We've written a blog post covering the first three episodes of Netflix's new fantasy television series (with eight episodes total), Shadow and Bone. Go and check out that blog, covering episodes 1-3, if you haven't already since we don't want to spoil the fun for you.
The television show is based on the Grisha novel trilogy by Leigh Bardugo. The three novels in the trilogy are Shadow and Bone (from which the television show's name derives), Siege and Storm, and Ruin and Rising. The costumes and sets on the show are spectacular and the designs are based on 18th and 19th-century Russian garments with a few Victorian-era garments and other inspirations along the way. Let's take a look at some of the characters and their costumes on the show.
If you haven't watched the show yet, here's a trailer to pique your interest. We recommend watching the show before reading the blog as it may contain spoilers.
Episodes 4-6 Recap
In episode 4, Alina and Kirigan become closer when he tells her about how as a child he felt like an outsider because he was descended from The Black Heretic, who created the Fold. Baghra tells Alina she is holding back for Mal but needs to master her powers with focus. Since she hadn't received any letters from Mal, Alina puts herself first and focuses on her power. Mal volunteers for a dangerous mission to find the stag with the reward being a visit to the Little Palace. The stag can amplify Grisha power. Mal's team is ambushed by Fjerdans and his two companions and friends are killed but Mal survives. He sees the stag and vows to find Alina.
The Crows and Arken steal the blueprints to the palace and gain entry by joining a troupe of travelling performers, who are performing at the Little Palace in the Winter Fete. The ship that Nina, the heartrender, is on hits a storm and Kirigan realises Nina hasn't checked in in a while and send Fedyor to find her.
In episode 5, an event is planned to show off Alina's powers as the Sun Summoner. The Crows and Arken infiltrate the palace to kidnap Alina.
Mal is injured by the Fjerdans and makes his way to a First Army camp, revealing he found the stag General Kirigan is seeking, and he is taken to the Little Palace to give his information to Kirigan. Mal refuses to tell him the stag's exact location until he can see Alina. Kirigan agrees they can meet later.
Arken attacks a decoy that he believes was Alina and Kirigan and Alina are interrupted in their kissing. Alina attempts to flee after learning Kirigan wasn't descended from the Dark Heretic but is him and that Baghra is his mother! She climbs into The Crows' carriage by chance. Mal escapes the palace and goes to find Alina.
In episode 6, Arken is interrogated after trying to murder Alina and he is killed by Kirigan. Alina escapes from the Crows' carriage and the townsfolk, believing she is of Shu descent, chase her into the forest and Mal finds her. Mal tells Alina about the stag and they decide they need to find it before Kirigan does.
Nina's ship sinks in the storm and she bonds with a Grisha Hunter named Matthias. Despite his reluctance and mistrust of Grisha, they get closer in an effort to survive the winter conditions.
Alina has chosen blue robes as the Sun Summoner. Blue kefta are worn by Etherealki, which are an order of Grisha that manipulate natural elements, such as air, water, and fire. The kefta is almost like a military dress coat with a lapelless design, fastened with buttons and beautifully embroidered in rich gold. The kefta are also reminiscent in fabric style, colours, and shape of Imperial Russian clothing.
Alina grows closer to Kirigan and opts for distinguished and special black robes like he wears as she grows to be more his equal. Her rich gold sun-like embroidery and belt with a symbol that looks part angel, part stag finish off the look along with jewels around her neck.
When she's in her lavishly decorated bedroom, her night clothes are lacy and embellished and her silver robe looks soft which contrasts with her later outfit after she escapes and she's dressed in found clothes, almost rags.
Arken, The Conductor
The Conductor, Arken, was a smuggler who transported people through the Fold by the use of a train line. Instead of capturing Alina, he went to kill her but didn't realise he'd killed her decoy. He wore dark clothing in rich browns and greens. The cape-like trench coat and waistcoat with bow-style cravat tie seems more Victorian than Russian-era.
When Mal was in the woods tracking the deer, he wore his usual military dress with a camouflage poncho on top.
In these episodes, Baghra's outfit has evolved more from a fortune-teller costume to a tailored and embroidered black jacket.
General Kirigan, The Darkling
Kirigan wore a robe of black with bright gold industrial-style fastenings. The rich embroidery is barely visible but is all along every outside hem, cuff, and collar. His outfit stands out from the rest of the Grisha, which demonstrates his power and influence in the kingdom.
In the ballroom scene, there's a mix of nineteenth-century English women's dress in flouncy Victorian gowns with hair pulled up with a centre part and jewels around their neck, contrasted with men with gloves and sashes and medals, contrasted with the Grisha military-Imperial-Russian-style dress. The looks are varied yet interesting in the scene.
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