Category: veep style

juliaslouisdreyfus: Dan + Amy in every episod…


Dan + Amy in every episode

4.07 – Mommy Meyer

Two points.

1. I am ninety percent sure that that is the same blue dress Amy wore in London when she torpedoed Dan as campaign manager. It’s…interesting that it shows up again here, in a scene that is explicitly about the two of them as a team.

2. So, Dan sets up meetings for the two of them by default, whereas Amy has independent breakfast meetings.

Who’s the ruthless backstabber here?

This gives me a chance to share my headcanon f…

This gives me a chance to share my headcanon for “that night.”

Back when I did the style post, I couldn’t quite work out why the black dress showed up twice – before Amy’s ‘not-a-date’ with Dan and the morning after they slept together.

But I think I’ve worked it out now.

For all that we may never know precisely what happened, there are two pieces of evidence that tell us a lot.

1. When Amy introduces the subject with Dan in 6.10 she starts with “Do you remember…” (which will always be hilarious to me – if Dan was so drunk he forgot about the sex entirely, he probably would have been too drunk to HAVE sex in the first place – in other words, forgetting it seems pretty damn unlikely). But what that little circumlocution tells us is that they hadn’t talked about it. At all. Meaning that Amy most likely left for her meeting before Dan was even awake – if he’d been awake they wouldn’t have been able to avoid at least some discussion of “where do we go from here” even if it made both of them uncomfortable.

2. And the dress fills us in on where they were. Amy changes before her ‘not-a-date’ with Dan, and it seems a reasonable assumption to me that she left the dress in her desk drawer or something. Because the next time we see her wearing it is the morning after – meaning she came into work and put on her emergency dress. This tells us that they went to Dan’s place – because why would Amy have to re-use a dress if she was in her own apartment and had access to her full wardrobe?

3. On a side note…Amy seems remarkably UN-hungover the morning after, if her demeanour is anything to go by. Did Dan force her to eat at some point or something?

4. Given what a DICK Dan can be, I can’t blame Amy in the least for running like hell the moment she woke up – I cannot imagine a more vulnerable moment for her, and past experience would indicate that he was likely to treat her horribly. I would be intrigued to know who broke THAT silence, because I’m sure they’d had some contact between that night and Amy coming to BKD. Though, if I’m right and Dan went to the drinks with Ben the next evening hoping to run into Amy again (and exploded in frustration in the cab partly because she didn’t show up), it seems a safe assumption that HE was the one to get back in touch.

I’ve talked about this dress of Amy&rsqu…

I’ve talked about this dress of Amy’s before, but to repeat myself…

Notice how the red in her dress calls back to Selina’s coral dress and the pink of the walls. Not only that, but everyone except Sue and Mike has a flash of red in their costume. It centres Amy and Selina as the focal points of the scene – everyone else is reacting TO them. (If I remember rightly, in Dan’s scenes at the lobbying firm everyone is dressed in black and grey, demonstrating how miserable he is. Colour doesn’t re-enter his storyline until Amy does).

With one exception. We can’t see it here, but Karen is dressed entirely in black – whereas Amy’s black is shot through with Selina’s red and pink. In other words, the clothes are telling us who Selina’s REAL lieutenant is, the person who has a genuine connection with her, and it’s not Karen. (It may not have been romantic, but Amy and Selina’s story in season 4 absolutely was a love story – and it makes me sad that it’s been so comprehensively trashed by season 6).

Amy really doesn’t wear patterns often, especially not large, abstract patterns like this one, and when she does, it tends to be a sign of…conflicting emotions. See the leopard print(ish) dress she wears for her date with Dan in 6.05, the patterned blouses she wears with Dan and Buddy, and the (gorgeous) black and green wrap dress she wore for her anniversary dinner with Ed (a dinner which, I think we can safely say, signalled the end of that relationship).

See how dressing all the men in various shades…

See how dressing all the men in various shades of gray makes Amy stand out as the focus of the shot? It’s a visual illustration of her being a better campaign manager than Dan – she is effortlessly the centre of the room, getting them to do her bidding without having to resort to streams of abuse.

And, less noteworthy perhaps, but by the standards of her season 3 costuming, her outfits in this episode are remarkably drab. A pretty bland white blouse, and a gray dress that she could easily have worn in season 1.

And there’s a reason for that. Amy’s hanging around with her replacement Dan – “like flirting but sexless” – and so her costuming is less colourful and overtly feminine.

I should be clear – this isn’t Amy consciously dressing in a less “pretty” way because Dan isn’t around – but the costume designers are using her costumes as a way of conveying how unsatisfactory the replacement Dan is. That both men wear virtually identical clothing (right down to the flag pins) really drives this home.

As a general rule, you can generally gauge Amy’s emotional state by how colourful and how feminine her clothing is. Something which isn’t the case with Selina – Selina has no…complex around her own beauty. She may lean on it too much as a source of self-worth, which Amy doesn’t tend to do, but the positive side of that is that she is not in the least bothered by appearing as a beautiful, sexually appealing woman – whereas over the course of the show Amy’s costuming has swung wildly between clothes that are intended to show her off, and clothes are intended to help her hide.

It’s probably not a coincidence, in other words, that her most overtly girlish costume – the pink dress in 5.02 – was worn in the episode where her relationship with Dan was at its highest point.

Amy’s wardrobe was so colourless in seas…

Amy’s wardrobe was so colourless in season 1. I think it’s the result of Dan freaking her out and her kind of overcompensating as a result, but still…

It also has the effect of making Selina stand out even more as the centre of the scene, which is probably intentional.

See how the shape of Amy’s neckline is a…

See how the shape of Amy’s neckline is a direct mirror of Selina’s?

Amy is aligned to Selina through costuming almost as much as she is to Dan – with Dan it’s largely done through colour, and so is more obvious, but with Selina it’s often through a matching shape or silhouette. (Not always, but often).

juliaslouisdreyfus: Dan + Amy in every episode 5.05 -…


Dan + Amy in every episode

5.05 – Thanksgiving

I believe this may be the first appearance of the Blue Coat of Maternity.

juliaslouisdreyfus: Dan + Amy in every episode 5.04 -…


Dan + Amy in every episode

5.04 – Mother

Amy clearly has an enviable coat collection.

Note that, in the scene where they do communicate effectively, Amy is suddenly wearing a dark blue coat which matches Dan’s suit far more than the grey dress she wore in the previous scene.

juliaslouisdreyfus: Dan + Amy in every episode5.04 -…


Dan + Amy in every episode

5.04 – Mother

Note how nothing they’re wearing matches. If I remember this episode right there aren’t many scenes of the two of them, but the costumes make clear there’s still a rift.

Hi! i just wanted to say that i absolutely LOVED the wardrobe analysis, it was great and so insigthful, looking forward to anything you do, because it’s SO great. TWTWP is so wonderful and i cry every time i read best laid plans!! i just had a little question if you dont mind, what do you think purple means in amys earlier seasons clothes?

Dear anon, thank you for the many compliments.  

(I must be completely heartless, because I have never had the faintest sympathy for Dan in all of the situations I put him into, and everyone else does!  Amy, on the other hand…)

Regarding Amy and purple… I would have to go back and review, but I am reasonably sure that she only wears purple in season 3.  Actually…wait, I’m wrong, she wears a dark purple dress in the very first episode (which Dan’s tie matches) at the drinks event.

When Amy’s feeling confident she tends to dress in a particular spectrum of colours – green to blue to purple – which I think is partly to distinguish her from Selina, red being Selina’s colour of confidence.  The other reason, of course, being that Anna Chlumsky looks smashing in those colours (green in particular – I always want to tell her stylist or whoever it is to get her green for the red carpet).  When she’s depressed, or feeling under threat, she retreats to black-brown-navy.  

Which, again, speaks to how threatening Amy found Dan in early season one – in the first episode she wears pink and purple and blue, but changes to wearing suits and only suits very shortly after he starts working with her.  It’s an attempt (almost certainly subconscious) to kind of de-sexualise herself in his eyes, so he will, for instance, stop bringing up the fact that they’ve dated, and ideally, stop flirting with her.  (It doesn’t work, of course, because Dan’s attraction to Amy isn’t something she can really control, but that is the aim).

That said, the use of purple specifically, didn’t jump out at me at all – it’s fairly easy to track what Amy in red or pink or nude means, because those colours are used very deliberately… and Dan and Amy in green and blue has been reused enough times that it’s easy to work out what it’s supposed to tell us about them.  Of course, I’m not an expert on the subject… far from it, so if anyone has any suggestions, please share.