I always love to see a period piece that has accurate costumes, it’s something that adds to the immersion into the world of what you’re watching. Queen’s Gambit, the new hit Netflix series starring Anya Taylor- Joy, does even more than that, with the clothing telling a story, from patterns that invoke chess boards to pieces reminiscent of popular designers of the time. Today, we’ll be looking at some interesting things you might not have noticed about Beth Harmon’s wardrobe in Queen’s Gambit.
In order to keep the looks historically accurate and in line with the tone of the show, lots of Beth’s looks were made specifically for Anya Taylor Joy’s iconic character. With so many outfits made just for her, Beth’s looks tell a cohesive story of their own. In the novel, Beth’s character was described as less fashionable than her television counterpart, but the costumes department wanted to glamourize the character and show Beth could rise to the top of a male-dominated sport without sacrificing her femininity.
Geometric and checkerboard patterns were popular during the beginning of the pop art movement in the 60’s, and Beth can be seen wearing them on everything from coats to dresses. It’s not only relevant to the time, but connects her to the chessboard visually through her looks.
Inspiration from 60’s Designers
Not only does Beth’s wardrobe follow the trends of the time, the costume designers went as far as to pull inspiration from specific designers of the age. Pierre Cardin was an iconic designer at the time, who made color-blocked, space-age looks. His influence can be seen in these looks of Beth’s. John Bates and André Courrèges were two more designers from the 1960s who inspired Beth Harmon’s style. Her final look in the series is particularly reminiscent of Courrèges, and she even wears a vintage black dress from the designer.
Simple Hair and Makeup
Beth’s hairstyle changes over the course of the series as well, from a short bob with micro-bangs to defined curls. The polished look she has at the end is on-trend for the late 60’s, inspired by Natalie Wood. Her makeup also evolves as her comes of age, and is usually shown as subdued pink lipstick and winged eyeliner. This is a more subtle take on the mod makeup trends of the 1960s, but one of my favorite looks of Beth’s was this super bold geometric makeup look, complete with floating eyeliner and heavy fake lashes.
Beth’s style changes throughout the series for lots of different reasons. As she makes money from winning chess matches and travels the world, she can get the more expensive clothes that she’s always wanted to wear. Her personal style evolves as well, something that’s most evident in the change from her plaid dress in the first episode to the tailored, monochrome outfit she wears to the last chess match. Her look goes from simple and feminine to bold and angular, in a look that cleverly evokes the silhouette of the queen chess piece.