Perry Mason, Season 2, Chapter Ten (2020-)


I’m taking a break from The White Queen to drop in and report on a frock flick that has a constant theme of fabulous costumes, Perry Mason (2020-), and it’s like going from famine to feast! So let’s see where our favorite 1930s law firm picks up after the premier episode of the season…

Things are tense between Della and Perry. Della wants Perry to make sacrifices in the name of his principles in order for the firm to be successful, and Perry, well … Isn’t exactly psyched about it.


And things are heating up over at the courthouse. The DA’s office has announced that they have arrested two “Mexicans” in the murder of prominent businessman Brooks McCutcheon. I just want to take a minute to admire the composition of ADA Milligan’s shadow-plaid three-piece suit.


Back at the office, Perry and Della are surprised by Luisa and Sophia Gallardo, the wife and sister of the two men arrested by for McCutcheon’s murder. They have heard how Perry helped exonerate Emily Dodson for her son’s murder and think that he can help them prove the innocence of their loved ones. Notice how their clothes are several years out of date and threadbare, in contrast with the more fitted fashionable styles popular by the early 1930s.


Marion, the new secretary, in contrast, is depicted wearing a smart but fashionable blouse and skirt with a bakelite belt buckle and a silver pen attached to her waist.


Ham and Della attend a swanky benefit concert and are photographed together, no doubt providing cover to one another’s “alternative” lifestyles. Della wears a fabulous bias-cut red gown with elbow-length white kid gloves.


It’s peak 1930s glamour, with the tasteful slit back and flutter sleeves.


We are introduced to Camilla Nygaard, an insanely wealthy benefactress and classical pianist, whose protege will be performing for the evening.


Meanwhile, Perry and Strickland catch up over a coupla beers. Moving on.


Perry and his ex-wife attempt to put on a good show for their son’s teacher, Miss Barbour.


Miss Barbour’s sweater game is strong.


Clara’s house dress is peak 1930s housewife. Fashionable little details, made from easy-to-care-for cotton fabric (it might even have been repurposed from a flour sack).


Determined to help Della blow off steam, Anita takes her to a boxing match. You don’t get to see much of either of their outfits, unfortunately.


Della’s blouse is a high-collared affair with what I think is a matching bolero with a shawl collar and symmetrically aligned buttons in groups of three on either side. Anita is wearing a loose jacket with exaggerated lapels and a V-neck blouse underneath. Della, ever conscious of decorum, wears a smart little hat, while the avant garde Anita goes hat-free. This is one of those cases where choosing to not have an actor wear a hat makes sense, because it contrasts the two characters’ personalities against one another.


Another interesting character quirk I’ve noticed is that Della will often wear the ties on her blouse undone or casually tied when she’s in the office with Perry, but when she meets with clients, the bow is always tied in a perfect bow. There are layers to Della, folks, and I think this season, we are going to get to peel a few back.


Paul arrives at the office in a smart dark plaid jacket, looking gorgeous as always.


Paul and Perry visit a floating casino that is at the center of this season’s mystery, where even the extras have fabulous outfits. Seriously, this is the best thing about this show. No detail goes wasted!


Have you seen Perry Mason (2020-) Season Two, Chapter Ten? Let’s geek out about it in the comments!


About the author

Sarah Lorraine

Sarah has an undergraduate degree in Clothing & Textile Design and a Master's in Art History and Visual Culture, with an emphasis on fashion history. When she’s not caught in paralyzing existential dread, she's drinking craft cocktails and writing about historical costume in film and television. She's been pissing people off on the internet since 1995.

8 Responses

  1. Boxermom

    I would really love to comment on the costumes (I love 1930’s fashion), but I can barely see what anyone’s wearing. Same with The White Queen. Are they making it so dark on purpose? Or should I get my eyes checked? :)

    • hsc

      Unfortunately, there’s a trend for dim lighting and murky color in films and television, no matter what the subject matter is– even big mega-budget MCU outings.
      And even worse, if multiplexes don’t keep their projector bulbs at full brightness, a film can be pretty much impossible to watch. The first DOCTOR STRANGE film was totally ruined when I saw it– Rachel McAdams had been onscreen for about half her appearance in the film before she finally stepped into a light source bright enough to make out her features. 
      When I complained afterward and told the theater manager she needed to check the projection in that theater, she kept trying to blame 3-D glasses– even though we were watching it in standard projection, with no glasses. Idiot.
      Later, when I watched DS again on home video, I didn’t have this problem; things were still “moody” and not as colorful as you’d expect from a comic book adaptation, but you could at least see what the cinematographer intended you to see.
      It’s why I gave up on theatrical showings of films.

    • Sarah Lorraine

      It really is just that dark. And these were all lightened from the screencaps I took. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

  2. Frances Germeshausen

    We love this show, and on our TV we can see enough detail that we have to keep stopping and backing up because I start screaming at the goodness. I learned from a vintage dealer friend that the costumes in the show are almost 100% true vintage. While I love 20s fashion, I think 30s is more flattering on everyone.


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