Category: amy brookheimer

Amy’s apartment, Kissing Your Sister

It’s a small thing I noticed, but look at the picture behind Amy when she does the interview with Catherine:

That’s a large print of Le Baiser de l’Hotel de Ville:

It’s an interesting choice of decoration for Amy – it’s one of the most overly ‘romantic’ images of the twentieth century, and she’s using it to decorate her home.  (Though, given the stack of frames at the side of the shot, it’s almost surprising it’s actually on the wall).

I’m not knocking her taste by the way – there’s a reason it’s an iconic shot – but it’s an interesting choice.  Amy’s trying to control her image all the way through this interview, and still manages to blatantly give away the nature of her feelings for Dan, though she doesn’t realise it herself.  

She’s almost giddy in the next episode when she’s talking about Buddy, so I think it’s fair to say that, as unexpected as it might seem, Amy Brookheimer is a bit of a (deeply) closeted romantic.

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stephen-colbert: Dan + Amy in every episode

stephen-colbert:

Dan + Amy in every episode

6.05 – Chicklet

stephen-colbert: Dan + Amy in every episode

stephen-colbert:

Dan + Amy in every episode

6.05 – Chicklet

stephen-colbert: Dan + Amy in every episode

stephen-colbert:

Dan + Amy in every episode

6.09 – A Woman First

stephen-colbert: Dan + Amy in every episode

stephen-colbert:

Dan + Amy in every episode

6.10 – Groundbreaking

stephen-colbert: Dan + Amy in every episode

stephen-colbert:

Dan + Amy in every episode

6.10 – Groundbreaking

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just wanted to talk to you about a small costu…

just wanted to talk to you about a small costuming detail to see what you think of it, have you seen amy's jewlery? i've noticed one of her most recurrent pieces is a gold necklace with a little heart pendant,def very cute, also i think she wears it for the first time when she complains about richard to dan and he gets rid of him for her,just i thougth it was cute.

I think it’s cute too, but I wouldn’t read too much into it when it comes to Dan.  I think the show chooses Amy’s jewellery pretty carefully, but I suspect that has more to do with drawing a distinction between her and Selina than anything else. 

As a general rule, the distinction can be summed up as – Selina wants to be noticed, and Amy mostly doesn’t (with very occasional exceptions – mostly, but not only, involving Dan), and their costuming reflects that.  Right down to details like jewellery.

Because look at Selina:

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She wears a lot of gold.  And not only that, but the jewellery itself tends to be large, and as a result, very eye-catching (she seems especially fond of the large chain piece).  Note, it’s probably not great in terms of image for Selina to be constantly dripping with gold – she’s a member of the elite, and looks it – but I suspect she’s too narcissistic to make any changes.  (I have a suspicion her jewellery gets flashier as the show goes on, reflecting her increased power).

Whereas, Amy tends to favour jewellery that is, shall we say, discreet.

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She seems to rotate through a number of similar pieces – a chain with a small heart or ball or star-shaped pendant.  (And you’re right – she is wearing the heart in that exchange with Dan… make of that what you will).  Also, look how small her earrings are.  The most eye-catching item of jewellery Amy owns is her watch – which, incidentally, is the only item that is functional as well as decorative.

The one exception to this seems to be season 1, where Amy is trying to dress in as conservative manner as possible.  How do I know?

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Pearls.

A pearl necklace and a flag pin, on a skirt suit.  It’s as close to traditional power-dressing as you can get.  Remember the scene in Hidden Figures when Katharine Johnson was told a pearl necklace was acceptable jewellery?  That film is set fifty years before Veep, which should give you an idea of how conservatively Amy is dressing here.  I found an interview with the costume designer where he specifically says he “tries to dress her older than she is” – that may not apply in season 6, but it is definitely a factor in the first season.  Amy being ludicrously young to be chief of staff, and having to deal with her obnoxious ex, is a big factor in that I think.  She’s semi-consciously trying to look less girlish – partly so she’ll look more fit for her post, and partly to draw a professional line between herself an Dan.  I’m not sure how well it works.

Notice how Selina is also wearing a skirt suit and pearls, but her suit is colourful and form-fitting – and so are her pearls.  With Amy and Selina you get two women who dress from a very similar template, and yet wind up looking extremely different.  For which, see here: 

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For all they look different, Amy and Selina’s dresses here are cut to an almost identical pattern.  (With, I just noticed, a similar colour-combination as in season 1 – grey and a kind of maroon.  I wonder if that’s repeated elsewhere).  Selina’s dress is textured and in a strongly contrasting colour – whereas Amy’s, in dull-grey, is an actual match for menswear (in fact, Dan’s tie in this episode matches her dress exactly, illustrating their connection).  Selina wears a heavy gold bracelet – and Amy wears a shiny watch.  

In other words, when you take away the surface differences, these women are the same… and the costuming is telling you that, long before Selina runs into Amy’s arms.  

The only other woman in that scene dressed the same way is Karen (Sue and Catherine are dressed very similarly, which I think is a way of ‘backgrounding’ them), and look how inadequate she is – her dress is an inferior version of Amy’s, she has no jewellery on her wrists… and unlike all the other women, her hair is pinned up.  She’s no substitute for the real thing, and at long last Selina realises it.