It’s been a fine old year for television. Shows like Narcos and Master of None have made staying in the new going out, as little can be done to pry yourself away from your Netflix account – especially in chilly December.
But the new age of TV-on-demand isn’t just about exciting storylines, character development and releasing some really good shows just as it gets cold; as 2015 has proved, some of the best shows on the air right now draw an audience in just as much through sharp styling as they do through storytelling.
So without further ado, here’s our top picks for the most stylish people on TV in 2015.
Most Stylish: Rami Malek as Elliot
Great style is all about effortlessness as hacker-loner Elliot proves in Mr. Robot. Elliot wears little else than a black hoodie complemented with either a well-fitted button-up or plain black T-shirt, yet somehow, he’s always telling the most compelling style story in the room.
Maybe because there’s shades of YEEZY Season 2 in his laid-back layering and minimalism. Maybe because it reminds you, the viewer, of clothes you actually wear. Either way, Elliot’s appropriation of the humble black hoodie speaks volumes about how far (or close, really) fashion on television has come to mimicking real life.
House of Cards
Most Stylish: Robin Wright as Claire Underwood
When it comes to effortless glamour onscreen, one name stands out: Claire Underwood. With a First Lady style so elegant it makes Jackie O barely a blip on the radar, she’s Washington’s undisputed queen of minimalism. Although 90 percent of her wardrobe is black and white, striking necklines and close-fitting dresses ensures her love for monochrome steers clear of monotonous, while her haircut alone deserves its own Emmy award.
We’re compelled to give an honorable mention to her other half – Frank Underwood, whose crisp button-up shirts, tailored-to-fit Burberry suits and enviable selection of IWC watches mean he never looks out of place at Claire’s side.
Most Stylish: Bruno Bichir as Fernando Duque
“Advocate of the devil,” Fernando Duque proves that even in the ’80s you could be stylish – provided you had access to the right neck tie.
Although Duque has a nice selection of tailored suits, it’s his attention to detail that marks him out as a style leader; he’s rarely without a signature flourish, whether that comes in the form of a pocket square or a hat that just so happens to match his pipe.
Most Stylish: Kirsten Dunst as Peggy Blomquist
Hairstylist Peggy (played by perennial cool girl Kirsten Dunst) dreams of moving to the big city one day and lives out her yearning for urban-glamour through her wardrobe. Her ever-present beret and bold patterns may mirror the show’s 1970s time period through and through, but they’re also very 2015, referencing as they do, Alessandro Michele’s latest collection for Gucci.
We’re also seeing hints of Gosha Rubchinskiy’s Fall 2015 collection in her shearling-collared plaid coat, making the style narrative the show offers up every bit as addictive as its storyline of political intrigue and murder.
Master of None
Most Stylish: Aziz Ansari as Dev
Actor and comedian Aziz Ansari’s been killing it in the style stakes for years. So it came as no surprise that his latest Netflix show was one of 2015’s best fashion offerings on the small screen, with Dev showing off his impeccable style credentials via striking jackets, fun accessories and must-have sneakers.
Luckily for your bank balance/tragically for your wardrobe, most of his standout items came from cult label Band of Outsiders, which recently folded. Other labels to watch? The two leather jackets he wears on the show both come from Saint Laurent, shirts are from Gant and Steven Alan, and all his pants come from UNIS.
Game of Thrones
Most Stylish: Kit Harington as Jon Snow
It’s no secret that Jon Snow has one of the most enviable manes on TV, with the show’s official hair designer conceding earlier this year that he took inspiration from “The Doors’ Jim Morrison and other rock stars from ‘70s” when styling the character’s hair.
However, his clothes are every bit as enviable as his hyped hair, with shades of Rick Owens’ FW15 collection evident in Jon’s utilitarian, rugged take on fashion. And as leather designer Zana Bayne has noted on her cult Tumblr account G.O.T. Runway, there’s also an obvious parallel in Jon Snow’s previous outfits to standout looks from previous designer collections including Ann Demeulemeester and Gareth Pugh.
American Horror Story: Hotel
Most Stylish: Lady Gaga as Elizabeth “The Countess” Johnson
A character played by Lady Gaga with a wardrobe loaned from fashion houses such as Jean Paul Gaultier, Marc Jacobs, Yohji Yamamoto and Vivienne Westwood was unlikely to disappoint on the style front.
However, the sheer glamour and inventiveness of The Countess’ wardrobe – without wanting to deliver spoilers, there’s a very special Swarovski crystal-embellished glove to watch out for – left us reeling. As did the decadence of her look – The Countess had an average of 10 outfits per episode and an entire room allotted to the character’s on-set wardrobe. This was full-on Hollywood glamour with a modern twist.
Most Stylish: The Lyon family
Can it really be true that Empire has only been around since January this year? Already two seasons in, the show has crafted a style legacy for itself around the Lyons – a troubled and charismatic family running hip-hop label Empire Records.
Perhaps the show’s fashion appeal lies in its breadth of focus: for quietly stunning tailoring look no further than to the Lyon’s eldest son – businessman Andre; while louder labels – think fresh-off-the-catwalk Moschino pants – are proudly repped by the Lyon’s extroverted youngest son Hakeem.
But perhaps the strongest looks on the show are boasted by ex-couple Cookie and Lucious Lyon. Cookie’s style is a masterclass on rocking sculpted, bodycon dresses; while Lucious’ array of colored suits and unexpected pairings – turtleneck + suit jacket + paisley scarf, anyone? – made “business-casual” a term we’d actually aspire to.
This Is England ’90
Most Stylish: The gang
You wouldn’t expect a show where two of the characters are lunch ladies and another is a low-level drug dealer to be particularly stylish. But the This Is England series, centering as it does on youth culture, has always put fashion at the forefront of the story.
The show’s new ’90s setting was signalled with corresponding style – think bleached denim, even more bleached hair (paired with self-consciously grungy dark roots), oversized sweaters and loose layering for carefree “Madchester” raver vibes that contrast with the show’s dark subject matter.
The retro styling of the show has never felt more current, with Copenhagen-based label Soulland’s FW15 collection giving nods to Madchester fashion.
Most Stylish: Jon Hamm as Don Draper
Those who were concerned that some of the 1970s’ more suspect looks might contaminate TV’s most impeccably dressed leading man breathed a sigh of relief during the show’s final season this year. Mad Men’s costume designer Janie Bryant told InStyle: “I think Don is a character who is very set in his ways. He doesn’t change, so even though his lapels and ties may be a tad wider, it’s about keeping the tradition of how we see Don Draper.”
However, the second half of season seven proved rich pickings for those who wanted to see the non-suit side of Don’s wardrobe, as the character took some spontaneous time off from the office. We got to witness Don sporting double denim (in a classic and masculine Steve McQueen-esque way, naturally), a plaid shirt, a slim-cut navy blue bomber jacket and a final outfit as ambiguous as the ending itself: did Don’s completely pale attire signal a true change of heart to hippie-bliss? Or was this, like so much else in Don’s life, just clever packaging? Whatever the case, we discovered this year that the ad man’s non-office looks were every bit as perfect as his famous suits.
But with Don Draper finally off-the-air, we’re excited to see who’ll become TV’s leading light of style in 2016. Those are an awfully big pair of size 12 lace-ups to fill. Got any guesses? Let us know in the comments.
- Author: Sophie Atkinson