Thursday, 25 September 2014

The look of Crimes of Passion, episodes three and four

It's time for another look at the clothes in Swedish midcentury-set drama series Crimes of Passion. (Here's my post on episodes one and two.) While there were some gorgeous garments for the ladies in episodes three and four, we'll come to those later, because there was much more to look at on the gents than either of the first two.



BAD BOYS

Tommy, Bjorn, Jan-Axel. Rebellion rarely ages well...
It's the 1950s, and the angry young man is coming into his own. Both episodes featured an angry young man of sorts; Tommy Holt in 'No More Murders' and Bjorn in 'Roses, Kisses and Death'. Tommy looked more the James Dean type, with high hair and a natty jacket, while there was a touch of Brando in On The Waterfront about Bjorn's touseled hair, checked shirt and white vest. We also got to see an ageing dandy, in the shape of Jan-Axel – perhaps when he was younger he too cut a rebelliously romantic dash, but now he just seems irresponsible and useless, a pre-war type who hasn't moved with the times. His elaborate jackets contrasted well with both Bjorn's poor-boy work clothes and his brother Otto's stiffly smart suits.

Christer should stay smart, but Einar definitely looks better casual!
Now for our heroes.

Einar... oh, Einar. The professorial look is not your friend. He seems to have got progressively more clothed as the episodes have gone on, moving from shirtless to vested to casual to scholarly and, much as I love me some nerd, glasses and ties are not a good look for him. (His hair's got darker too.) That said, he and Puck seem much more playful in the fourth episode, so perhaps she digs the dadwear. I don't, I'm hoping he reverts to sportwear for episode five. Christer, by contrast, is pretty much the same as always, dark and formal (and smouldering).

GLAMOURPUSSES
It seems to be the rule in Crimes of Passion that wherever there is a murder, there has to be a glamourpuss. I confess, I haven't always found them convincing. Lil, in 'Death of a Loved One' (episode one), seemed a bit too brassy, as though the viewer HAD to find her sexy. In 'No More Murders', Lou performs a similar function; when Puck questions what someone beautiful like Lou would see in her older husband, I was quite startled that Lou could be thought beautiful, but I guess it's all in the eye of the beholder. Certainly Lou puts in a good effort, from the Postman-Always-Rings-Twice white crop top and shorts to her slinky poolside robe and fancy cocktail party getup.

Helene in 'Roses, Kisses and Death' is glamorous and wealthy, which means cocktail gowns a-go-go, usually in stiff, opulent fabrics in rich colours. Whereas Lou seems to live for pleasing people, and dressing to look perky and fun is part of that, Helene is trying to find happiness, and the over-the-top glamour of her daytime outfits points to her slightly different desperation.

A selection of Helene's opulent dresses. And Otto, being stuffy.


AGEING DISGRACEFULLY 

The Petren sisters and Aunt Fanny. Beware the pearls!
Another rule of Crimes of Passion is that much older ladies look a bit batty. In episode three, as soon as the Petren sisters came on the scene it was clear that the 1920s had been their heyday. The turbans, straight silhouettes, long necklaces... it is the mark of the eccentric aged flapper. Then, in 'Roses, Kisses and Death', seance-hosting Aunt Fanny too had long strings of beads, though being loaded hers probably were real pearls.
Puck. I think the outfit at the bottom-rightis the same as in the first episode.
Crazy pearl ladies aside, there were some lovely outfits throughout both episodes, in particular for Lou's cocktail party. (The Petren sisters were dazzlingly eccentric for that one.) Puck, you will be unsurprised to hear, wore a pair of shiny capris to that (bottom-left in the picture above), just as she did to the wedding reception in episode two. In fact, I'm pretty sure the yellow outfit she wore late in episode four is the same one she had on at the reception. It's nice to see a character having a consistent wardrobe; real people wouldn't have changed their wardrobes every season unless they were very rich. Puck did put on some pretty, co-ordinated jewellery too, though.

It's interesting that Einar has changed so much from the shirtless, sporty man of the first episode to the he-frump of the fourth, while Puck is little different. She generally favours her practical, cheerily-coloured capri pants and matching tops. Even when she wears something a little more conventional, such as the beautiful print skirt at the start of 'No More Murders', it's paired with a sensible shirt. While Puck often seems whimsical, you could never accuse her of being frivolous.

Probably the most elegant outfits were on Bella. She was rich, but not desperate to be noticed like Helene, so her outfits are a succession of expressions of quiet, confident wealth. My favourite was her coral twin set, which she paired with a beige pencil skirt and pearl necklace and earrings. (She's wearing just the cardigan part in the first photo above.) The cardigan has pearl buttons, and the whole thing just looks perfectly poised. Bella also trots out several lovely tailored dresses; with their full skirts they are emphatically feminine, but the restrained colours and strong collars suggest that Bella means business.

6 comments :

  1. Thank you!! I love having a recap of all the fashions. I love Puck's style (I need some shiny trousers!!) but did like Helene's marvellous dresses. My OH just likes looking at the men's hats x

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    1. Puck's style would suit you very well!

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  2. I would have all of Helene and Bella's dresses, they look great!

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    1. I'd definitely want Helene's ones. Those brocade fabrics are so opulent.

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  3. 'Smouldering' is right, I am obsessed with that man now, it's embarrassing. I have to wait til my husband goes out to watch it! Loving your ongoing critique.

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    1. Hehehe. I suspect we all did a little cheer when Puck went to wake him up and we learned he sleeps shirtless!

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