The art of luxury and intrigue – Style – Kommersant

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The fourth and final season of The Descendants is out now. “Kommersant Style” talks about how its main characters are shown.

On March 26, the final season of the Succession saga began showing about the wealthy but unhappy Roy family, headed by the aging patriarch Logan Roy. They return with their endless intrigues and, as befits the on-screen families of billionaires, show their wealth in every frame. In 2022, the series received several nominations for the Emmy Award, awards for best drama and screenplay, as well as for best supporting actor, several Golden Globes – it is expected that this year its participants will collect no less.

The brainchild of Black Mirror creator Jesse Armstrong, Descendants is an entertaining and dramatic satire of the media world, a mix of wealth and greed in which (expectedly) the winner takes all. The third season ended with the announcement of the sale of the family-owned media conglomerate Waystar Royco to technology visionary Lukas Matsson. This whole situation causes anxiety and family disagreements among the Roys, they do not understand what their life will look like after the completion of the deal and who will eventually lead the company: that is, the struggle for power, which we have seen literally from the first season, continues.

All of last season’s cast will remain: Brian Cox as Logan Roy and his four children Jeremy Strong (Kendall Roy), Sarah Snook (Siobhan “Shiv” Roy), Kieran Culkin (Roman Roy) and Alan Ruck (Connor Roy). Of the newcomers, one of the famous Skarsgard acting dynasty, Alexander, will join the cast.

From the outset, there are discussions about the homes and offices the characters are placed in, what they wear, what restaurants they eat in, what cars they drive, and what planes they fly. The life of billionaires Roy takes place in interiors that for the most part seem to be soulless, devoid of texture and even a slight mess. It’s an effect that the show’s crew is meticulously crafting – empty luxury, on top of the world, but seemingly out of it, in isolation. Many scenes were filmed in West Manhattan, a new Hudson Yards project, and some of the scenes were filmed overseas in Norway.

Fans’ interest in the show’s wardrobe is undeniable: the social media account dedicated to the characters’ outfits has already amassed almost 20,000 followers. However, it is worth acknowledging the lack of obvious fashion moments in the series and this is also part of the intended plan. The secret of the series’ style lies in the pursuit of quiet luxury, where the items around and on the Swarms are extremely expensive, but only recognizable by certain people in certain circles, who exude an aura of wealth, looking chic, but without branding. For Roev’s wardrobe, costume designer Michelle Matland buys outfits from discount stores like Saks Off 5th or malls like Woodbury Commons. The Swarms have a more intimate relationship with their clothes than they do with their home. Clothing is still meant for personal comfort rather than outward expression. “They’re the real antagonists to the Kardashians,” Matland says. They do not care about attracting attention to themselves, they have not needed it for a long time. The Descendants is not a show about fashion: family members wear neutral, muted tones without logos, exuding immense wealth and power. The head of the Logan family is almost always wearing Savile Row jackets or suits, the quintessence of the style of a wealthy man.

There are also characters on screen with more flamboyant wardrobes, such as Tom Wambsgans, husband of Shiv Roy, which is how the nouveau riche are portrayed, and there is a sarcastic note from the creators of the series. Shiv looks like Ivanka Trump – wears elegant business suits, silk blouses, tight dresses with jackets. By the way, this season, the actress starred in a pregnant woman and admitted that this “added drama to the drama.” But the state of the actress did not affect the structure of her character – she still wears strict hairstyles, practically does not use makeup, and on special occasions she allows herself red lipstick. Her on-screen brother Connor Roy, as a conditional representative of bohemians in this family, wore corduroy jackets and bright shirts at the beginning of the show, but with the development of the plot and the desire to become the sole heir, his wardrobe also changes – strict colors and classic suits enter the stage. Everyone strives to be taken as seriously as possible, within the family as well. In general, the creators are trying to show a kind of emptiness in which the family finds itself, placing them in almost sterile interiors and dressing them in faceless clothes. It remains only to assess how they succeeded: the series will be released as is customary on HBO – a new series once a week.

Irina Kirienko

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