The incessant bombardment of Gwyneth Paltrow’s courtroom drama on social media had me considering logging off for a while. While we were all busy nitpicking and critiquing every development, one notable observation on the fashion grounds warrants a deep dive.
If you look closely, there’s a this sense of commonality, bringing courtroom and its distant sister boardroom dressing together. Sure, the blazers and crisp white shirts are an easily recognisable, recurring motif but there’s more than what meets the eye here. Shrouded subtleties, mindful pairings, strategic colour palettes and you name it – it’s all a PR backed, splendid front masking the behind-the-scenes hullabaloo.
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Dress for the job you want, they say. Well, here’s the verdict. Prim and proper dress codes inundated with understated tastefulness, androgynous tailoring that lends homogeneity and Phoebe Philo ‘esque designs – that’s the sum total of an upper middle-class, white woman’s wardrobe in the workforce. As seen in Succession – the satirical black comedy drama, the pompous boardroom fits are definitive of the politics and power play at the heart of it.
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With regards to Siobhan Roy, the only daughter and potential successor of the dumpster fire of an organisation that is Waystar & Royco, her otherwise longer and wavy curls are later swapped for a no-nonsense bob ironed to perfection. Seen dressed in MaxMara, Armani, Ralph Lauren and The Row, her form-fitting silhouettes are tailored to precision with minimum skin show in a bid to present herself as an equal in the room. This is also because she comes from a slightly different professional background than her brothers, which in turn makes it harder to prove her mettle as a viable option. And also because she’s a woman, obviously.
With ample blessings from late fashion icon Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy, Gwyneth Paltrow’s style at her recently concluded ski trial was a masterclass in stealth wealth. Now proven innoce….Gwenocent, the Goop messiah’s sartorial choices invited more debate than the intricacies of her case itself. And given the masses’ appetite for public trials (cue the Heard-Depp saga, the NCB drug peddling episodes, et cetera), the internet had a lot to add.
Despite sticking to big brands, there was not a single instance in the courtroom where you could see a logo identifying the same. Her outfits aren’t out of the ordinary. She wears a trench coat, a knit cardigan, a pantsuit – all easily available at affordable price rates. Except her lot costs more than my entire year’s pay-check. They want to look relatable. Not too out of touch. It’s of paramount importance to bank on the public sentiment, for which relatability is the primary requisite.
Ascribing to the stealth wealth mandate has been proven to keep things under the radar. It makes it easier to enjoy one’s riches, tucked safely, away from the authorities. Take Mark Zuckerberg’s basic grey T-shirt collection for example. The very drab T-shirt he dons every single day costs hundreds of dollars and is an offering by old-money mammoth Brunello Cucinelli.
Case in point: OTT luxury is passé. Especially when you’re likely to get embroiled in courtroom scandals.
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