Now that Fashion Month is over, we can fully concentrate on another one of the best parts of the season: fall TV and all of the fashion-y fun we can glean from the new and returning shows. Surprisingly, the breakout hit Sleepy Hollow has one of the most intriguing sartorial spins of the season; it’s not about what cool new clothes the characters are wearing, but one hellishly old outfit that a character has not changed out of for over 200 years–and for four episodes and counting.
For those of you who don’t watch Sleepy Hollow, here’s a quick summary: Ichabod Crane (easy-on-the-eyes Brit actor Tom Mison) magically re-awakens in 2013 and partners with a female detective to solve mystical crimes related to the Headless Horseman and the world ending–please stay with me now. If you suspend some disbelief and just go with it, you’ll really enjoy the Buffy (in terms of Hellmouth evil fighting, minus teen angst allegories) meets Elementary (like fun chemistry between the two leads) series.
While I’m fine going with the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse besieging a scenic town upstate, I just can’t get over the fact that after four episodes, Ichabod Crane has not changed out of the same Revolutionary War outfit that he wore while clawing his way out of his 200 year-old grave in the premiere. Like, is there a fragrance emanating from the fabric? (Although he did hand-wash his clothes once followed by a quick dry with a hairdryer.) How is anyone taking him seriously in a long military coat, a blouse-y top, swashbuckling knee-high boots, and a little green ribbon in his hair? Can he at least get some new underwear?!
This clearly warranted a call to Sanja Hays–the veteran costume designer who created Ichabod’s enduring look for the pilot–to get some clarity on the matter. Turns out, giving Ichabod Crane a modern makeover in a button-down and jeans from the Gap would just mess up the storyline.
“Originally when we did the pilot they wanted him changed half-way way through the episode,” Hays explained.”But they wanted to keep it [so] he still looks like he’s from another time, which is not that easy.”
Part of the appeal of the show is the whole fish out of water thing and continually reminding viewers of the time warp, but not beating them over the heads with it. Hence the non-costume change.