Last year, the Emmy nominees for Outstanding Costumes for a Series were Boardwalk Empire, Downton Abbey, The Borgias, Game of Thrones, and Once Upon a Time. Game of Thrones obviously won, and we wouldn’t be surprised if it went on a winning streak for the rest of its time on air. And we get it–those costumes are awesome, as are those of the other nominated shows. But is it fair that literally all of them are either period or fantasy?
As we’ve learned from interviewing the costume designers from shows like Scandal, Revenge and House of Cards–a whole lot more goes into costume designing a show about regular people than we realized. Different challenges are presented, like making the characters look like real people and transforming them from an actor into a character without any animal furs or petticoats to work with.
Lyn Paolo, costume designer for shows like Scandal and Shameless, feels that more contemporary shows should be recognized. “I think there are a lot of people who vote who don’t actually do costumes–the people who design know how difficult it is to create things that are real,” she told us. “Period can be hard, you have to do your research and fantasy is really hard, but I think it’s unfortunate. Hopefully as the world gets to know more and more about costume designers, maybe it’s something that will change a little bit.”
Click through for some contemporary shows we think you should get to know, because the costumes are awesome, and probably won’t be recognized (though we’re keeping our fingers crossed).