Wednesday, May 1, 2013

The Good Wife Style: Margulies, Baranski and Punjabi

I stopped watching THE GOOD WIFE a couple seasons ago, to be truthful. It was really because I saw the looming love affair between Alicia and Will becoming "real," and I just did not want to deal with the coming duplicity, conflict and all-too-familiar baggage that goes with a love triangle in such a series, where there is a lot of smoke, some heat and no real fire... or change.

That said, from the very beginning I loved the commitment of the producers to this show--centered around a smart, hard-working woman--and the fashion style that went along.

Of course, it must be horribly unpleasant to have the weekly task of dressing Julianna Margulies, Christine Baranski and Archie Punjabi, three of the most unattractive and style-deprived women in modern America. I pity the costumers, wardrobe personnel and dressers... not.

One of the reasons I admire the style here is that, for once, the stylists and costume designers get it right for professional women. Baranski's Diane Lockhart is a woman who is intelligent, wealthy and stylish, able to use her personal style as a tool in her arsenal as a high-end lawyer, the senior partner leading a small but very successful firm. Margulies's character has moved a long distance in four seasons: she started as the SAHM who returns to the legal profession (as a litigator/associate) when her husband, a state's attorney, goes to jail, but in season 4 she becomes a partner in Baranski's firm. Punjabi plays Kalinda Sharma, an investigator who works solely for that same firm; she and Margulies are friends, but Sharma's character is not a lawyer.

Although all three women are attractive, there is no emphasis on sexy female bodies, no cleavage, no embarassingly tight skirts in court, no childish junior-girl fashion. Instead, all three women convincingly play "professionals."

I've always liked Margulies, ever since E.R., but here she is actually carrying the show (with superb support throughout). Her style is suits and separates, mostly skirts--with polish and class. The colors run from black and gray to wine, scarlet, royal blue and beige-y tones. Her accessories are nice but modest (almost no jewelry, for example), her hair is simply done, and her make-up adult.

Baranski of course has a dancer's body, a long and lean but curvy silhouette. Her character wears suits, too, obviously high-end designers, very luxe. Her accessories as "da bomb," ranging from pearls and Hermes bags to real stones set in gold and statement pieces. The best thing about Baranski is that she wears the clothes and accessories, not the other way around. Her hair, too, is simple and her make-up excellent. The colors run from charcoal to purples and blues, to beiges and creams.

Punjabi is shorter than the other two, probably petite. She wears leather--a lot of leather jackets, wide leather belts and a kick-ass pair of leather boots--contrasted with soft knits and wools, jeans, and very few accessories. Her clothes are edgier, sexier, tighter--but she still looks professional. Like a private eye, not a pole dancer. Her colors are darker, too.

The men in the show are equally well-tailored, wearing suits, ties and shirts. But it is the women who provide the real class and style for this show.

The great part is that this style is not out of reach, even when it is clear that the costumers aim at haute couture business wear. It is more about fabric, color and texture, plus the careful accessorizing, skirt lengths, excellent tailoring/fit and (frankly) superb support garments, hose and underwear.

On the red carpet, of course, they are all three enviably gorgeous.

My favorite character, of course, is Eli Gold, as played by Alan Cumming.