Sunday, February 12, 2012

Character Fashions: From Skarsgard's Turquoise Sweater to Sookie's Sunny Sundress

The incomparable Alexander Skarsgard in the
famous sweater.
See that "turquoise" sweater Eric Northman wears throughout at least three episodes on True Blood? A single reference to that sweater caused a firestorm of hits on this blog. A sweater shot my friends! A reference to the steamy list of butt shots also caused a slight flurry, but it was that sweater that tipped it. I had no idea that Mr. Sweater was so popular. An argument event erupted over whether or not it was blue or turquois. Truth is, on the commentary on Season 3, Alexander called it "blue" and then changes it to "turquoise". I will bow to the idea that the man who actually physically saw and wore it knows what color it really was. By the end of the sweater's guest starring role, it was ruined and covered in fake blood. I'm thinking whoever actually owns the sweater now could sell the thing on eBay or an auction house for a pretty good sum of money. Fans love that sweater, and of course, the man in it.

Sweet Sookie in
the "sunny" and "sexy" dress.
In fact, fan reaction to costumes or anything related to their favorite show can be absolutely insane and zealot-like. To the right we have a picture of the lovely Anna Paquin in the dress famous for its removal from Sookie's body. Just a note here: I like this dress. It's really cute with the ties in the back (I'll get to the outfit I thought should have found its way anywhere else but not on the show). The dress like many of the costumes on the show kind of becomes a character and gives an added touch of sexy in the particular scene I'm about to reference. (P.S. as a writer always be thinking what clothes say about the characters.) When Eric Northman and Sookie Stackhouse finally reveal their feelings for each other, that dress becomes one sexy prop. Its ties in the back give our Viking vampire something to untie -- and when I say untie, I mean magnificently take apart with a seamless, sexy verve. If you don't think that undoing a dress takes on a whole new meaning when there are ties involved then I suggest you just watch Season 4 and the moment the dress finds its way on the floor.

And finally, don't go on Tumblr and say anything remotely critical of the clothes on True Blood. Oh no! The day I misspoke and said I didn't care for Sookie's peter-pan collar coat in Season 4, I set off fireworks of vitriolic reactions one might hear in a political debate not a discussion about a show. Despite the overdramatic uproar, I stand by my thoughts that the khaki green coat with the rounded collar needed to go away. The minute I laid eyes on that green number, I felt the need to turn Sookie over to the Fashion Police. Sookie wears a number of low-key shorts and T-shirts and numerous sweet-and-cute sundresses throughout the show, but the coat thing. Nope! I just thought it seemed strange looking and out of place. And fans, I am sticking to my story ... but only on my nice, safe, quiet blog where I won't have to dodge numerous flames hurled across cyberspace.

Now back to my side comment about characters and clothes. As a writer, I pay attention to what I dress my characters in. What they wear can say quite a lot about them as people and suggest their lifestyle. When we first meet Kale, our 'dreamboat' producer, in California Girl Chronicles he is described as wearing a sexy T-shirt and leather flip-flops. It suggests a laid-back style but class. The flip-flops were leather not some cheap pair someone might buy at the local CVS in the beach aisle. No, his flip-flops probably came from somewhere like Eco. His T-shirt was also a designer shirt. This communicates that while he's dressed casually, he still has money to buy stylish rags. On the other hand, Brea wears chic but affordable threads. She doesn't have much money, but does make a point of saying that clothes matter to her. So what money she does have, she invests in her wardrobe. She is supposed to be chic and tasteful, but also young and stylish so she's dressed appropriately sexy throughout the book. Always be thinking about what your character should be wearing whether you're in a visual or written media. When you put a character in clothes that don't make sense for that character, it can be jarring so you had better have a reason, and it should be a plot device not an unfortunate mistake.

California Girl Chronicles is now on sale on Amazon. It is also currently 30% off on the 3L Publishing website at www.3LPublishing.com. It's available for the Kindle, Nook and iBook. It will release to bookstores in spring 2012. 

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