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House of Cards‘ fifth season dropped on Netflix in late May, signaling an implied race to the finish line for the nation’s most drama-hungry viewers. Many questions lingered following the fourth season’s final episode, but one, in particular, kept us hungrily awaiting the series’ next installment: WWCW (What Will Claire Wear?)
The show’s leading lady, Claire Underwood (Robin Wright), is perhaps one of the most iconic female characters in recent times—between her icy demeanor and her impeccable pencil skirts, one can’t help but find themselves fascinated by the cunning [Claire’s Title]—no spoilers here!
We spoke to Claire’s HoC costume designer, Kemal Harris, who gave us a bit of aesthetic insight into Wright’s complex (and wildly stylish) counterpart.
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Read on to find out more about the inspiration behind Claire’s signature style.
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David Giesbrecht / Netflix
As Underwood As it Gets
According to Harris, this prim and polished dress is her favorite and the most quintessentially “Claire” outfit. “My favorite look from season 5 is the custom blue dress with gold buttons that I designed,” she shared, noting that the ensemble also reflects the character’s inner-workings: “It represents Claire’s love of being in control, all buttoned up and fitted.”
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The Politics of Style
When it comes to adapting Claire’s look, Harris has drawn inspiration from many female politicians. “I’ve been very inspired by the strength and spirit of women in politics,” she told us, citing “Carol Moseley-Braun (above), the first woman to wear pants on the senate floor in 1993, the brave founders of the Suffrage movement, the female Supreme Court Justices.”
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Presidential Polish on a Budget
Is it possible to dress like Claire without a Hollywood costume budget? Yep! Harris’s advice is to look for a local ally. “Find a great tailor or seamstress in your neighborhood! You can make even the most simple skirt look like a Claire-tailored skirt.”