Dressing The Borgias: The Ladies

borgiaswomen2Well, we’ve come to the end, folks. This shall be the last Borgias-related post ever (unless these people succeed, which would be great). Sigh. I shall miss it. I loved these crazy kids. Ah well, life goes on.

Naturally, the show’s focus was mostly on the Borgias themselves, and those closest to them, but, admirably, there were quite a few very interesting peripheral characters, both male and female, who were permitted to be interesting and complex. On the ladies’ side, we had a guilt-ridden wife who became a nun, a rather sad lady who went completely insane, and an adversary so badass, she actually won the respect of the men whose asses she was kicking. And they all did it while beautifully dressed, of course. Let’s have a look.

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Dressing The Borgias: The Men

borgias1-511Unlike the lucky ladies, the men of The Borgias tend to have a fairly set uniform, and you only really sit up and take notice when they change out of it. But, that doesn’t mean there aren’t still some interesting things going on, costume-wise.

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Dressing the Borgias: Giulia and Vannozza

Giulia and Vannozza, season 2 episode 1One of the things I loved about The Borgias is that the women weren’t relegated to a second-class status on the show. They weren’t mindless sex objects, helpless creatures, or characters whose stories relied entirely on the male characters. They were strong, intelligent, and forceful. They used the weapons at their disposal (not just their beauty or their sexuality, either) to forward their own goals, largely managed to retain their agency within the sexual constraints of the time, and won the respect of the men because of it. They were complicated–even the more minor roles had some interesting shades of grey–and they made the show that much richer.

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Dressing The Borgias: Lucrezia

It may be that I’ve been spending way too much time on Tom and Lorenzo reading their Mad Style recaps, but I couldn’t help but think, while watching The Borgias over the past three years, ‘wow, there seem to be some interesting things happening with the costumes here’. I considered the fact that it was all in my head, but then I learned that the costume designer was Gabriella Pescucci who, among other things, did the costumes for The Age of Innocence. In that film, a lot of story is being told through costumes and colours. This woman knew what she was doing, and the stories being told were no accident. So, as a way of saying a final farewell to The Borgias, I thought I’d do a little costume roundup. Ready for this? Let’s start with Lucrezia.

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The Borgias: A Professional

borgias3-1013Previously on The Borgias: Lucrezia and her husband escaped from Naples, only to find themselves essentially prisoners again in Rome. Cesare and Alexander finally buried the hatchet, with a serious assist from Mattai, and Cesare was given command of the papal armies.

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The Borgias: Gunpowder, Treason, and Plot

627Previously on The Borgias: Alexander’s new friend, Mattai, helped him destroy the Turkish navy, saving him the hassle of a crusade; both Micheletto and Lucrezia realised they’d been betrayed, which hits Micheletto particularly hard.

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The Borgias: I Burn

borgiasblood2Previously on The Borgias: Lucrezia chose a new king for Naples and Micheletto chose a new boyfriend. Both made terrible, terrible choices.

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The Borgias: Check

Lucrezia's Gambit stillPreviously on The Borgias: Caterina Sforza mailed plague to Rome, catching one of the cardinals stupid enough to ignore Cesare’s orders to burn her letter; Lucrezia got rid of the King of Naples, but found there are two others in line before her husband; Cesare and the French army marched into Milan, only to find Ludovico Sforza gone and the place empty.

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The Borgias: The Bastard Army

borgias32Previously on The Borgias: Cesare headed to France, got married, and was given an army; Micheletto talked Lucrezia out of killing Ferdinand of Naples and then took care of the job for her; Caterina kept gathering her new allies.

Ruffio has arrived at a village that’s been hit hard by the plague. Diseased bodies lie strewn on the ground and a cross burns atop a mound of ashy skeletons. He pauses beside one dead man and uses his sword to remove a scrap of cloth. A woman sitting nearby, defeated, manages to give him a WTF face. He leaves her some coins, like she’s got any use for those.

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The Borgias: The Dark Pool

Charlotte and CesarePreviously on The Borgias: Lucrezia was forced to screw her new husband in front of his cousin and her brother, who shortly after departed for France to find a wife. Giulia got on Alexander’s bad side for helping her brother attempt to balance the books, and in order to get back on his good side, she came up with a brilliant (and effective) plan to keep all the cardinals loyal. Bianca Gonzaga found her way back into Alexander’s bed, prompting her husband to publicly call Alexander out for sleeping with her.

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