I said I’d try to keep watching The Cook of Castamar (2021), the 1720-set Spanish miniseries on Netflix. I’m surprised to say I’ve gotten semi-sucked into the story, although I am eye-rolling at a few plot devices. I’m not surprised to say the costumes continue to not be 1720s, and many continue to suck.
Clara, the cook, gets some Actual Clothes — specifically, this jacket which would be fine if not for the asymmetrical closure:
Clara still spends most of her time in her stays, which seems ridiculous, although I do like the cut of the stays and the seam binding — it’s very 18th century:
I am, however, impressed that the servants ALWAYS have neat, tidy hairstyles AND wear caps. There was even a scene where Clara is called to go upstairs, and she’s hanging out in her room cap-less, so she puts on her cap before going up.
Mom’s dresses continue to be clunky, and I’m constantly distracted by her Steampunk fascinators:
Various characters wear what appear to be brooches in their hair in lieu of tiaras or other hair ornaments:
Speaking of jewelry, a brooch that supposedly has belonged to every duchess of Castamar for centuries is brought out, and it’s totally an AliExpress special:
And the hair, particularly Amelia’s, is BAD:
All of the gowns continue to be not-1720. Let’s pick on Amelia a bit:
My favorite moment is when Amelia is going to have a new dress made. The tailor brings out some fabric, which everyone is super excited about because it’s an “indienne”! Indiennes are super fashionable but scarce! Their import is banned! This is actually historically accurate, except, “indiennes” are printed cottons from India. The fabric the tailor displays, and eventually makes a dress from, is totally a woven brocade.
Here are two examples of actual printed cottons made in India for export to Europe from this period:
Actual robes à la française are worn, which are at least vaguely more period (being 1740s-60s) than the fitted-back dresses we also see (which are 1770s-80s):
There was one cute redingote, although it’s about 60 years too early for the style and it’s a rewear from Poldark:
The bearded men continue to read as SO CHEESY to me:
Which is honestly too bad, because these two are major hotties by modern standards:
The duke of Castamar gets an actual “powdered” wig … with a totally obvious lace front:
The duke’s brother, Gabriel, paints a portrait of Amelia and it’s one of the shittier historical portraits I’ve seen on screen:
Plot-wise … I’m glad that they are showing non-straight characters, and also that they are showing the kind of social conflict being queer would bring in an era of forced heterosexuality:
I like that there’s a well-off character who’s Black, and again, they are showing how that’s a complicated thing to be in this period/location:
I can’t stand the whole “I went out in the rain, now I am at death’s door” plot device:
There’s still a few episodes left, I’ll report back once I’ve finished the series!
Are you watching The Cook of Castamar? How are you feeling about it?