The CW top ten: the most stylish tv shows of the moment
As a whole host of aesthetically impressive TV series grace our screens this autumn, we select the sartorial highlights of this season's telly
- Boardwalk Empire
Set in the infinitely stylish 1920s, in the midst of the Prohibition era, the latest series of twisted and dark American gangster drama Boardwalk Empire plays out like a guide to all things sartorially classy. Highlighting an avant-garde age of menswear, with the wonderfully suave Steve Buscemi as pivotal character Enoch 'Nucky' Thompson, the show celebrates a fashion time of crisp bowler hats, double pockets, pinstripes, baggy (yet perfectly creased) trousers, pointy dress shoes, and high button stance.
- Downton Abbey
Taking its status as costume drama to its ultimate limit, the garb on ITV's cherished Downton Abbey is more or less unparalleled on television. Displaying a clear evolution in style as the programme progresses, it stays true to the fashion and trends of the time with the utmost sincerity, as well as panache. Dreamy fabrics, rich- and exquisite-looking fur and hats decorated with bouquets of flowers on the brim have inspired a recent phenomenon of Downton imitation dresses.
- Peaky Blinders
Having returned for a second series this autumn, Steven Knight's acclaimed period gangster series Peaky Blinders so far continues to score extremely highly in the style stakes. Cillian Murphy's ruthless Tommy Shelby character leads the pack sporting tailored tweeds, pocket watches, and newsboy hats perfectly concealing pretty dramatic reem haircuts - rather akin to a modern day hipster. And coincidentally, Peaky Blinders-style merchandise such as Murphy's hat (minus the inset razor blades, thankfully) has experienced a massive sales boom since the programme first aired. Plus, with the mesmerising Tom Hardy joining Murphy and Helen McCrory's sassy - and draped in gypsy jewellery - Aunt Polly, the new instalment of this thrilling drama set in the crime-ridden slums of post-war Birmingham guarantees yet more aesthetically hypnotising insight into gangland life in the roaring twenties.
- The Fall
Rivalling the surge of Fair Isle knits thanks to Sarah Lund's woolly obsession in hit crime drama series The Killing, the popularity of the classic silk shirt has swelled since Gillian Anderson hit the screen as Detective Superintendent Stella Gibson in BBC's high-rating drama The Fall. In fact rarely is her spell-binding performance praised without mention of her silk blouse collection; an infinite wardrobe of well-cut, smart, sexy, stylish and silky little numbers. Of course a fixed look for a TV detective is nothing new - take Starsky in his trademark cardigan or Saga Noren in her leather trousers in The Bridge for example - but a comeback in silk shirts certainly came as a surprise, suddenly losing the Thatcher association, becoming a bestseller in high street stores and leading to a new ladylike fashion mood. And since the show also features Keira Knightley's model ex-boyfriend Jamie Dornan, starring as serial killer Paul Spector, The Fall definitely serves as valuable sartorial starting point.
Admittedly one to anticipate rather than enjoy just yet (the new series is due out in January 2015), HBO's GIRLS is not only a veritable treasure trove for style inspiration, but simultaneously a great resource for style education - featuring many a fashion howler largely on the part of the show's creator and star, Lena Dunham. Dunham's character Hannah has quite the penchant for rather badly-fitted, or at least unflattering, tiny jumpsuits, and pretty out-there fashion choices - a sharp learning curb for knowing how to dress for your shape, though confusingly, at the same time immensely inspiring as to how to wear anything with confidence. Then you have Marnie with her spectacularly groomed shift dresses, immaculately brushed hair, and all-round wholesome neatness, Jessa with her bohemian floaty dresses and long, flowing hair, and Shoshanna with her hilariously cutesy American college student style. And this strange medley, not only of diverse looks, but personalities too, really encapsulates the magic of the show, and provides ample motivation to experiment with fashion.