Indian Summers Costume Recap – Episodes 5 & 6

5

I’m excited enough about Indian Summers (now airing in the US on PBS) that I’ve decided to write a costume recap for each episode, so we can dish about what we liked and didn’t like. Keep your eyes peeled on Fridays for a new post, and check out our recap of episodes onetwo, and 3&4!

I meant to do an individual recap for episode 5, which is when the shit started going DOWN on Indian Summers, but life intervened. So, apologies for making you wait two weeks!

Like I said, the shit when DOWN, so I make no pretenses at avoiding spoilers here. You were warned!

Indian Summers Episode 5

The episode starts off with Ralph trying to handle some political machinations — essentially, the British are trying to pit the Indians against each other by supporting the Untouchable caste’s bid for political representation. Ralph starts off in a very Wall Street blue shirt:

Indian Summers (2015)

But then swaps to full cream and white suit.

Indian Summers (2015)

I LOVE those lapels — rrrrr!

He makes time to scheme with Cynthia, who earlier grumbled about being measured for a new dress:

Indian Summers (2015)

Not another new dress! The horror!

These next two episodes are a lot of wardrobe re-wears, which makes perfect sense for real people, but makes for boring costume-recapping. Cynthia is in her print trimmed ensemble:

Indian Summers (2015)

Then is off to meet with the leader of the Untouchables, who mirrors him in his white outfit:

Indian Summers (2015)

Aafrin, wearing his snappy new suit, gets stuck chaperoning the politician:

Indian Summers (2015)

Meanwhile, Alice helps out at the school, where her blue skirt, Leena’s blue sari, and the children’s blue uniforms all make a harmonious scene. As I predicted, Alice and Leena are becoming BFFs.

Indian Summers (2015)

But then Alice goes to the Club, where Sarah (who I am ready to see drowned or, as a previous commenter said, eaten by tigers) starts using her blackmail — she wants to sit with the fancy kids at Ralph’s engagement party. Nyah nyah, she has to re-wear her floral cotton dress:

Indian Summers (2015)

“Hey there BFF! Mind if I force you to do something completely socially inappropriate?”

Poor Jaya, who has been lurking around Adam, gets a job in Ramu’s fields from Ian:

Indian Summers (2015)

And back at the school, Dougie shows up very briefly — he’s avoiding Leena as much as possible. Dougie and Sarah’s son loves hanging at the school, but snobby Sarah won’t have it. I think it’s interesting that the son is generally wearing the same shade of blue that the orphans are.

Indian Summers (2015)

Ian gets drunk and starts making a ruckus at the Club, which gets him thrown out of the Club and Cynthia’s good graces (well, that and working for an Indian). He’s lost his jacket somewhere in his whiskey glass:

Indian Summers (2015)

Madeleine is picking out flowers for the party, when … Okay, kids. When Alice first showed up in episode 1, I thought that she and Ralph seemed to have an AWFULLY CLOSE connection. But then I told myself “stop it, you’re being salacious.” Well, in this scene Ralph touches Alice’s hair in a way that makes it clear that there’s SOMETHING that’s a little too close for comfort in his feelings about her, and Madeleine very obviously sees it. HMMMM. Everyone is in white/beige/cream:

Indian Summers (2015)

Madeleine loves that beige polka-dot blouse, doesn’t she?

Poor Alice has to awkwardly ask if Sarah can sit above her station at the engagement dinner, in order to avoid Sarah spilling all her secrets. She does it in a GORGEOUS white blouse with fitted midriff, pleats over the bust, and bell sleeves:

Indian Summers (2015)

Sooni harangues Aafrin in a bright pink sari:Indian Summers (2015)

While Aafrin gets ready for the party:Indian Summers (2015)

Which totally reminded me of this:

Eugene is ready to go to the party in his tux:

Indian Summers (2015)

But Madeleine isn’t going to be hurried:

Indian Summers (2015)

Instead of getting ready for his engagement party, Ralph is hanging out with the servants and having doubts. Alice and he have a heart to heart. Obviously Ralph isn’t In Love with Madeleine. And, while Alice seems to feel close to Ralph, again, he seems REALLY CLOSE to her.

Indian Summers (2015)

Ian cleans up AWFULLY nicely in his tux at the party, and apologizes to Cynthia to boot. What a gentleman!

Indian Summers (2015)

Ain’t nothing like a guy in white tie, amirite?

He and Ramu have a business chat. Ramu is in a nice, conservative suit — but not in white tie:

Indian Summers (2015)

Cynthia, in a black beaded number, discovers (one of) the horrible truth(s) — contrary to what everyone believes, Eugene and Madeleine actually have NO money. Ralph just got publicly engaged to a woman he doesn’t love and who is broke (supposedly she doesn’t know). Curiously, she doesn’t tell Ralph.

Indian Summers (2015)

Here’s a better shot of that blouse/dress:

Indian Summers (2015)

GORGEOUS beading/sequins.

I was unimpressed by Alice’s party dress — it’s a nice color, but it’s so close to her natural skin color that it makes her blend into the woodwork:

Indian Summers (2015)

However, she spends the party dealing with Snobby Sarah, so in some ways it makes sense that she’s not at her sparkly best. Snobby Sarah who, by the way, clearly has only one party dress.

Indian Summers (2015)

“HI. I may be the most annoying person on the planet.”

And now finally we see the outfits that the Viceroy’s wife has picked out for Ralph and Madeleine — full, fancy dress 18th-century outfits. On the one hand, you know I love these (aesthetically). Nope, they’re not the least bit historically accurate, but then they don’t need to be — they’re costumes!

Indian Summers (2015) Indian Summers (2015)

But all I could think as I watched the two dance, and then Ralph try to handle political negotiations, was how totally inappropriate such costumes were given the political situation. Clueless white people!

Indian Summers (2015)

Also, if you’re going to have an (inappropriate period-wise, but fine fancy-dress-wise) back-lacing bodice, put some boning in there to avoid scrunchy wrinkly back!

Indian Summers (2015)

“Can’t you see how totally seriously I am taking this political negotiation?”

Here’s the viceroy’s wife, the one responsible for these tone-deaf shenanigans. She’s looking very Queen Mum, despite the tiara.

Indian Summers (2015)

Meanwhile Aafrin looks sharp, even if he only has the one nice suit:Indian Summers (2015)

And Leena turns up for about 0.25 seconds, wearing a dress that was handed-down from the school’s benefactress and despite a nice fit, only serves to make her look matronly:

Indian Summers (2015)

I think it’s the color, which is so pale and boring compared to the jewel tones she usually wears — and the hair?

While all this is going on, Aafrin’s father finds out about his secret relationship with Sita. Contrary to how his family has predicted, he’s more than fine with it, using Sooni to help him stalk her (nicely) in the street so he can get a look at her.

Indian Summers (2015)

Back at the party, the shit gets real (yo) as Jaya has hauled Adam to stand outside the party, in the rain, staring at Ralph like she’s Carrie from the horror movie. Shoe drop: Ralph is Adam’s father.

Indian Summers (2015)

“Sorry, no unwashed masses allowed!”

While Aafrin and Alice have a hot, rain-soaked make-out session:Indian Summers (2015)

Indian Summers Episode 6

Ramu is asleep at his home, when Jaya breaks in and steals a sari:

Indian Summers (2015) Indian Summers (2015)

We get a brief flashback scene of Jaya, clean and happy:Indian Summers (2015)

Meanwhile Alice and Madeleine are being escorted into the jungle to look at some ancient site that features erotic carvings. They stumble upon a cobra…

Indian Summers (2015)

Alice is in her white & red polka-dot dress, Madeline in her I’m-getting-bored-of-this polka-dot blouse and practical/fashionable trousers.

But never fear, semi-hunky blonde Irish soldier is here to shoot it and save the day. He takes an interest in Alice:Indian Summers (2015)

Back at the viceregal house, Ralph and Aafrin are all business in nearly matching suits:

Indian Summers (2015)

When Ralph spots Jaya and Adam hanging outside of the gates

Indian Summers (2015)

“Hi. You kinda ruined my life. A little attention please?”:

Ralph goes straight to Cynthia, who clearly was in on things, to help him figure out what to do … and now shoe drop #2: the reason the man tried to shoot Ralph in the first episode is because he was Jaya’s father.

Indian Summers (2015)

Cynthia clearly likes this print-trimmed outfit.

Dougie finds Adam’s missing gold bracelet amongst Jaya’s things (although he doesn’t know who Jaya is):

Indian Summers (2015)

And Alice shows up at the viceregal house in her fabulous blouse, trying to get Aafrin to acknowledge her, but Aafrin can’t meet her eyes.Indian Summers (2015)

Back at Ramu’s place, they’ve discovered the theft, and Ramu is NOT HAPPY. His servant blames “the beggar Tamil woman” that Ian hired, so Ian bears the brunt of Ramu’s anger.

Indian Summers (2015)

Ramu picks up a wedding photograph — obviously the sari belonged to his wife. I re-ran things to squint, and I’m squinting harder now — I don’t THINK that’s Jaya… or is it?Indian Summers (2015)

Chez Aafrin, guess who’s coming to dinner? Yep, his family, thinking they are doing him a solid, have invited Sita to dinner under the pretense that she is Sooni’s former classmate. Just as Aafrin should be getting what he wants, he’s realizing he no longer wants it.

Indian Summers (2015)

Now that Ralph realizes Adam is his son, he invites Dougie around and offers to get the government to pay for the school’s much-needed repairs. I’m unclear whether he’s doing this because he’s looking out for his son, or because he wants to make Jaya go away. Dougie dresses up for the occasion in a grey suit:

Indian Summers (2015)

Ralph stews, and then takes off to the lake where Dougie told him Jaya has been living. I feel like there’s some costume continuity issues here — where did the cream suit go? (Although he was home, so maybe he changed).
Indian Summers (2015)

Jaya is thrilled, thinking Ralph has come for her. Ralph meanwhile is trying to get her to realize she has to go away. She’s clearly gone insane after being abandoned by him, and she alludes to the fact that a lot of men have been cruel to her since Ralph ditched her.
Indian Summers (2015)

Back at Ralph and Alice’s, Madeleine and Irish Boy Wonder are over for tea. IBW is in his uniform, the ladies are in their favorite blouses, and Ralph is casual sans jacket:Indian Summers (2015)

Irish Boy Wonder is showing a decided interest in Alice, and Ralph is Not Happy … and Madeleine sees it. IBW asks Alice for a sketch of her to take with him on his mission. She’s flattered, she claims, but really sees it as a way to see Aafrin (who would do the sketching).

Indian Summers (2015)

Note color-coordinated TRIANGLE OF DOOM.

Aafrin comes over to sketch Alice, but he brings his youngest sister as a buffer. Alice still manages to get him alone, and while she’s trying to have a moment to connect with him, he’s busy trying to let her see how impossible it all is.

Indian Summers (2015) Indian Summers (2015)

There’s a sweet scene of Aafrin’s father talking his mother into accepting Sita as Aafrin’s wife.

Indian Summers (2015)

Again, those puffed sleeves are so perfectly 1930s.

The Club hosts a tug-of-war competition (apparently these people are starved for entertainment). Alice and Madeleine continue to rock the same old blouses.

Indian Summers (2015)

While Cynthia re-wears her outfit from the fair. She’s such a bright contrast to everyone else — and so very much stuck in the 1920s silhouette:Indian Summers (2015)

Irish Boy Wonder and Alice sit down to chat, and now the truth comes out: IBW is actually a friend of Alice’s husband, and he’s here (in part) to track her down. He starts getting all threaten-y, and essentially says he’ll keep her secret if she sleeps with him. He tries to get Very Handsy and Rapey under the table…
Indian Summers (2015)

Luckily Ralph has a sixth sense, so comes from across the room to politely escort IBW back outside. On the way, Ralph happens to throw IBW down not one but two sets of stairs — very satisfying.

Indian Summers (2015)

“Please, allow me to assist you in potentially breaking your neck.”

Meanwhile, Dougie and Sarah’s roof has been leaking. Dougie and the son head up on the roof to fix things. There’s a sweet scene where Sarah has to bring a crowbar up to them on a ladder and gets scared. Dougie (and the kid) lighten her up, and you can see a bit of what Dougie and Sarah originally saw in each other, and the chance that they have for a happy life … maybe!

Indian Summers (2015)

Sarah in a newish ensemble — beige skirt, white blouse — that would have fit in perfectly with what everyone else was wearing at the Club.

Aafrin and Sooni argue. She’s pissed that he’s a patsy for the English government and seems to get everything he wants. He’s pissed that he can feel the walls of his life closing in on him, and she has no idea.

Indian Summers (2015)
Indian Summers (2015)

Interesting mix — the floral print choli with the stripes in the sari.

Jaya shows up at Ralph’s house again, which he is NOT excited about:

Indian Summers (2015)

CHECK those high-waisted trousers!

Leena finds Adam with Jaya (who has been abusive to him — she’s decided, in her insanity, that he has the evil eye), and she tries to protect him. Jaya hit Leena in the head with a rock, but they get away. Note how Leena and Adam are in the same color.

Indian Summers (2015)

Irish Boy Wonder survived his fall (Cynthia covers for Ralph and patches him up). Later, he’s somewhat chagrined when he sees Alice, who tells him to tell her husband that she’s not ready to come home.

Indian Summers (2015)

She’s added a beige shawl.

Finally, Ramu apologies to Ian for getting so mad about the sari — it was his wife’s wedding sari. Ian apologies and asks when she died, and Ramu doesn’t answer … IS JAYA RAMU’S WIFE??!! The lake that Jaya is staying at is on Ramu’s land, and we see her look happy to see someone … and then that someone (it isn’t Ian, we see him reacting to hearing her screams) drowns her. WHO COULD IT BE?!

Indian Summers (2015)

A final shot of her gold bracelet, which matches Adam’s, and was given to her by Ralph. Will these bracelets be important to the future plot?

GAH! Is Jaya Ramu’s wife? Who killed Jaya? What’s going to happen next? Will there be any new outfits?

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About the author

Kendra

Website

Kendra has been a fixture in the online costuming world since the late 1990s. Her website, Démodé Couture, is one of the most well-known online resources for historical costumers. In the summer of 2014, she published a book on 18th-century wig and hair styling. Kendra is a librarian at a university, specializing in history and fashion. She’s also an academic, with several articles on fashion history published in research journals.

5 Responses

  1. mmcquown

    In one respect, the costumers have had a better time of it because the tropical colours for the men are still used today. Not so long ago, one could go to Abercrombie and Fitch and get any of the men’s tropical outfits only slightly changed to reflect more modern cuts.

    Reply
  2. Susan Pola Staples

    Maybe Madeleine and her brother are secretly rich, and MB (Madeleine’s Brother) put out rumour so scare off Ralph. But will Aafrin and Alice end up like the biracial couple in JEWEL IN THE CROWN? Forget tigers, Sarah would make an ideal snack for Drogon. He then can finish off with Cynthia.

    I agree about the reuse of clothes, but would like to see both Alice and Madeleine in something more daring in Alice’s case and teal in Madeleine’s.

    Of course, Jaya is Sood’s wife. This is a soap opera.

    Can IBW be tiger bait? Or we could transfer him to Kings Landing for Joffrey to ‘Ned Stark’? ?

    Reply
  3. Fran

    No, Jaya wasn’t Sood’s wife, I think. But his goose is so cooked, it doesn’t matter much.

    Reply

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