Alright people, I got nothing better to do so I finished The Cook of Castamar (2021) and I have thoughts about the costumes, hair, and ending! Semi-spoiler alert! If you don’t want to know some things about how the series ends, watch it before reading.
Again, this miniseries is based on a (modern) novel and set in 1720 Spain. Clara (Michelle Jenner) is a down-on-her-luck cook who gets hired to work for the fabulously wealthy Duke of Castamar. And I won’t tell you anything other than that!
Let’s work our way to up Amelia, who of course is the most fun.
Roberto has nice side rolls, but I kept staring at that sideswept almost-combover.
18th century hairstyles all went BACK, not to the side | Francis Hayman, 1707/8–1776, British, George and Margaret Rogers, between 1748 and 1750, Oil on canvas, Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection
Flashback mom! I actually kind of like this ensemble for late 17th century. It looks like a loose gown over stays, which, yes! The sleeves are kind of random, but they’re not bad.
It’s kind of like a casual version of this silhouette? Barbara Villiers, Duchess of Cleveland and Countess Castlemaine (1640–1709), c. 1670, via Sotheby’s
Sol Montijos gets a good dark-themed riding ensemble for a flashback scene, although I feel like that print is suspiciously close to paisley.
There are a LOT OF HAIRNETS being used in these hairstyles, which look almost 1870s. Now, I actually love a good hairnet! But you need to pin it IN to the hair in places so it’s not so obvious!
What they were going for | Augustin Pajou/Sèvres Manufactory, Madame du Barry (1746–1793), 1772, Metropolitan Museum of Art
What they achieved | Revue de la Coiffure, 1876
Flashback Sol, looking very 1660s-1670s, which would be 50ish years before the present? So maybe not?
Kind of like this? Silver Tissue Dress, 1660, Fashion Museum (Bath)
At the very end, Clara gets a robe à la française (1740s and onwards style) for a Very Special Occasion. I liked how they picked something almost white but not quite, and kept it pretty but understated, like Clara’s character.
However, up close I’m not loving the beige. The Indian printed cotton IS accurate for the period.
A hairdresser comes from France and styles Amelia’s hair in a new style! Which is basically her same old ratted/aqua-netted Gibson Girl updo, except with less side volume.
She also has massive hairnet action. And 1870s-style hair.
The BIG MOMENT is when she wears this caramel-colored court dress. It is cut relatively correctly for a court dress, with fitted bodice and back-lacing.
She’s got HUGE puffy bows on the front. A “ladder” of graduated-width bows is definitely a style you see in the mid-18th century.
I couldn’t figure out why I kept staring at them.
Until she stood sideways and I realized they were placed too high on her chest.
The classic mid-century “ladder” of bows | Portrait of Madame de Pompadour by François Boucher, 1756, Alte Pinakothek
THE BACK. WAS THE BEST. I don’t think ANYONE showed that much shoulder blade until about 1920.
Your standard court dress came up high in the back | Sofia Magdalena’s coronation gown, 1772, Livrustkammaren
After that, everything else was a let down, like this closed-front mantua (a 1730s-50s style).
It’s kind of like this | Tibout Regters, Portrait einer adeligen Dame, 1743, via Wikimedia Commons
This jacket was cute! If 1780s.
I scoffed at how she’s dressed to the nines, not feeling well, and then 30 seconds later her hair is down in beachy waves.
Or spiral curls, to be more precise.
Another shot of the Brooch of
Amelia’s white wedding dress is delivered … without even a bag? Sheet wrapped around it? Something? IT’S WHITE, PEOPLE. IT NEEDS PROTECTION. (Also, this is about 150 years before the White Wedding Dress)
Someone had some problems getting the overskirts to angle correctly.
This is the line they should be going for | Sack (robe à la française), 1775-80, Victoria & Albert Museum
THE MOST HEAD-NECKLACE-Y HEAD NECKLACE EVER! It’s one of those Edwardian dog collar chokers!
Someone went CRAZY with the head bling.
Did you finish The Cook of Castamar? Did you scoff at what I scoffed at?