Binge-Watching Made Them Do It

How addictive, monarch-themed streaming series inspired the Fall 2017 collections

We’ve all been there. Instead of sleeping or filing tax returns or some such banal task, you find yourself three or four episodes deep in the rabbit hole of the oh-so-popular streamed series of late. 

A thoroughly modern phenomenon, binge-watching programs has made series junkies of even the most well-intentioned people at one time or another. In fact, some viewers prefer for the whole series to play out in real time so that when they join, they can go episode to episode without any in-season pauses.

The latest streaming services are ripe with themes that center around royalty—both real and imagined. Shows such as The Crown, Reign, Versailles and even the highly fictional but kingdom-centric Game of Thrones are suddenly making some of that high school history class make sense. 

Designers aren’t immune either to the guilty pleasures of these shows. Fall 2017 has seen an abundance of royal court-inspired accessories and collections—think brocades, embellishments, and court-like heels. Joseph Altuzarra said he referenced Macbeth, Renaissance paintings, and a new Netflix series while designing his Fall collection, telling us backstage after his show, “Very un-intellectually, I was really into The Crown when I was working on this, and I loved the restraint—the restraint of leadership and the idea of something that felt quite noble. Not in an aristocratic way but in an attitude…very appropriate.” Regal touches were at their most literal with fur and pearl-dotted headbands.

Christina Zeller, artistic director of Delvaux, found inspiration not only in the halls of the brand’s L’Arsenal headquarters (an “army” of hammered metal statue soldiers made in the ’70s line the entrance) but also from the armor worn by knights in Game of Thrones, seen in her Madame Mini-Iron Shield bag. The black fur pelts worn by the show’s protagonist, Jon Snow, were the inspiration for the Brilliant Black Edition Warrior bag, and it really does appear as if the character had become a handbag. With its lush croc finish with metallic accents and a fur flap, according to Zeller, “It was really North of the Wall.”

Tabitha Simmons also looked to historical figures of the noble, aristocracy, and military set to inspire her Fall collection, which was rich with brocade fabrics and fur trims. She cited the BBC’s mini series War and Peace. “I really loved the romance and tragedy between the characters,” she said. The proclaimed lover of Russian and English history loved it so much, in fact, that she’s now reading the good, old-fashioned book version.

Glenn Martens of Y/Project, too, injected his Fall outing with a regal sensibility. And while his tongue-in-cheek collection was inspired by the idea that rappers are the royalty of today, that massive faux fur robe would look right at home on one of the Wildlings. Similarly, Dolce & Gabbana cast celebrity spawn and superstar clients as kings and queens on its runway, equating them to the aristocracy of yore. The designers considered an “urban renaissance,” and even placed bejeweled crowns atop some catwalkers heads. No, they didn’t admit to succumbing to a “show hole,” but suffice to say, there’s something in the airwaves.

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