Grounder fashion at its least impressive. There’s sloppy work on the jacket’s horizontal straps, and the hair styling focuses on odd, unflattering scalp knotting. Even worse, there’s a visible knife peaking out of the lapel, which begs to be stolen by an enemy and instantly used to threaten you. Altogether underwhelming.
A professor of mine once said that the ultimate height of style is the decorative button hole, which exists to make your cuff look nice but serves no function whatsoever. An argument along those lines is no doubt the best, and only, justification for the stylishness of this surgical cap.
This look has both utility and a unity of aesthetic choices, invoking military uniforms and flight gear. But its extremely limited color range (from charcoal to darker charcoal) and its unimaginative repeating shapes leave much to be desired. Nothing about this signals dominance over one’s foes, and it’s not even well-fitted – note, for instance, the bunching at the collarbone. Finally, the decision to place prominent but useless-looking chest guard pockets at an unflattering rib-cage height is unfortunate at best; self-sabotage at worst.
Fine, I suppose, but nothing communicates your openness to being brainwashed by a sexy hologram like a shawl collar.
This flattering but incredibly impractical choice is in direct conversation with the Herve Leger bandage dress idea, not only in its literalization of the bandages concept, but also in its essential figure-revealing impact. The conveniently fitted upper bandage wrap is paired with bracer-style armbands, and the overall effect is a beguiling blend of vulnerability and strength.
This is what nuclear wasteland fashion should be – classic, stunning, thoughtful. The muted palette is practical without being dull, and incorporates a pop of color on that gorgeous weapon belt. The athletic shoulders and breastplate have a vicious, metallic-studded twist. Indra’s also sporting a subtly uneven double knife sheath, and the intense solidity of her upper body armor transitions into a lusciously curling train. Just lovely.
Here, Clarke wears a jacket that combines some of the best of Grounder and Skaikru paradigms, featuring aggressive metal studding on her forearms and gloves and a dominating sense of asymmetry that we most often associate with Grounder sensibilities. There’s no small amount of Grounder, too, in that gorgeous chainmail shoulder piece, and in the stunning, chest-crossing utility band. But the materials, and the stark simplicity of this piece, are pure Skaikru. As an added bonus, dark leather is ideal for dramatic glinting in torches held aloft by your underlings.
Iconic, impressive, masterful, and individual, this look from Lexa is the epitome of post-apocalyptic styling. The stark, assertive lines of her shoulder guard are balanced by a lush warm sweep of brown velvet cloak; oversized studded arm bracers wrap around skinnily fitted sleeves. Buckles and straps abound, but the foremost aesthetic is one of containment, not excess. Her presence in a room was one of instant, unmistakable mastery. Her absence creates a power vacuum, and a fashion abyss.
Kathryn VanArendonk wasn’t allowed unfettered access to television as a child, and it has had a predictable boomerang effect in her adult life. You can find her TV writing at Vulture and Ars Technica. She also teaches English, wrangles a toddler, and glares at her cats.