As a kind of doomed swansong for The Hour's recent cancellation, here's the third and final part of my series of costume posts.
Marnie is absolutely the classic stereotype of 1950s womanhood. In season 1 she doesn't get much to do, but by season 2 Hector's terrible behaviour has shaken her up enough that she transforms into what I can only really describe as a 2010s-style ultra-femme liberated woman. Probably my favourite detail of this was the fact that she clearly had an affair at some point, but it was so subtle that we'll never really know who with. With any other character I'd dismiss this as meaning they didn't have enough time to include it onscreen, but with Marnie you know that it's because she's just so damn discreet -- unlike Hector, whose affairs are all an unmitigated disaster and end up splashed all over the tabloids.
Sissy is a relatively minor character, but her costumes are so good she draws the eye whenever she appears onscreen. To me, Sissy looks a lot like a modern woman dressing up in retro/vintage styles, because she's so incredibly on-trend while still wearing the kind of widely available working-class clothes that show up in vintage stores in the 21st century. Marnie's brand of femininity is such that she wears pretty much nothing but frothy, full-skirted dresses, which is actually a look that shows up at weddings and upper-crust social functions even today. Essentially, the idea of what we think of as super-feminine formalwear has not really changed in about sixty years. Sissy is part of the next generation of fashion-conscious girls, following inner-city London trends, going to mixed-race nightclubs and moving in with their boyfriends before they get married. Sissy wouldn't look out of place in Camden in 2013.
Rachman-esque slumlord. Camille's main role in the show is to introduce some conflict into the Bel/Freddie story, so we only ever really see her in a negative light. I suspect they gave her less screentime on purpose, because the more we saw of her the more likely we'd be to empathise with her. She moved to another country to be with her husband, but as soon as they arrived he transformed from a cool, poetry-loving bohemian into a BBC workaholic who clearly has some kind of ongoing thing with his female best friend. Really, Camille is better off without Freddie.
Previously: Bel Rowley and Freddie Lyon & Menswear and The Hour.
Petition to save The Hour.