The Sopranos 3 – costume and characters

Continued from previous post…

Janice Soprano, Tony’s sister, does not have an easy relationship with her brother. Having competed with him for their father’s attention from a young age, and presumably winning, she grew up to become self-serving, opportunistic and highly manipulative with a violent temper. She is also adventurous and cultivated a hippie, free-spirited persona, unless her financial wellbeing is at threat.


Her free-spiritedness is reflected in her hair being worn curly and free. She doesn’t tie it back nor tame it through straightening products, as she herself resists taming. She won’t abide restrictions in either her personal style or her lifestyle. She’s not high fashion and she’s not high maintenance but she is passionate. Her clothes are mostly comfortable and non-restrictive – freedom of movement is what she values both in life and in her wardrobe.


Livia, as Tony’s mother, is ageing and becoming powerless as she loses her independence. She is bitter and stubborn, sneakily deceptive, extremely underhanded, revengeful and demonstrates hatred of her children, particularly her son. In fact, the producers ensured there is nothing for us to like in Livia. So it is with her wardrobe. Her costumes are completely unlikeable, with no redeeming features. They are drab, they are cheap looking and they are ill-fitting.


Young Meadow Soprano is perhaps the hardest to characterise in terms of her personality, what she stands for and also her wardrobe. She is the princess daughter and the apple of her father’s eye, she’s tough on him, confronting him directly about his mafioso activities, but she’s also his loyal supporter. Meadow is very young, and as such, her character is largely unformed. She is still experimenting and evolving so we are not sure which path she will follow in life.


Meadow’s wardrobe reflects that she has plenty of money (from her father) to spend on clothes but they are largely featureless. They are not standouts like Adriana’s, though neither are they conservative. She is still finding her way and so is her wardrobe.


If the Sopranos were produced today, almost 20 years later, some of the labels they wear would be different. The fashions would certainly be different to reflect the newer silhouettes we see around us today and the new fabrics and colours that have emerged in popularity but the essential characteristics would remain. The Sopranos is such a high quality production and the characters have such depth that they themselves have not dated. These characters, and what they represent in terms of personal style, are eternal.

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