Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Hannibal Lecter, Fashion Plate

Something occurred to me while I was watching NBC's new drama, Hannibal. Maybe I've been watching too much Project Runway, or reading too much Mad Style* over on TLo, but the costuming on Hannibal really struck a cord with me

I can't speak for the book versions of Dr. Lecter, but Anthony Hopkins' Lecter was always fastidious and almost fussy about his appearance. But I don't remember him demonstrating much in the way of fashion other then your typical men's suits, and of course for almost all of Silence of the Lambs he was dressed in standard prison hospital wear.

He's not exactly at the forefront of fashion with this outfit. Still, better than wearing the blood of your victims, eh?

But NBC's Hannibal is very different. In fact, I would say he's downright dapper. The character is portrayed by Mads Mikkelsen and has thus far demonstrated a flair for wearing colorful, boldly patterned suits, complete with coordinating ties, pocket squares, and vests.  It's all very European and very different from most men on television.

But Hannibal isn't like most men, is he? He dresses in color, patterns (usually checks and plaids) and layers. And I think this is all deliberate. The image he projects to the world is complete serenity and control, but I think the busyness of his suits reflects the madness inside. Of course, he favors plaids because even his madness has a logic and structure. And the meaning of all the layers should be obvious--Hannibal would make an onion look uncomplicated.

 Well, hello there. Can I interest you in a nice glass of Chianti?

It's very unusual to find such attention to costuming in your typical television drama. Or maybe it's just very unusual for me to notice. In any event, I appreciate the attention to detail displayed by the folks behind the scenes, and I find myself looking forward to each appearance of Hannibal. Not just because he's a fascinating character portrayed by a great actor--but because I want to see what he's wearing.

 Really the entire point of this post was just to look at this picture again. Amazeballs. 

*Mad Style is a truly excellent set of posts by Tom and Lorenzo over on their blog where they analyze every detail of the costuming on each episode of Mad Men for clues of what is to come. It's amazing what they deduce about the characters from the clothes and reading each Mad Style post is pretty much half the reason why I watch Mad Men

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