Succession Season 4 Episode 4 Fashion Recap: Smooth Hair, Fraught Intentions
Someone died? Steam your pantsuit because this is a corporate occasion.
Read Back Row’s previous Succession fashion recaps here.
How do you dress the day after someone close to you dies? The average person is probably barely able to reach for any clothes at all, to say nothing of doing their hair and selecting their neatest pair of trousers. Now, Succession is not a show about the common man, so if the Roy kids have this impulse they must stuff it down deep inside where their heaviest emotional baggage lies, lock it with a key, and throw that key away. The episode opens with each of them in a disheveled state they might prefer to stay in all day. But if their dad taught them anything it’s that they always have jobs to secure, so they have to put on their finest work clothes and gather in his apartment like starving vultures looking for opportunities to pick off.
Usher in the power dressing because this death is depressing for truly elite reasons. Here’s a look at the fashion moments that elucidated them.
Shiv’s Smooth Hair and Power Turtleneck
With her smoothed hair, dark turtleneck, and spiffy blazer, Shiv looked like her season-two self, which is when she set about trying to take over the company. We learn this episode that she’s actually in her second trimester of pregnancy and keeping it a secret, likely because she doesn’t want it to get in the way of her professional advancement. One assumes that in this world, pregnant women are regarded with the same or even less respect than they are in America more broadly. Shiv needed to look not only not-pregnant but also more competent, more corporate, and calmer than her brothers given her understandable state of distress. Nothing says “I am corporate, hear the emotions leave my body” for a woman like trousers, closed-toe heels, and a turtleneck under a jacket.
The Band of, to Use Roman’s Term, “Fucking Ghouls”
It’s fascinating to see what happens to the obsequious potpourri of executives after Logan’s death. They at first seem to mostly be looking out for themselves, but also have been so blindly devoted to the Roys for so long that they basically have Stockholm Syndrome. The idea of flushing down the toilet the paper on which Logan wrote he wanted Kendall to succeed him is quickly scuttled in favor of telling the kids and allowing it to happen. Notably, that they choose to hang on to, but blithely remark Logan’s hidden-away Gauguins burning “would be the dream” for the insurance money. Yet even in that brief moment of tension where we wondered if the ghouls would actually flush it, we knew none of them were ever serious contenders for the role. Like, you don’t get one of the biggest CEO jobs in the world when you’re wearing Karl’s shirt.
Kendall’s Shades, Polo, and Jacket
Kendall looked more put-together this episode than he had in a while; finally absent was the part of him that has been wanting to give off the vibe that he’s one of those executives who goes to Burning Man but won’t talk about it. Yes, he looked nice in his navy suit at Connor’s wedding but it was also a suit of obligation. When he showed up to his dad’s apartment in a polo shirt and jacket, he looked like he had finally settled into a natural state that was somewhere between his season one suits with ties and his “I’m a cool startup executive who wears a hoodie but isn’t pulling off the cool part” look from the first episode.
Marcia’s Hair Accessory
Marcia showed up at the house to greet everyone and assert her dominance after Logan’s passing. And, perhaps, to make sure that if Kerry had the gall to show up, she could embarrass her as much as possible. To do this, she wore a piece of what looked like black tulle in her hair. It was oddly festive for the occasion, but that was probably the point. What could be more joyous in the wake of your estranged husband passing than to be able to profit $63 million after selling his apartment at what was probably a wildly inflated price to his idiot son via a quick spit handshake? Well, maybe insulting Willa and Kerry to their faces. Only, Willa’s writers were spot-on when Marcia said to her, “Look how far you’ve come,” and Willa replied, “Both of us.”
Willa’s Awkwardly Loud Stripes
Willa’s outfit this episode reminded me of the dress and boots she wore when Logan had his stroke and she went to be with Connor in the hospital. It was just a little too loud and flirty for the occasion, but she doesn’t seem to have a care in the world at this point now that she’s married to Connor and they’re moving into this apartment. Willa never seemed to be the sort to take on any person’s or apartment’s emotional baggage, which likely makes her a great match for Connor. That’s just what her high-contrast stripes said in this situation: none of this is about me, I’m just here for the goodie bag!
Roman, Dressing the Same Way He Always Does
Every episode, Roman wears a shirt tucked into well-tailored pants and slicks his hair back, and after his dad’s death he goes through the very same getting-ready routine, suggesting he’s not here to posture any more than he ever is. Roman’s writers deserve an Emmy for his burns this week, including: “Where’s Kerry?” “In Marcia’s trunk.” Yet he also displayed the most humanity of any of these people, including when Kerry fell and humiliated herself by spilling her pills and makeup everywhere and he helped her up. When Hugo and Karolina suggest they drag their dad in the press as a comms strategy, Roman says, “Don’t ever bring us this disgusting shit ever again.” Meanwhile Kendall, who wants to be his dad so badly, embraces said disgusting shit.
Kerry’s Unremarkable Brown Pantsuit
You know Kerry is a striver because she showed up in a wrecked emotional state wearing a pantsuit. You also know she is a striver because she really has to go to Logan’s place, either to because she doesn’t make a ton of money (she was wearing Zara in the previous episode) and really needs her compact and pills, or to beg the family follow through on Logan’s promises to her. She tells Marcia that she’s just here for her things and Marcia tells her she has them in a bag for her, at which point a security dude hands her a tote overflowing with lady flotsam that makes it look like she’s about to go do makeup backstage at fashion week.
In both her bumbling, teary moment and that bag, I saw her character so clearly — she’s the girl who just wanted to be home watching Bravo in velour sweatpants to distract from this whole mess. It’s unclear if she’s sad because Logan is gone or because whatever “arrangements” he promised her might be, perhaps both. She didn’t get ahead by not thinking about optics, and she knew that if she was going to go to Logan’s home that day, she had to dress like she was going to work.