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).
Breaking Bad We don't know what an New Mexico drug lord and his sidekick would dress like, but somehow we just know that this show very consistently gets right.
Shameless Costume designer Lyn Paolo said designing Shameless is harder than Scandal because she has to "create a world that embraces the poverty and yet somehow make these young people look cool and hip." She succeeds with aplomb.
Portlandia Obviously the person who dressed the feminist bookstore owners deserves an award. Not to mention the slew of other ridiculous-yet-perfectly-dressed characters Carrie Brownstein and Fred Armisen have transformed into.
30 Rock Liz Lemon has sported several amazing outfits throughout 30 Rock's run that we will literally never forget.
True Blood True Blood may be a more obvious contender for makeup, but we think the costumes are pretty genius too. Making actors look simultaneously like supernatural creatures who may have to drop trou. and morph into a warewolf in an insant, and regular ol' Louisiana hillbillies, can't be easy.
Girls Girls has had a lot of standout costume moments that still feel realistic and true to the character.