned shirt unbuttoned, this emerald green look he wears makes me want to dress from head to toe in velvet. This Batsheva velvet dress should do the trick.
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