The funeral dress codes of ‘Succession’.

The funeral dress codes of ‘Succession’.

The body of media mogul Logan Roy was buried on Sunday in the upper east side of New York City’s Church of St. Ignatius Loyola’s light-filled, golden sanctuary. As the fate of the Roy brothers unfolds toward its conclusion, Succession has given us both a wedding and a burial, and its final episode showed us funeral dress requirements in a majestic Catholic environment.

The brothers enter wearing black suits and ties. Shiv (Sarah Snook) wears a dramatic neckline with high, broad lapels. Marcia (Hiam Abbass), who is playing the heartbroken widow, wears a slim double-breasted blazer over a mesh striped blouse. Yummy. Roman, played by Kieran Culkin, comments, “Sexy funeral lady.” As she sits between Marcia and Caroline (Harriet Walter), Logan’s first wife, Kerry (Zo Winters), who had a protracted relationship with Logan (Brian Cox), appears to have forgotten that she should be wearing a hat. Caroline introduces Sally Anne as her “Kerry,” and Sally Anne also doesn’t have a hat on.

Saint sculptures, religious murals, and marble Corinthian pillars that surrounded the cast served as the latest backdrop for new political schemes that, like in every scene of “Succession,” continued during Logan’s funeral. When asked for a favour at the mass, Shiv replies, “I can do anything – my dad just passed away.

According to the show’s costume designer Michelle Matland, the location and appearances were modelled on the actual service of former General Electric CEO Jack Welch, which took place in Midtown’s Saint Patrick’s Cathedral in 2020.

Funeral dressing in force

This season, Cousin Greg’s (Nicholas Braun) date with the “ludicrously capacious” Burberry bag has become an example of how fashion on “Succession” has become an unanticipated cornerstone of the show, creating an archetype of logo-less “stealth wealth” and making fun of those who break it. But it has also discreetly emphasised the growth of each character. While Kendall (Jeremy Strong) alternates between moody Kendall (Tom Ford sweaters, an indistinct baseball cap, and sunglasses) and manic Kendall (flashy Gucci bomber jackets, gold pendants), Shiv donned a feminine corporate suit to fit in at Waystar Royco.

The corporation is in a rocky post-Logan transition by episode nine, therefore the Roy siblings’ performance at the funeral has a lot of ramifications. Two of the season’s antagonists are present: future Waystar Royco owner Lukas Matsson (Alexander Skarsgrd), who chaotically plays the game but has chosen to forgo his gold velvet bomber jacket in favour of a dapper suit, and (contested) President-elect Mencken, who may control the regulatory fate of their news network ATN.

Roman noted early on that Kendall will “win” the funeral thanks to his emotion-obscuring sunglasses. The Roy siblings deal with optics to varying degrees of success and failure. Shiv, who has deceived her brothers in order to team up with Matsson in the hope of becoming CEO, is arguably in the most hazardous position. Shiv is navigating high stakes at a public event while concealing a potential gendered bombshell to her career. She is pregnant and beginning to show, a detail that their recently resurrected mother, Caroline, did not miss for even a second.

The wide sculptural neckline she chooses serves a few functions—it’s a subtle display of power and deflects attention from any lumps—but it’s also ungainly and a representation of her conflicted emotions and their “discomfort,” in Matland’s words.

Shiv’s troubles with her extremely tough situation at that time are reflected in everything that occurs in her costumes after the pregnancy is revealed, according to Matland. She is currently attempting to comprehend her personal relationship with Tom and her siblings while still trying to uphold her membership in the family.

Shiv’s black Tom Ford Padlock blazer made a similarly dissonant impression during Connor’s (Alan Ruck) summertime yacht wedding. But as the already tumultuous wedding turned into an afternoon of despair with Logan passing away on an aeroplane and the siblings being called in to hear it, it soon made sense. In addition to foreshadowing, Matland claimed that the episode’s fashion selections also reflected the general attitude of the audience.

She remarked that “everyone’s feelings about this wedding were so problematic.” Therefore, in my opinion, the structuring of that section of the plot just required a little more darkness.

A portion of the facade

It’s obvious that optics are all the Roy siblings have as they try to pay tribute to their complex father without upsetting the company’s already erratic stock price. The need to suppress emotions, their precarious façade, and the cognitive dissonance that arises when one approaches Logan Roy’s reality too closely.

After all, the characters from “Succession” reside in that bubble. As they wander from one room to another and from one building to another, the Roys are shielded from the effects of their decisions on the outside world. Reality only periodically raps on the glass. In this instance, it takes the form of demonstrations against Mencken’s declared presidency, which are mostly kept in the background until the episode reaches its climax and Roman finds himself there, a furious rich man who looks completely out of place in a designer suit, commands no respect, and stirs up the crowd out of his grief.

As the series comes to an end, Matland has continued to highlight each character’s unique adventures through their styling, every little quirk adding to the overall effect.

It has been really enjoyable to watch these actors grow throughout the seasons. According to Matland, even though the outfit is improper for the situation, it may still be a part of the narrative. And in my opinion, something is right when it’s just a little bit off. We all have shortcomings since that is just how life is for us.

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