Clothes styled after those worn by 'Scandal' star Kerry Washington go on sale this month. (Craig Sjodin / ABC)
When it comes to style influence beyond the flickering blue box, few Emmy-nominated shows can begin to hold a cathode ray tube to “Mad Men.” But as Don Draper & Co. are close to shuffling off to the great walk-in closet in the sky, it’s worth looking at how some of the other shows vying for Emmy gold this year have affected what the world is wearing.
Orange is the new no-no
The Netflix series “Orange Is the New Black” has reportedly made orange clothing so trendy that the Saginaw County Jail felt compelled to switch up how it garbs its inmates. In July, media outlets reported that Sheriff William Federspiel had swapped out the jail’s standard-issue orange jumpsuits for a version in black-and-white horizontal stripes (which means that in Michigan, being on-trend is a worse offense than being cliched). The change apparently came about after a juror showed up at a trial wearing all orange. “For me, it was an easy decision,” Federspiel was quoted as saying. “It was a cost savings, and it breaks away from that cultural coolness. It’s not cool to be an inmate of the Saginaw County Jail.”
The signature black porkpie hat worn by Bryan Cranston’s Walter White in “Breaking Bad” has seen a surge in popularity, according to the San Francisco-based maker Goorin Brothers. The company first offered a limited-edition run of the flat-topped hat in mid-2013 to commemorate the show’s final season, and it sold out almost immediately. There was a second run for the holiday season, and the hat has been available ever since (at $150 apiece online or in Goorin’s shops). “The porkpie has become an important and popular hat shape in the past six months,” Goorin’s chief executive, Ben Goorin, told us. “People love the short crown height and round crown, which is a nice transition from the traditional pinch of a fedora.”
Rise of the gladiators
It’s too early to tell whether “Scandal’s” on-screen style will resonate at retail since the show’s “inspired-by” apparel label won’t hit shelves at the Limited until late September, but clearly, the folks behind it are banking on the fact that the Olivia Pope “gladiator in a suit” aesthetic will be popular with the fan base and beyond.
The Columbus, Ohio, retailer’s first-ever foray into the Hollywood merchandising arena brings together the talents of its own head designer, Elliot Staples, “Scandal” costume designer Lyn Paolo and the show star Kerry Washington for a 42-piece collection of tops, pants, jackets and outerwear ($49 to $248) that taps into Washington’s signature on-screen look — think tailored wide-leg trousers, jackets with strong lines and chic feminine blouses.
House of cuffs
On Netflix’s political drama “House of Cards,” Kevin Spacey’s character, Frank Underwood, sports a double entendre at the wrist — a pair of square metal cuff links with a capital F engraved on one and a capital U on the other. Even though they are hardly the most popular bits of men’s bling these days, cuff links inspired by those appearing on-screen have become a kind of cottage industry, with versions popping up in sterling silver plate, stainless steel and even cobbled together from typewriter keys. There are also T-shirts depicting screen-printed images of the links. Cufflinks.com started selling a stainless steel version made by Ox & Bull ($50) at the beginning of the year and, according to the company, they’re one of the most popular styles of 2014. (Who knew there were so many guys sharing those initials?)
Garb of 'Thrones'
It’s a pretty sure bet that HBO’s “Game of Thrones,” which leads the Emmy nominee pack with 19 nods, will take home some hardware. And, thanks to a collaboration between HBO Global Licensing and the Pyrrha jewelry studio that launched in April, fans have been snapping up hardware of their own. “It’s done very well for us,” Pyrrha co-owner Danielle Wilmore says of the sterling silver and bronze unisex talisman necklaces and rings bearing the sigils of the powerful houses of Westeros, noting that the collection sold about twice as well as predicted at launch. And while some of the costumes in the show are more over-the-top than what you might see strolling down, say, Rodeo Drive, there are a surprising number of Westeros wardrobe pieces that could easily have been plucked off the runway at Alexander McQueen, Valentino or Rick Owens (or, in the spirit of cross-pollination, the influence presumably could have gone the other way, too) — shaggy layered furs, medieval-inspired armor, strappy leather, intricate beading and embroidery. Will any of this on-screen style trickle down to the street? Let’s just say that as the pop-culture juggernaut of “Game of Thrones” continues to ascend, it’s only a matter of time before dragon scale is the new black.