I already mentioned in my first Hannibal costuming post that the FBI team dress like characters in a crime procedural drama, while people like Hannibal and Bedelia du Maurier seem to come from another universe entirely. The main visual difference between the FBI lab team and your average CSI character is that they wear vanishingly few monochrome outfits.
Another potential meaning of these white outfits is that she is already a "ghost," in among the more colourful, healthy characters in the show. (By this metric, Hannibal's vibrant colour palette is the "healthiest" of all, which makes sense. Mads Mikkelsen loves to talk about how rather than being a "dark" character, Hannibal is almost always the happiest person in the story.)
|Screencaps via Screencapped|
She is half in the world of the living and half in the world of the dead, although interestingly she is one of the very few characters who isn't put in the Hades/Persephone position of eating Hannibal's "pomegranate seeds."
At home with her husband in "Coquilles," she's back to wearing paler shades: a leopard-print robe and nightdress which the eagle-eyed costumesofhannibal blog pointed out could potentially resemble a pattern of "free-floating cancer cells." Her final appearance in this episode is the scene when she comes clean to Jack about her lung cancer, at which point she has transitioned over to a severe black outfit: mourning clothes.
This progression into "old lady" outfits continues with Bella's scene at home with her husband, where she wears a terrycloth robe and what looks suspiciously similar to hospital slippers. A floral scarf holds back her thinning hair, there are white roses by the bed ("purity," once again), and for the first time we notice the somewhat funereal decor of the Crawford household. Here are some set photos from showrunner Bryan Fuller's Twitter feed:
Previously: Costuming and design in Hannibal, Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3 (Hannibal's wrist watch.), Part 4 (Abigail Hobbs).