Q&A With House of Cards Costume Designer Johanna ArganFeb 14, 2014 @ 8:10 am
It’s the day we’ve all be waiting for (no, not Valentine’s Day): House of Cards has returned with an entire new season on Netflix! But before you go into a binge-watching lockdown, get the lowdown on Claire Underwood’s (Robin Wright) ensembles straight from the source: Costume Designer Johanna Argan. “Claire’s clothes are her armor,” she tells InStyle exclusively. “A fitted silhouette that shows your waist is both striking and feminine.” Find out why tailoring is so important, why Claire’s style is so inspiration, and how to get her look.
Q: How you would describe Claire’s general style?
“In the simplest terms I would describe it as power and strength in femininity.”
Q: How does that translate into the clothes?
“Claire is a high-profile woman in Washington. In relation to her clothing, everything she does she does for a purpose. Claire’s clothes are her armor, so they’re very structured, very well tailored. We choose very specific silhouettes that highlight her shape to show her strength, but don’t lose her femininity.”
Q: Claire’s style is such an inspiration to so many.
“It’s great to see women in powerful positions who look so elegant and so strong without losing her femininity. For a long time, women felt like they had to dress in a very asexual way to compete in a man’s world. Claire is a great example of women today.”
Q: What is a key component of her look?
“Tailoring is a really, really strong point. Her clothes are well-tailored, so she looks high-end and really put-together. We’re very careful to tailor her clothes in a certain way–to skim the body, to show her curves, but not hug her body. It’s also important for women to show their waist, legs and a little bit of the wrist–it can look striking and feminine in the right way.”
Q: If anyone wanted to dress like Claire, what should they keep in mind?
“Structured and tailored pieces, and definitely a great pencil skirt. Also, stick to a dark color palette. Claire tends to wear navy, black and gray, muted earth tones. Claire is a classic elegant woman who wears classic silhouettes–she is not going to be walking down the street in a bohemian look.”
Q: What about accessories?
“Little diamond studs or little earrings will take you a long way. We don’t ever have to change it out because they can pretty much go with anything. Claire always has the same diamond earrings on, the same watch, and her wedding ring.”