Steven Knight's six-season, critically-acclaimed "Peaky Blinders" has come to the end of its run.
Still, the show's popularity continues to live on, despite Cillian Murphy's Tommy Shelby hanging up his overcoat and newsboy cap. "Peaky Blinders" is much loved for many reasons: it's a world with gangsters who have under buzz-haircuts, wear woolen suits, have razor blades sewn into their newsboy caps, and walk with the kind of natural swagger that makes them look intimidating and yet very cool. If the BBC series has done anything (aside from giving us one hell of a gangster tale to experience), it is popularizing vintage clothing. Tommy and his brothers wear three-piece tweed suits, newsboy caps, detachable collar shirts, and well-tailored, heavy overcoats — a costume drawn from what most Englishmen wore in the 1920s.
The "Peaky Blinders" phenomenon goes beyond its success on the BBC and Netflix — it was witnessed thanks to its spectacular costumes — a credit to costume designer Alison McCosh. She revived period fashion for "Peaky Blinders" and popularized it for a modern-day audience.
Capturing Period Authenticity Is The Key
The fashion in "Peaky Blinders" is impeccable — the characters' distinctive style not only sets them apart from other gangsters but also helps give them a personality of their own. The show's costume designer Alison McCosh finds antique accessories for her characters and works toward capturing as much authenticity as possible (via PeakyBlinders.tv).
As per McCosh, it's necessary for actors to find something they connect with to build their character's journey steadily. The designer prefers to visit auction houses and look for vintage fabrics that can visibly tell a story that is set in the past. Wearing a costume helps an actor transition into their character, which is a job McCosh takes seriously.
"When you're doing a period show, it's important to capture as much period authenticity as possible. I find that today's fabrics don't tell the true story. So I find auction houses selling vintage clothes and fabrics, and then I'll adapt from that," said McCosh.
It's A Balance Between Fabric And Antiques
The designer continued, explaining how she looked for a balance between certain things.
"It ends up being a balance between vintage pieces and items made from vintage fabric. Sometimes we'll have to re-weave a piece back together, but what you get is the right colour. What I've found is that when an actor walks into an authentic piece they really feel like they're becoming the character, and that really helps them transition."
"Peaky Blinders" might be set in the past, but its accuracy at recreating it makes it truly timeless. The show helped generate an 83% rise in the sale of flat caps between 2016 and 2017 (via The Telegraph), not to mention the increase in under-buzz haircut requests from young men who hoped to compare to Tommy and his boys. With Steven Knight continuing to work on stories set in the "Peaky Blinders" universe, I'd say the phenomenon isn't coming to an end anytime soon. Gangsters are and will always be cool.
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The post How Peaky Blinders' Costume Designer Brought Period Fashion Back To Life For The Show appeared first on /Film.