If you haven't watched Amazon’s award-winning The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, you probably should. Gilmore Girls' producer Amy Sherman-Palladino’s beloved series tells the story of Miriam "Midge" Maisel (Rachel Brosnahan), a glamorous housewife living in New York’s Upper West Side who thought she had it all, until she ends up having to reinvent herself as a comedian after her husband leaves her for his secretary.
After quietly launching its first full season on Amazon in November 2017, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel became a critical darling. In January, less than two months after the fast-talking, female-focused comedy debuted on Amazon, the show picked up two Golden Globe Awards (Best Television Series – Musical or Comedy, and Best Actress – Musical or Comedy for Brosnahan) before scoring eight Primetime Emmy Awards (including Outstanding Comedy Series and Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series for Brosnahan) in September. The show also made headlines when Sherman-Palladino made history at the Emmys by becoming the first woman to win for both comedy directing and comedy writing in the same year.
The awards are justified, but The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel is really a fashion lover's dream. It’s one of the most gorgeous shows on any screen, receiving consistent praise for its sartorial elegance, thanks to costume designer Donna Zakowska. Zakowska’s curated treasure trove of 1950s fashion is an integral part of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel — one that seamlessly transports audiences back to the stylish streets of New York City in 1958.
Zakowska’s rich tapestry of color and silhouettes don't merely help tell the story… they are the story. For example, in the second-ever episode, we discover that Midge learned to drive because she fell in love with a pair of pink driving gloves.
"Everything with Midge starts with an accessory," says her mother, Rose (Marin Hinkle). She's absolutely right. Zakowska helps Midge transform herself into a strong, independent woman through a fabulous array of custom costumes.
Midge is defined by everything, from the couture looks of the Upper West Side to the beatnik styles of the West Village. Furthermore, those period-accurate looks leave viewers with serious sartorial envy. Midge’s character-defining magenta and pink ensemble in Paris, her silky swing dresses and coats, slim candy-coloured capri pants, mock neck turtlenecks and essential matching accessories in vibrant colors immediately demand the viewers' attention and admiration.
Earlier this year, when discussing how costumes help immerse the audience in a 1950s setting and take the audience on Midge’s journey of self-discovery, Zakowska explained to EW that "Women were very, very conscious of matching — the shoes and the bags being in some sort of color harmony with the outfit."
"These sort of elements really assert the character’s personality. In a way, Midge is a character that never gives in, even if something terrible is going on. It’s always about putting your best foot forward and an optimism that runs in the character."
Season two of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel is available now, with Midge and her stand-up act picking up right where season one left off. Expect plenty of new material as the addictive mile-a-minute pace heads to Paris and beyond.
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