In every scene…on every character…in every episode…the costumes in The Great are absolutely exquisite. That’s not hyperbole. Not only are they living, breathing works of art, but thy all make sense with the characters of Catherine the Great and her dethroned husband Peter. Sharon Long has given us a gift of a season as she not only packs every episode with color, variety, and nuance, but she is so invested in the journey of the characters through the outfits they wear.
In season one, Catherine ascended to power as a young woman, but now she is pregnant with her first child. No matter how many prepare her for this emotional journey, it is something, she thinks, she must do on her own. Catherine now wears longer, flowy dresses to not just accentuate her bump but to give her comfort as she rules. Peter becomes a prisoner and then is devastated that he can’t hold his lavish court and do as he pleases. If that wasn’t enough, you aren’t prepared for what Gillian Anderson enters the season wearing.
It’s not as if Long throws fabric around for the sake of making everything pretty. The costume design of The Great is stunning because of how character-driven it is. Anyone can make a pretty silhouette or clean line, but is takes a master to make something truly great.