The Law According to Lidia Poët (2023)


We interrupt your regularly scheduled Man Candy Monday to bring you coverage of The Law According to Lidia Poët (2023), the Italian courtroom/murder mystery/frock flick that has recently dropped on Netflix. Set in Turin in 1883, the show is based loosely on the early career of Italian lawyer, Lidia Poët (played by Matilda De Angelis). The show is largely fictionalized, as far as I can tell (not being super well-versed in 19th-century Italian murder cases), but the events surrounding Lidia’s notoriety as Italy’s first female practicing lawyer, as well as her subsequent disbarment and resulting career as a legal aid to her brother, hold true to historical fact.

Photograph of Lidia Poët c. 1900.


The Law According to Lidia Poet (2023)

Matilda De Angelis as Lidia, who with the aid of her brother-in-law and brother, solves crimes in Turin.


Not surprisingly, costumer Stefano Ciammitti was a pupil of legendary Italian costumer Piero Tosi, and Tosi’s influence is absolutely evident in these designs which are so yummy, I’m having a hard time not wanting to pull out every yard of silk satin and velvet I have and roll around in them just to deal with the cravings.

The evening gown that Lidia wears to the opera to catch a murderer is one of my favorites, with its bold crimson and teal color scheme.

Lidia is usually dressed in expertly tailored suits, paired with smart hats and her ubiquitous insect brooches and earrings.

What has always fascinated me about an unattainable genius like Alexander McQueen is his love and his reinterpretation of certain historical periods, always in a surprisingly original and cultured way. In my opinion, this is what even a costume designer should try to do: not settle for faithfully reproduce. What I learned from Tosi, who was also one of the first and greatest philologists of costume, is that one can never be completely philological, and what really counts is the inspiration and artistic sensibility of those who reinterprets.

Stefano Ciammitti, Vogue Italia.

Stripes are used with great effect in all of Lidia’s outfits.


Lidia’s looks are often more saturated and severe in contrast with the other women in her life, such as her niece, Marianna.


I loved this look. But I’m always a sucker for red and black.


The only major critique I have of the costumes is that all the women have skirts that lack the volume appropriate for the 1880s. This was the height of the bustle era, but we don’t see much in the way of volume in the back.

I’m only halfway through the series right now (subtitles make it really hard to enjoy the costume content, so I’m having to go back and watch everything at least twice) but I am really pleased with the show as a whole, and the costumes in particular. Hopefully it gets picked up for a second season!


Have you seen The Law According to Lidia Poët (2023)? Share you thoughts 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.

13 Responses

  1. Elizabeth

    I’ve only watched the first episode but I want every single outfit that she wore in that one. The costumes are absolutely stunning and I love the insect brooches.

  2. Jane M Kieffer Rath

    I enjoyed the costumes but I’d like to know why Lidia has black dots at the outer corners of her eyes? I didn’t see them on anyone else. I loved the jewelry!!

  3. Leslie

    I’ve watched the whole thing… and adored the clothing. I really liked that she re-wears her outfits and her hats in different episodes, like a ‘normal’ [albeit quite a wealthy] person.

    I hope there’s a second season as well.

  4. Lauren

    Halfway through this show and I agree with everything above! I was also so impressed by the menswear (Proper detachable collars! Not every hat is a bargain bin top hat!) and the fact that grown women not only wear their hair up, but wear it in period appropriate updos with combs. If I had to nitpick, I’d say that the costumes read much more 1893 than 1883 from the skirt and sleeve shapes and the menswear-inspired styles, and that characters occasionally wear fabulous and intricate pieces that are obviously vintage…but equally obviously from ca. 1900-1910.

  5. Brandy Loutherback

    My only complaint: Where’s all the Bustles! This is the Middle of the 2nd Bustle era! The costumes read 1890s!


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