I am not a fashion-nazi. I am not going to complain because the hem is a bit off or you’re not using the right buttons. I’m not going to quibble over whether that dress is from the 1550s or the 1560s. Nor am I expecting a CW show to have costumes as sumptuous as those on The Tudors, which could afford a much larger budget.
But can’t CW’s Reign at least go for “vaguely Renaissance”? I’d quip about it’s lack of historical accuracy measuring up to the lack of accuracy in the plot, but, seriously, the costuming makes the plot look like an academic work.
To start, let’s create a few baselines from which to measure. This is a 16th century portrait of Mary Queen of Scots, the main character in Reign:
And this is how she was dressed in the 1971 movie Mary Queen of Scots:
Here’s an image from The Tudors depicting Henry VIII, Anne Boleyn and two ladies-in-waiting.
And another image from The Tudors, just in case you meet someone who rants about crazy costumes for the show. It comes from YouKnowYouLoveFashion.com, which may be my new favorite site.
And more recently from Dr. Who:
And the creators of Reign even know the basics of Renaissance clothing:
So why-oh-why was I greeted earlier this week with this?
I’d totally rock this for Steampunk. But steampunk is based on the 19th century, not 16th. There’s only so far I’m willing to go as far as correct period. Steampunk is also not historically correct: no 19th century woman would wear this either.
Also, sweetheart, you clearly have not finished dressing since corsets are underwear. Sure, you see them as outerwear in goth clubs and steampunk events, but that’s “dressing up.”
I wish I could find an image of the whole dress, because it sweeps backward into a bustle-like shape. Again, 19th century, not 16th. But my search for such a photo led me to ones from other episodes, a few shown below.
And then there’s her wedding dress:
And a modern fashion pretending to be historical:
The above image comes from OnScreenStyle.com. They’re selling dresses from Reign as everyday wear. The writer states: “So, yes, clothes from 1557 France do exist today, and it’s not going to cost you your head to get them!”
It took a lot of consideration before I was confident that this wasn’t satire.
This next one comes from ShopYourTV.com, who will sell this to you for the low, low price of $1100.
Another from You Know You Love Fashion from an article entitled Reign WTF of the Week:
This is a still from the show: