There’s a well-used adage which goes “don’t judge a book by its cover” and as I’ve recently discovered, in the case of the television series Reign, the dictum can equally be applied in saying that you shouldn’t judge this programme by its preview, as after watching its 30 second promo, I was despairingly sobbing in my corset at yet another failed American misunderstanding of English heritage in translating the Elizabethan era Royal courts into a contemporary OC (Orange County) country club. However, preview aside and largely thanks to Megan Follows, who I’ve adored since my early childhood after watching her brilliant performance as Anne in Anne of Green Gables, I have to admit that I’m now hooked, unable to take my eyes of the screen as I watch her in the role of Queen Catherine de’ Medici, portraying an intelligent but manipulative, conniving woman who will do anything to make sure that her son’s future as the next king of France is secured, treating everyone like pawns in a game of chess where everyone is disposable.
Megan aside, it’s fair to say that Reign has taken a lot of liberties with historical events and not surprisingly, has been fiercely criticised by those who are passionate about the period for its wildly fantastical interpretation of Mary Queen of Scots, around whom the story is based. But to those people who continue to criticise Reign, I say… “Get a grip” it’s a soap opera, not a documentary and if you’re not willing to lose yourself in the transportation in time of a fictional love triangle between Francis II the heir to the French throne, his bastard half-brother Bash and Mary Queen of the Scots then simply don’t watch it and perhaps do a bit of gardening now that the weather is warmer. I on the other hand, am totally absorbed by not only the fictional fancy of the many Machiavellian scheming’s but also the show’s costuming which looks surprisingly modern in its fabrics and designs, albeit with a straight-laced grasp of the era in which it is set. Costume designer Meredith Markworth-Pollack is responsible for creating the looks for each and every character on the show and I love, that she opted for designers such as Alexander McQueen and Basil Soda whose gowns fit Reign’s mood, a dark fairy-tale, that is designed to entertain much in the same way as a Shakespearean tragedy, like a glove. It was while I was watching the show, that it hit me, one of my favourite outfits, hidden in the dark corner of my wardrobe had been waiting for this the right moment to come to life again. I don’t think I wore it even once since I’ve moved from New York City to London and Batcave aka Downtime was the last venue at which it made an attendance. The velvet and lace coat was designed and hand made in the 80’s by Kimmono, best known for having styled WASP for their album covers and who I till this day consider one of the most creative and eccentric designers I’ve met in my years in USA.