Why The New Breed Of Historical Drama Is Super Into Menswear

Lovers of period dramas live for this stuff—for the objectification of lavish clothes, for the familiar yanking of corsets and swaying of hoop skirts. The examples are legion: the pastry-like shoes slipped on the feet of Marie Antoinette and her posse in Sofia Coppola’s biopic of the original fashion victim; the panniers encasing Tilda Swinton in Sally Potter’s Orlando; Nicole Kidman’s Bloomsbury chintz sacks (and fake beak) in Stephen Daldry’s The Hours. But rarely are male characters treated to this kind of doting, visual splendor as they are in Emma, which was released to streaming video last week, earlier than planned due to movie theater closures in the face of the coronavirus pandemic. It’s clear that Autumn de Wilde’s Emma is no typical Austen adaptation—but that’s not just because of the intensity with which it treats getting dressed. Read more at GQ.