Some of my fashion-obsessed Facebook friends reminded me of how crazy I am about Phryne Fisher's wardrobe. And I thought—hey, wait a minute—perhaps everyone on earth isn't already watching Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries! In which case, blathering away about a television show could do the world some good.
And so, an illustrated primer. The series begins in 1929. The Hon. Phryne Fisher is a young Australian woman
who lives in a bijou house in Melbourne. (Bijou in this sense is small, elegant, or gem-like. Thank you, years of French, for the immeasurable ways you enrich my life.)
Assisted by her much more soberly-attired maid, Dot, as well as taxi-drivers and men-of-all-work, Bert and Cec, she solves many mysteries.
The show is based on a series of mystery novels by Kerry Greenwood. The series strays in big and little ways from the original stories, but clearly, the look and feel of the costuming stays true to the books.
That is, if you can judge books by their covers.
The part of Phryne is played by Essie Davis, who at 46,
is doing a bang-up job, and apparently having a fabulous time with the role.
And who wouldn't, with these costumes?
Australian costume designer Marion Boyce won the AACTA award for best costume for Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries, Season Two. (She won the same award last fall for The Dressmaker.) She puts together the show's costumes using a combination of vintage and custom-made clothes and accessories. Here are just some of the hats she created for the show.
A costume exhibit featuring the Season 3 costumes just opened at Old Government House in Parramatta. Even though I would LOVE to visit Sydney again, I probably won't be dropping in. But maybe I can buy a catalog.
It would be lax of me to neglect to inform you that there is also some excellent tailoring (and male eye candy) in the form of the extremely dapper Inspector Jack Robinson
(They don't get nearly this flirty in the books, but my appetite for faithfulness in literary adaptations has its limits—particularly when two such cuties are concerned.)
All three seasons of Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries are currently streaming on Netflix. Go forth and binge on satin pajamas, feather boas, t-strapped Louis heels, and rhinestone panaches. You know you want to.