24 thoughts on “The Gilded Age (2022) – Recap Episodes 4, 5, & 6

  1. I definitely feel like the costumes are improving. It’s almost like they heard feedback and have been making changes.

    1. Well it was all filmed & done a while ago ;) But the costume designs definitely settled into a more historical groove after the first few episodes. Prob. a case of ‘let’s throw all these crazy ideas out in the start to show what we can do & what these characters all “mean”!” And then, whew, OK, now let’s just let the characters live their lives.

  2. Peggy wears a bad dress! Ever Homer nods. Mrs. Scott however is impeccable.
    Peggy should be getting side eyes and nasty whispers everywhere she goes. It’s 1880- something! Racism is open and vicious and socially accepted. To be seen around town with a black woman as a companion should be causing all kinds of gossip against Marian and the Van Rijns. I’m not saying nobody in the 1880s would do it but treating a black woman as a social equal, or close to it, would be a massive social political statement and cause all kinds of fallout including the possibility of physical attack on Peggy and Marian when they’re out together. One would have to be deeply committed to black rights to make such a statement and take such risks. And Peggy would have to be deeply committed too for her risk is even higher. The point is not that nobody would do this but that they’d be very conscious of the risks they were taking and discuss and debate them.
    Getting back to fashion:
    Love, love, love Bertha’s red cape. The dress isn’t bad either. Ditto the silver suit and the brown dress. It seems Bertha can dress in conventional good taste, she just prefers not to. Maybe she finds it boring?
    I wonder why arch-snob Ward McAllister is looking the Russells over? Probably the children a rich young man and well dowered sister would be considered social assets however detrimental the parents.
    In defense of Mrse. Astor, her weak spot was her children. She accepted Ava Vanderbilt entirely so Carrie could go to the famous Vanderbilt Ball, and eventually let Carrie marry an arriviste she, Mrs. Astor, despised only for the sake of Carrie’s happiness. So Carrie complaining about mum is a bit much!
    I like Marian’s blue and gold dress, but then I’m a sucker for that color combination. Otherwise she remains clinically boring.

    1. I also like Marian’s blue suit, because I love the tailored look, and the pale yellow walking dress isn’t to bad.

    2. Your thoughts on Peggy are not necessarily true. Yes, racism was prevalent and very open in the 1880s, much like it is today. But it doesn’t mean that societies were completely segregated either. Peggy is not acting in the capacity of an “equal” to Marian or Agnes. A ladies companion or secretary were both genteel professions, but it was still paid work. She is hired help in their home. Further, I believe the writers have drawn inspiration for Peggy’s character from Mary Church Terrell’s life. She was a wealthy Black woman who came of age during this time period, was highly educated (one of the first two Black women to earn a master’s degree), and became an activist and writer. She moved in both Black and white elite circles intermittently, as she fought for both civil rights and women’s rights. I can see them modeling much of Peggy’s story on Mrs. Terrell’s fascinating life.

      1. Mrs. Terrell, at least according to Wikipedia, didn’t waste her time and energy playing ladiy’s companion or secretary to society women. My real complaint is Peggy is too good for this crap. Why is she wasting her time?

  3. Cathy Hay is recreating the Marshall and Snelgrove purple velvet evening coat on her YouTube channel

  4. The last outfit that Carrie Astor wears – I’m not sure about all that lace, but the color is AMAZING. :)

  5. I want to see more Carrie bc she looks like she would be out in society an not still playing with dolls like Gladys. Grow up Gladys, put your hair up. I still sort of wonder if they’re trying to turn Peggy into a Bella da Costa Green. More of Peggy’s mom. Still need to see it.

  6. I’m seeing lot of crinkling and some rather prominent, downright shar-pei’ish, wrinkling around the upper bust/armscye area. Wasn’t that area usually filled in with padding to smooth out those lines?

  7. Anyone else watch that scene at Peggy’s home and wish Audra MacDonald and Denee Benton would just sing?
    Costumes all over the place, and many hiding Carrie Coon’s pregnancy.

  8. I agree that the satin bodices are very wrinkly. Why are there so few wool dresses? Most people wore wool in the 19th century. Even Mrs. Russell would have worn wool dresses.

    1. Wool may be a bit of a light-sink on camera. I’m thinking of all the wool in Outlander & how dark & dreary that show can look because of it. Satin has the opposite problem in that it picks up too much light & needs to be sparingly used unless it’s perfectly made.

  9. So, i learned from this week’s Gilded Age podcast that 1) the series was shot out of order, and 2) Carrie Coon, who plays Bertha, was pregnant during filming, and was 8 months along specifically when they wrapped, which meant there had to be a LOT of alterations for her costumes over the months of shooting. They were already planning on making Bertha’s look more modern to show her as being out-of-step with the upper crusts of established society, but I guess the pregnancy must have had more of an impact on that as well.

    Peggy continues to be the MVP of this whole series, and I seriously wish we could give all of Marian’s screentime to her because Marian is BORING.

  10. This may be a frock flick, but this is for modern audiences. New York City was way more diverse than this show portrays. I want scenes and subplots with more Black characters, Chinese, Ashkenazi, Sephardic, etc, etc. This being a Julian Fellowes show, it’s a minor miracle we get Peggy and her mom, but still.

    1. This is a 1880s society flick. There wasn’t a lot of diversity in New York high society. A show about the various ethnic communities that made up New York is a fine idea but a completely different genre.
      Personally I’d love to see a show centering on Peggy and her community and how she worked for equal rights like Mrs. Terrell. But that’s not what Fellowes’ is writing.

  11. Bertha’s capes, and some dresses, while gorgeous, are about 10 years forward in time. They look decidedly Art Nouveau. Same goes for Agnes’ beautiful dress.

    Way too many ladies are wearing strangely low-cut dresses in daytime. I could maybe buy this on Bertha (actually no, I really wouldn’t, this was such a basic idea she would know about it too), but there seem to be quite plenty of characters dressed like that.

    Marian’s gold and blue dress does remind me of some more garish models of the times. But at the same time it is wrong, they liked to combine contrasting fabrics but not quite that way. And the skirt is nowhere near structured enough and ornate enough. On the other hand, that pale yellow walking suit, though boring, seems perfectly appropriate for a young lady of the period. The bright blue gown seems really nice, but wrong year. The hat is just wrong, looks like it came from a cheap costume shop.

    Bertha’s orange-skirted dress looks like random fabrics just pinned around her.

    I don’t like the widow. Unless I’m calculating this wrongly (still haven’t watched it, I just read the recaps), her husband died quite recently. She should be in much deeper mourning. Her dress seems too ornamented for deepest mourning (lace, patterned fabric AND whatever that is at her neck), and she’s severely lacking a veil.

  12. After reading the recent review about The Gilded Age at The Onion’s A.V. Club – one of the commenter’s pointed out that on YouTube, there now exists dozens of speed corrected film coverage from 1888 – 1930’s and more of people all around the world! (Including horses, dogs, carriages, cars, etc.)

    How amazing to see people acting naturally in their elegant every day to formal occasion wear. Beware the delightful rabbit hole! What a way to compare and contrast historical t.v. & film against the genuine article.

  13. That red evening gown is gorgeous and the only costume I have liked from this show — everything else is hideous and/or gaudy in my mind.

    I quit after episode three. It bores me so much.

  14. I don’t know if you knew this but the actress playing Bertha Russell was pregnant during filming, which probably explains some of the wardrobe adjustment decisions

  15. The gold case with the M – that is Marie Antoinettes signet – extravagant gift, indeed

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