The Fashion in HBO’s Mildred Pierce

If you’re not already transfixed by the HBO miniseries Mildred Pierce staring Kate Winslet, run, don’t walk, to your DVR and catch up right away. If the breathtaking cinematography and captivating performances weren’t enough to keep you enthralled, the smattering of 1930s-era fashions are sure to do the trick. HBO teased us with promiscuous flappers and dapper gangsters in the critically acclaimed Boardwalk Empire but with Pierce they have a sartorial winner.

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A vast departure from the 1945 film adaptation of the novel by James M. Cain staring Joan Crawford, this adaptation sees stars Guy Pearce, Evan Rachel Wood, Melissa Leo, and Winslet, of course, donning chic yet appropriate looks that one could easily integrate into a modern wardrobe. When the project was announced, many thought that it would be conservative and lacking in the costume department, but Academy Award winning costume designer Ann Roth quickly dispelled those rumors. With the series spanning the years 1931 to 1940, Roth successfully makes the transition from late 1920s silhouettes to luxe eveningwear from the late 30s.

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Heavy spotlights have already been placed on Winslet’s Mildred and Wood’s Veda as the fashion stars of this piece but we must not disregard Pearce whose character Monty looks dashing in his dapper polo kit, and his casual wardrobe aids his California-cool personality. If you’re looking to inject some 1930s sophistication into your wardrobe, opt for printed dresses in warm tones with a peter pan or simple bow collar. For evening, look for a barely-there silk dress with a deco cut, but for those less adventurous, a pair of thin-framed sunglasses and a head scarf will do the trick.

Mildred Pierce

Photos: LATimes.com, HBO