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Tuesday, 25 October 2011

New style crush: Nolan Ross in REVEEEENNNGGE.

Following multiple recommendations from The Oncoming Hope, I watched the first episode of Revenge. And then I promptly watched the other four episodes, because it's freaking awesome. It's like a cross between Gossip Girl and Veronica Mars, with the protagonist -- Emily -- seeking REVEEEENNNGE (this in fact is the correct pronunciation of the title -- for best effect, drawl it with the confidence and malicious delight of the truly evil) on the super-rich beautiful people who got her father framed as a treasonous terrorist. There are endless dastardly takedowns and almost every scene involves terrifying society matriarchs smiling charmingly while secretly wishing each other a painful death, but it quite never tips over into the preposterousness of Gossip Girl because the protagonist is so wonderfully dead-eyed and machiavellian. But I'm not here to tell you about the many ways the heroine of REVEEEENNNGE Count-Of-Monte-Cristo's her way around the Hamptons. I'm here to talk about NOLAN ROSS.

Nolan Ross is the only person on the show who knows about Emily's revenge plan. He's a dotcom billionaire with no friends, unlimited funds and free time at his disposal, and a serendipitous desire to help Emily ruin the lives of the rich and evil. He's a very entertaining character, and has marvellously awful dress sense. The rest of the costumes on Revenge are fairly run-of-the-mill "rich attractive people go to social galas" outfits as seen in Gossip Girl, Dirty Sexy Money, etc, but Nolan's costumes are a magnificent ode to candy colours and popped collars.
This is what he looks like when he first appears on the show. My immediate assumption was, "this character is evidently going to be an unbearable caricature", since he's wearing a captain's hat at a marina, despite the fact that he can't sail and doesn't own a boat. He has tiny whales embroidered onto his trousers, and I suspect that the belt may well be somehow nautical in theme. But you know what? He's actually brilliant. He doesn't fall under the tired stereotype of "computer nerd with no social skills" that plagues so many google-detective "hacker" characters on TV -- in fact, he often expresses far more genuine emotion than most of the other characters in the show.

THE POPPED COLLARS. You know, there's a wealth of douchey fratboys in Revenge, but nary a popped collar in sight. They're all too classy. (And all the other males over thirty are, of course, wearing suits at all times except when playing golf or in bed with their mistresses.) But Nolan pops his collars like a mofo. This isn't some college kid flipping up his collar to look "cool", this is evidence of commitment. He will put on two polo shirts of complementary colours, and then pop them both. CLEARLY HE HAS THOUGHT THIS LOOK THROUGH, IS WHAT I AM SAYING.
HE'S WEARING A POPPED COLLAR UNDER A BUTTON-DOWN SHIRT. AND A POCKET-SQUARE THAT MATCHES THE SHIRT, BECAUSE IT'S A FORMAL EVENT. Apparently in the character notes he's described as having bad dress-sense, but do you know what? I don't think this is bad dressing. Thought has gone into this. And he's working it.
Nolan has a whole thing going on with his jackets. He's got several suit jackets, but they're always wrinkled and he always has the sleeves pushed up, like Miami Vice or something. I theorise that back when he was still a n00b of the business world, someone told him he had to start dressing like an adult and this was his interpretation of what that meant. Then, we finally got to see a flashback of what he looked like ten years ago:
This? Is what people expect the "computer nerd character" to look like. It's the Mark Zuckerberg look, the "I've been wearing these clothes for three days because I never matured past age fifteen and it doesn't matter anyway because I invented Google/Twitter/the internet" look. I love that this is what he used to look like, because it gives a whole new insight into Nolan's slightly baffling clothing choices in the present day. I think that all the popped collars and candy-colours and the highlighted surfer-dude hair are almost Nolan's parody of what he thinks a Hamptonite should look like. When we first see Nolan, he's already an established figure on the super-rich social scene -- so rich, in fact, that he can pretty much do whatever he wants. I think at some point he started dressing like this in an attempt to fit in with all the charity-gala Hamptons families, but soon realised that that was never going to happen so he might as well just take the piss. As I mentioned: he can get away with it.
A camel sweater tied around the shoulders? Plus the double popped-collar? TELL ME THAT ISN'T PURE PARODY, NOLAN. I DARE YOU. Which is why this next picture amuses me. That is what Nolan wears when he's by himself, and later going into the city to, uh, break into someone's house and retrieve some blackmail info. A far more subdued outfit -- the hoodie + suit + sneakers look, in fact, that practically screams "dotcom CEO".
And finally, a picture of Nolan looking fantastic in a super-tacky golfing shirt... because he's followed Emily to a golf course in an attempt to witness some exciting REVEEENNNGE action, not because he actually plays golf. Like many of his clothing choices, it shouldn't work but it does. The shirt flatters his colouring, and despite the fact that it's an orange, diamond-patterned polo shirt, buttoned up to the neck, he's still managing to work it with panache.
BEAUTIFUL.
Continued in: REVENNNGE: Nolan Ross costume analysis RETURNS.

60 comments:

  1. I'm really interested to see where the show is going with him. As far as his Hamptons outfits go, the outfit he wears in the flash-forward is fairly subdued, and I wonder whether the fact that he is wearing red like Emanda (in contrast to pretty much all the other men wearing white) is supposed to tell us something.

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  2. This post is literally the best thing ever.

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  3. More importantly, you raise an important idea. Perhaps Nolan is only in the Hamptons because of emily? Like he's assigned to prevent Emily from going nuts in her reveeeenge? (Because he's her stepbrother).

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  4. Have you noticed how Daniel seems to wear white/grey for EVERY single occasion? It must be symbolic.

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  5. Now that you mention it, all of his outfits seem to complement Amanda's. I doubt that's accidental.

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  6. I thought he was wearing red because that's the bride's colour, and the groom's party wear white? Like, they colour coded the guests. (OR because white tuxes look bad on a lot of people.) i don't know if we should look too far into that, though, because i've noticed that on tv, costumes are colour coded to one another quite regularly. i've noticed several shows where you'll get an episode where everyone's dressed in lilac, or peach, or brown, and it'll match some set or lighting as well, possibly to make it easier to shoot? or to send subconscious cues that two characters are on the same "team".

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  7. ah, as i said to zan in the comment above -- this may be intentional not as a character thing but as a shooting thing? because i often notice characters wearing unreasonably complementary outfits, especially when one or both of them are not "known" for having a specific style (as with emanda). on gossip girl you wouldn't get that because they're all such clotheshorses, but i think i've seen it on the good wife, and they often do it in sitcoms and mainstream shows like law shows. one character's tie matching another's shirt or something, at least -- and usually in a set that matches them both.

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  8. maybe it's to make it easier to digitally alter the colour washes afterwards??

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  9. I don't know, would he be there openly for her party? I need to watch this again, clearly.

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  10. i hadn't noticed that! but really that's just neutral/sporty colours? he just wears super dull rich jock clothes, i thought.

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  11. Oh, I hadn't! Hmm. Like I said to Gav, I need to rewatch the show. (Such a hardship ...)

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  12. OOOoh that is a cool idea! But at the same time, it seems in the first episode that he really knows very little about her plans? didn't it? or was he aware of her revenge plans before that. anyway, he's clearly been in the hamptons long enough to be an established person on the social scene.

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  13. I'm really intrigued by the possibilities for a deeper connection (and I don't mean the romantic kind) between the two of them. Really rooting for reverse!revenge now.

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  14. reverse revenge as in nolan versus emily? NOOOOO! (but she DOES keep rejecting his help. WHAT A DICK.)

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  15. why not? people already know that they are friends, and she wouldn't have many guests of her own... just him and ashley and a couple of others, probably. they'd need to bulk up the numbers on her side of the aisle, if anything!

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  16. As you've pointed out, Nolan is never actually invited to these events, or actually playing golf. Perhaps he really just wants to blend in? Not in a needy way, but in a Mark Zuckerberg in Social Network I just want to be awesome and do my work and be ignored kind of way.

    Yes, that's my sentence, and I'm sticking to it.

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  17. Well not SERIOUSLY Nolan (I always want to type Logan, askjfhasfkhalkflgakj) vs. Emanda, or at least only in the beginning, and then they start to see how much fun they're having scheming against each other, and they leave each other notes maybe, and ..... maybe I've thought about this too much.

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  18. this calls for fanfic. I wouldn't mind a romance as an extremely long game though.

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  19. but i think he really is aware of how much he doesn't fit in, though. i think even at one point someone makes a comment to the effect that nolan puts up a front as protection because he's THAT MUCH RICHER than everyone else? i do think that the way he dresses is to do with the image of rich preppy summer dressing though. all the pastels and casual touches like rolled up sleeves and popped collars -- they're all visual shorthand for relaxation, although clearly he's NOT relaxed at all because he's put so much effort into looking the way he does. putting on a polo shirt and popping the collar and hanging out with your bros at the beach is the look all the preppy kids are going for, but nolan has clearly got up in the morning, picked out two shirts that complement each other, folded up the collar, picked out a jacket, etc etc etc...

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  20. I TYPED LOGAN BY MISTAKE A COUPLE OF TIMES IN THIS POST, LOL.

    haha, basically you want either nolan or emanda to be the supervillain/antagonist to the other person's superhero, am i right? nolan: MORIARTY IN PASTEL YELLOW.

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  21. I've checked, and as far as I can tell ALL the men wear white, while all the women wear red, probably according to the theme of contrasts that included "man and woman" in the list.

    MYSTERY RE-OPENED.

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  22. CAN'T IMAGINE IT. i want to? but i can't.

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  23. Trust me, growing up in the US, there are strict (and strange) rules about when you can wear light colours. Daniel breaks them willy nilly.

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  24. QUICK: START A LETTER-WRITING CAMPAIGN TO THE MAKERS OF THIS SHOW. (i predict the answer will be: there is no good reason for this outfit decision.)

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  25. That's why it should be a long game. I can't see it in the near future either. As for the short term romance, I can't decide, and that's rare for a show! (and exciting!)

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  26. hah, now let's get super invested just in time for it to be cancelled after 13 episodes, shall we?

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  27. it's not going to be cancelled. it's beating CSI in the ratings!

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  28. WAY TO RUIN MY FUN.


    Only not really, because since when do I let reality get in the way of things? Pfft.

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  29. YESSSSS.

    (i saw a "sexy CSI" halloween costume today. WTF.)

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  30. The Nolan Ross character is pure magic. From Gabriel Mann's intensely creepy/mesmerizing portrayal to the so-bad it's-good wardrobe. He's the best new character of any show this fall.

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  31. He's brilliant! I love how much of his character is just physicality... sort of lurching around like a gangly teenager even though he's like forty years old, and the permanent sneer that seems to be etched on his face whenever he's in the company of, uh, anyone except amanda. i'm really looking forward to seeing more of this show.

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  32. The argyle polo-thing in the last picture is *priceless*. I love it.

    When i was a wee thing in highschool in the early eighties, it was totally de rigueur, if you were a 'prep', to wear two contrasting colors of Izod polos and pop both collars. I always thought it was crazy, as it gets *hot* here in Middle America, so no way would i ever wear two shirts.

    Pale yellow and pink were the most popular colors for the girls, and pale yellow and green or 'white' (which was stripped with pink, green and white) for the boys.

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  33. amazingggg. i'd almost prefer this to the toned-down abercrombie-and-fitch prep look that some people favour these days. i think it took a while to reach the other side of the atlantic... preppy styles are very american, i think.

    i actually ADORE the argyle polo. it's a great colour, and he's buttoned it all the way up, which is so nebbish and awful, AND it practically looks like a peter pan collar so he looks a bit like he's wearing his little sisters clothes. and yet he's kinda pretty on top of it all? OH NOLAN. it's especially funny since he's not even playing golf, he's just put on that outfit... in order to drive a golf cart over to where emanda is attending a WOMEN-ONLY EVENT THAT HE OBVIOUSLY CANNOT EVEN GET INTO. he is soooooo bored that he picks out his outfits for pointless errands that take five minutes.

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  34. Yes! The argyle thing makes him look ten years old or something. I love it. :)

    I remember reading my sister's 'The Official Preppy Handbook' when I was a kid and wondering if 'those people' were for real. I'm so out of touch - I have no clue what 'the kids these days' are wearing other than what my daughter likes, which is skinny jeans and band t-shirts (male and female) and quasi-emo-goth-punky...stuff. And too much eye liner, heh. (Also male and female.)

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  35. Love everything on here - it's spot on! Nolan has definitely snuck up on me as my favorite character on the show, but I remember my first knee-jerk reaction to that marina outfit like it was yesterday and I think by the time we hit the polo shirt, it wasn't even registering anymore. LOVE IT. You're right, he's totally working that look and wearing it better than anyone else on the show.

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  36. idek what they were thinking with the marina outfit, because it's soooo caricature. it looks like it belongs on a one-episode "quirky" character on Bones or something. ;)

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  37. yeah.... preppy still exists, probably much in the same form as it did 25 years ago. one of my friends looooves all preppy clothes, wears argyle sweaters all the time, likes Abercrombie guys etc. but it's really not for me. ;) your daughter sounds a lot more like the kids i hung out with in school. and, uh, now.

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  38. Hee. I was so unfashionable. I wore sweatshirts and hiking boots. Or my lace-up, fringed 'Indian' boots. Or my home-made Alice Cooper shirt.

    I don't think my daughter would of approve of my high school 'fashion'.
    *snerk*

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  39. This was awesome. And hilarious. I adore him (and his ninja abs)

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  40. Nolan is so adorable. The whale pants remind me of things that my mom tried to make me wear growing up.

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  41. IS THAT NICK WECHSLER?

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  42. YES IT IS!!! SEXY NICK WECHSLER!!

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  43. He's a regular on the show.

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  44. OMG, WHAT? I WAS SHODDILY INFORMED ABOUT THE WATCHABILITY OF THIS SHOW.

    Also, maybe this Nolan dude is a Never-Nude and he protects his frail, sensitive chesticles from daylight with durable cotton golf shirts under his regular clothes.

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  45. omg. i fucking love this theory. too bad it was torpedoed by this one episode where he lounges around in a paisley robe while smirking at his newly-made blackmail sex-tape. ;)

    this show is nothing if not watchable

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  46. dfk;jad I LOVE the whale trousers. Amazing!

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  47. "too bad it was torpedoed by this one episode where he lounges around in a paisley robe while smirking at his newly-made blackmail sex-tape. ;)"

    Oh. Ohhhhhhh. Somehow, I'm ok with that.

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  48. it's a gay rentboy blackmail sex tape. ready to watch this masterpiece yet? (you should be.)

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  49. :DDD thank you!

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  50. Speaking of Nolan and his sharp style. I love his house. Who is the artist that did the paintings that hang in his house???? Anybody know?

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  51. Nolan ROSS FAN.23 April 2012 at 08:13

    I think nolan ross is an amazing and compelling character.. my fave character in the show. and i agree with everythin gyou said.. his style is strange, but it works. for him.. no one else can pull that off.

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  52. i love nolan. he's a very crucial reason why i keep on watching revenge lol he's not handsome but he's fairly good looking

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  53. His fashion of tonight's episode... knocked me down....

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  54. Quite obvious why he wears red jacket and white trousers in the episode were all the guys ate in white tuxedos...he's gay...hence the mix of red and white...doh!

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  55. Katie and Nick26 June 2012 at 13:39

    This is spot on. Our way of pronouncing Revenge is like this. Ra wen gay in Count Dracula's voice.

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  56. wow I love this!! Nolan, what a hero <3

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  57. I love Nolan, and his clothes, my god. My assumption has always been that there was an angry overpaid stylist somewhere.... who ought to be shot. i love your idea of blatant parody!

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  58. Pure Blue Japan delivers a very fresh kind of designing jeans and also tailoring qualities of the old famous fashion. Definitely you will love to wear such kind of jeans that you couldn't find from any where.

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  59. Did you know any of the artist who paint the abstract art in nolan.s house???noepierce@hotmail.com i.m looking for it but i don.t find anything

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