When it comes to costumed dramas, no one does it better than the Brits. Whether it is The Tudors, Downton Abbey, or Outlander, British costume dramas are some of the best out there thanks to their exquisite fashion design.
The Crown is no exception. When it comes to elegance and class, where better to look than the British royal family? The Crown has been giving audiences some of the best costumes on TV over its two-season run. Delving deeper, here are ten details you might not have known about the costumes of The Crown.
10 The Number Of Costumes
The size and scale of production like The Crown are massive compared to most programs. Dealing with world-changing events in one of the largest cities means costuming not only a massive cast of featured players but a tripled number of extras. Because of this, the costuming team behind The Crown had to create a gargantuan number of outfits for the actors.
According to the design team, over three hundred costumes were assembled for the featured cast alone for season one. Beyond that, there were around seven thousand extras over the season were also costumed, each with at least two to five costumes each.
9 The Accuracy Versus The Liberties
When it comes to historical dramas such as The Crown, there are far fewer liberties at play when it comes to designing the costumes. Compared to a fantasy series such as Game of Thrones, a series like The Crown has to adhere to previously worn garments, such as the Queen's wedding dress or Coronation gown.
But, that doesn't mean the team didn't get to show off their artistic talent. When it came to intimate scenes of day to day life, the costuming team saw an opportunity to play. Where they stayed painstakingly accurate for those recorded outfits, they were able to create new costuming ideas based on the era or situation. It is moments like this that allowed storytellers to not just be historians.
8 The Coronation Dress
Nearly every bit of costuming on the set of The Crown had to be sewn and assembled by hand by all the hardworking artists behind the scenes. Every hat, dress, and suit had to be painstakingly created from scratch to capture the specific time and place.
One outfit though was the sole costume borrowed from an outside source. The coronation costume worn by Queen Elizabeth on the series was a lovingly crafted recreation for an exhibition by Swarovski. It was commission in 2012 for the real-life Queen's Diamond Jubilee. Unlike the original which was hand-embroidered, most of the patterns on this dress were screen printed and then adorned with beaded accessories.
7 Jackie Kennedy's Dress
The Kennedy's visiting Buckingham Palace was one of the highlights of season one of The Crown. It offered not only a taste of the era but a heartfelt moment between the monarchy and the president's family. A great moment was being able to bring Jackie Kennedy to life once again, and her fantastic style.
The idea behind Jackie Kennedy's outfit was to exude the contemporary french fashion of the day. Earlier, a character described her as icy, inspiring the designer to make the signature blue palette for the dress. The lack of adornment, with Jackie sporting only a statement hairpiece, speaks to the elegant yet simple modern aesthetic she exudes as the first lady.
6 Elizabeth's Contrasting Dress
In sharp contrast to Jackie Kennedy's outfit is that of the Queen herself. In preparation for the first lady's arrival, the Queen picked from a selection of outfits near the beginning of the episode. She decided to go with a blue number, serving as a parallel to the first lady.
Where Jackie was stripped down and sleek, the Queen's dress is gaudy and old fashioned. The multitude of ruffles and folds on the dress hearken back to a much more traditional fashion sense, not to mention the overabundance of frills. The amount of jewelry speaks to the difference as well, as Jackie has very little (though not lacking) while the Queen is dressed to the nines in bling.
5 Elizabeth's Trip To The Commonwealth
Costuming a series such as the crown is interesting, as it has to cover many years of ever-changing fashion and taste. Apart from the aesthetic evolution of the fashion, the characters themselves would grow and evolve, and that would need to be present in the outfits they wore.
In the first season, we see Elizabeth go on her first solo tour of the commonwealth. This outfit shows off a much more naive version of Elizabeth compared to her appearance in later episodes and seasons. Her dress exudes a sweet mannered personality, but her accessories (slightly not matching) shows her lack of experience and confidence.
4 The Costuming As A Narrative And Set Piece
When her father died, Elizabeth was left alone woman with little experience in a sea of the old-world establishment. She had to face an array of individuals who were spread across a spectrum, with doubt on one end and a complete lack of confidence on the other.
The costuming in one scene really speaks to that. When she is landing in England after her father's death, there is a crowd of politicians and figureheads waiting for her, looking more like undertakers in their all-black suits and top hats. They are an imposing crowd assembling like a murder of crows ready to pick her apart.
3 Phillip's Military Dream
When it comes to costuming Phillip, there is a sense that he is the most put together in the series. His sense of style is crisp, neat, and meant to fit perfectly. In his tuxes, just the right amount of sleeve peeks out from his coat, embodying the perfect sense of military discipline.
This speaks to Phillip's lost goals of military prowess. As a youngster he wanted a navy career, but now as the husband to the queen is resolved to a life of sedentary happenings. His outfits make him out to be living a fantasy of being an imitation military wunderkind.
2 Capturing Phillip's Role As Husband
That being said, Phillip doesn't just embody military crispness. For all the public appearances he makes, Phillip is often showed in a more casual light. It is in the sequence where we see how Elizabeth views him. His outfits are often form-fitting, yet free and casual. His open collard shirts, comfortable sweaters and vests, and form-fitted shirts and suits exude an ideal male aesthetic.
This was done to show Elizabeth's unconditional love towards him. She is constantly enamored with him, even when his annoying behavior gets in the way. She loves him deeply and his outfits (in an intimate setting) show this.
1 And Elizabeth's Role As Wife
In relation, these intimate moments between Elizabeth and Philip provide audiences a glimpse into how he views her as a partner. Where he embodies the perfect physical attributes, she embodies a bit of sweetness, loving, and stability.
On their trip to Africa, she is seen wearing sweet tops with little bows and pinstripes, or in even more intimate settings, wearing nothing but his shirts. This shows the sense of comfort and safety he feels with her. She might not embody the more exciting lifestyle he sometimes craves, but she does embody the stability he needs.