The Costumes of ‘Agent Carter’ that Already Make it Great

It may not have escaped your notice that a) there is an Agent Carter TV show about to start (but not in the UK because TV schedulers are ridiculously stupid) and b) I freaking love Agent Peggy Carter and Hayley Atwell. Proof to be found here, here,  here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here. Told you. Agent-Carter-poster-570x760 So Agent Carter is set in 1946 after the events of Captain America: The First Avenger (2011) but before those of the Marvel One-Shot: Agent Carter (2013). Peggy is working for the Strategic Scientific Reserve (SSR) dealing with the sexism that accompanied women working in the 1940s. The imdb synopsis for the show is ridiculously inaccurate: Screen Shot 2015-01-03 at 20.01.18 Yes Peggy was involved with Steve Rogers but that wasn’t all that she was. Moving on. This post is mostly to appreciate the costume design work by Giovanna Ottobre-Melton that we’ve already seen in promo pictures. I’m excited and so should you. The images gathered below have been released by Marvel and, I think, are all from the first two episodes.HAYLEY ATWELL Peggy’s blonde! She’s undercover! In a gold low-cut dress – very different from the dresses we’ve seen Peggy wearing so far.HAYLEY ATWELL, DOMINIC COOPER I just included this for the shoes.agent-carter-1-800 Wide lapels with both the blouse and jacket and the blouse lapels are beautifully edged to add structure and focus. Adds a contrast with the stricter tailoring of the jacket.B6RrJ5XIYAAtvni.jpg-large More tailored 40s but with some gathering at the waist to soften the shape and pink detailing to brighten the navy blue.2051104_CA_Agent_Carter_KDM_ A different version of the earlier wide lapelled jacket and blouse but different shapes. My favourite part is the double lapels on the jacket.Agent-Carter-600x450 More blouse and fitted jacket combination but this time – check out those pinstripes! Amazing! The waist dart that finishes just below the bust changes the pinstripes and gives further detailing. The horizontal pinstripes at the centre front are another detail that adds to the suit.HAYLEY ATWELL

Here is a better photo of the edged wide lapelled blouse – reminds me a little bit of Peggy’s blouse in CA:TFA.

Ottobre-Melton is the fifth costume designer to take on Peggy Carter: Anna B. Shepherd in CA:TFA, Ellen Mirojnick and Timothy A. Wisnick in MO-S:AC and, briefly, Judianna Makovsky in Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014). She’s got some big shoes to fill but these images fill me with more anticipation and happiness.

S x

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Superhero Sunday: ‘Captain America: The First Avenger’ (2011)

Captain America: The First Avenger

Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014) is due to start filming…soon? Its start date has been pushed back repeatedly but it should be starting in the not too distant future. And with the announcement of Robert Redford joining the cast (replacing the heavyweight presence of Tommy Lee Jones from the first film) I thought it would be worth revisiting Captain America: The First Avenger. None of the Marvel films have been panned so to speak, but some are regarded as the weaker films. For a lot of people this includes Hulk (2003), The Incredible Hulk (2008) and Captain America. I am not a fan of the Hulk films but I do think that Captain America has got a bit of a bad rap. It’s not perfect, sure, but it has some great performances and wonderful moments – all setting up the development of the Steve Rogers character.

Captain America: The First Avenger

With a film that is so firmly based on the origins of one character, it’s important to cast the role as well as possible. When Chris Evans was first cast the only issues that fans had was due to his previous role as Johnny Storm in the Fantastic Four films. As complaints go it is fairly limited and, by now, seems irrelevant – especially with the reboot of the Fantastic Four on the way. The first meeting of Steve Rogers shows him as short and very skinny. These are possibly the most disturbing images of the film – seeing Evans so emaciated is very unnerving. And then you move onto Captain America Steve. Easier on the eyes but still the same sweet endearing character. Out of all of the Avengers he can be regarded as boring. He isn’t cocky like Tony Stark, not arrogant like Thor (even if he has developed since his first introduction) and not quite as “damaged” as Bruce Banner. Rogers is a weak man with great inner strength and character who was given great physical strength as well. Plus, who doesn’t love a gentleman?

Peggy Carter

Another great aspect? Hayley. Atwell. I’m quite clearly obsessed infatuated adoring of her. I don’t even need to mention how much I love Peggy Carter.

"The Howling Commandos"

The rest of the cast are also top notch. Tommy Lee Jones as a gruff Army General. Stanley Tucci as the well meaning, intelligent Doctor. Sebastian Stan as Rogers’ best friend with all (or most of) the luck, Bucky Barnes. Dominic Cooper as the third actor to play Tony Stark’s father Howard – and setting up a possible love triangle. Toby Jones as the weedy scientist. Rogers’ team of soldiers – never fully claimed as The Howling Commandos. And then there’s Hugo Weaving as the deranged Johann Schmidt/Red Skull. Doing crazy Nazi to the full but never quite camping it up like Cate Blanchett in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008). Which is a good thing.

Bucky Barnes

Howard Stark

The problems? Mostly relating to the plot, in my mind. I don’t know the full details of Captain America in the comics or the origins of Red Skull. All I can go in is what I make of the film. Aside from the fact that there is a general accepted suspension of disbelief regarding superheroes anyway, the Red Skull story seems…just too insane. (I have no problem with the plot of Thor though.) And the end… It is both heartbreaking (I love Peggy!) and also unsatisfying. The best moments of the film come with Rogers being a solider. Whether that’s in battle or just interacting with the other soldiers and Stark. And Peggy. Anything with Peggy. (Undeserving of just a side note, but Anna B. Sheppard’s costume design is also incredible. But I may just be distracted by that red dress.)

Red Skull

But let’s not forget another wonderful aspect of the film. This:

And that’s why I went as a USO girl for a fancy dress film night.

The USO Girls

Let’s cut Captain America a little slack and look forward to The Winter Soldier!

The Winter Soldier

S x

Saw This And Thought It Was Cool

I posted this picture on twitter a few days ago but I wanted to post it here too. Why? Because it’s so awesome. Mini cupcakes dedicated to Agent Peggy Carter from Captain America. This makes me so very happy. Even more so that I “found” the pic after Hayley Atwell herself tweeted it.

Peggy Carter Mini Cupcakes

Made my day. There is a cupcake with a red lipstick on top. A red lipstick.

S x

Saw This And Thought It Was Cool

I’m not one for extravagant make-up – generally speaking I’m too lazy for that. But that’s not to say I can’t appreciate. And for any future Avengers related fancy dress costuming I would definitely consider this:

Shockingly(!) my fav is probably Captain America. But Thor, Hawkeye, Loki and Nick Fury are also all amazing.

I found Jangsara’s website via whedonesque and these posts are actually from April and May so this is a few months behind but check them out. This post was a preview to in-depth tutorials for the looks so scroll down to the bottom. The rest of the blog is great for make-up tips and is really just fascinating!

S x

Superhero Saturday: Peggy and Sharon Carter

An interesting piece of casting rumour came out this week regarding the female lead in Captain America: The Winter Soldier. (At this point I regret not taking acting seriously.) No character names have been mentioned officially but everybody is pretty much assuming that the character will be Sharon Carter. In the comics she originally started out as Peggy Carter‘s younger sister but she became Peggy’s neice due to timeline issues…less weird. Slightly. She was brought up on her aunt Peggy’s stories of World War Two and her relationship with Steve Rogers – the fighting side of WWII inspired her to join SHIELD. The involvement with SHIELD was how she and Rogers met in the comics and as it has been stated that Rogers will be working with SHIELD in The Winter Soldier (with a possible Black Widow cameo *squee*) this seems even more plausible. (I’m still hoping the waitress from The Avengers stays away. DTSFT know how I feel about her.)

Personally, I’m concerned how anyone can live up to this:

but they can give it their best shot.

So first possible is Daenerys Targaryen from Game of Thrones. Otherwise known as Emilia Clarke.

Then there’s Lady Sybil Branson née Crawley from Downton Abbey. Or Jessica Brown Findlay.

Annie Edison from Community. (I’m ashamed to say I’ve never watched.) Alison Brie.

Imogen Poots.

Teresa Palmer.

(I have greater hopes for the first three. Clearly.)

S x

P.S. I’m sorry about the squee. I’m a little ashamed of myself.

Style Icon: Hayley Atwell

I adore Hayley Atwell. It was Captain America: The First Avenger that did it – I loved her as Peggy Carter. (Was it accurate/faithful to the comics? I don’t know. Do I care? Not really.) The attitude, the red lips, the costumes, the figure. Heaven. Before Captain America I’d only seen her in Brideshead Revisited after which I vaguely remember coming out and bemoaning the fact that the costumes had made her look fat. I haven’t brought myself to watch it again cos I didn’t enjoy the film. Regardless of “fat” costumes. Following that, there was The Duchess. I just remember her being majorly busty, especially compared to Keira Knightley – but then, who isn’t?

I will definitely consider catching up on stuff she has made, like Any Human Heart as I recently read the book and enjoyed it, and am looking forward to Restless, again I read the book fairly recently. Not The Sweeney though. I just can’t bring myself to watch it.

But, moving away from that, here are some of her amazing red carpet choices from the last two years or so.

So Hayley’s rocking a bright yellow polka dot, seriously figure-hugging Dolce and Gabbana dress at the 2010 GQ Men of the Year Awards. I wasn’t sure if I liked this dress at first but now, I love it. It’s very fifties inspired, which is great for her shape, but the colour and the fit is also fairly contemporary. And red nails and lipstick.

This Dolce and Gabbana dress was worn for the Visa Signature screening of Captain America in New York in 2011. I can’t tell if this dress is polka dots or tiny little stars. Either way, I want it. It just drapes beautifully over her curves and she lets that dress take power over everything – but without her in it, it would be nothing.

This custom made L’Wren Scott dress worn for the Los Angeles Captain America premiere in 2011 is in serious competition with Peggy’s red dress. They both fit beautifully and do the job they should do. And the accessories and make-up are toned down to let the power of that red dress hold centre. If anyone was going to steal attention at that premiere from Captain America himself it would be Hayley.

The Costume Institute Gala (otherwise known as the Met Ball) in 2011. This dress was custom made for Hayley by Bally. I think it’s a really striking dress for Hayley to choose, especially with the tan leather panelling down the sides. It had mixed views but I love it.

Another unexpected dress from Hayley. Never one to be pinned down to a particular shape, this Antonio Barardi dress that she wore to the 2011 British Academy Television Awards is a little unexpected. But it works. It’s streamlined, well cut, it fits her well and…I love it.

Roksanda Ilincic at the 2012 Empire Film Awards. I’m always a fan of bright colours. Especially bright colours on shoes and I love the turquoise dress with the orange heels. The dress is softly fitted but still smooths over the right curves.

Wearing Emilio Pucci at the London Premiere of The Sweeney in 2012. With red lipstick. I love the Charlotte Olympia shoes with the bright blue of the dress. And the beautiful beading and embroidery on the front panel. It’s another interesting, different dress for Hayley to choose.

This Jexika dress Hayley wore to the Olivier Awards in 2012 is a stunner. A nude shade that almost gives the impression that she has nothing on. Saucy. It hugs her completely and the flow of the fishtail section shows the shine of the fabric and the beautiful draping. This may be my favourite of her dresses – particularly for its classic simplicity.

S x