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Succession Season 4 Episode 6 Best Fashion Moments
The sad black hair elastic never foreshadows anything good, does it?
Before today’s recap, a quick note: You know what’s the opposite of the stealth wealth seen on Succession? The Met Gala! It takes place tonight and I’ll be hosting a live chat for paid Back Row subscribers beginning at 6:30 p.m. ET. Access the chat on desktop or the Substack app by tapping the chat icon. I hope you’ll join me!
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I don’t know that anyone on this show is exactly Living+ (except maybe Willa?), but Shiv Roy is certainly Dressing+. Her wardrobe has had a satisfying ramp-up from the first episode’s drab and sad to the sixth episode’s succession (pun intended) of suiting so smooth and sleek you could Windex it.
Meanwhile, her brothers are dissolving under the weight of their immaturity, to say nothing of the professional responsibilities for which they are so poorly suited. Though they can’t see it, they’re like Play-Doh going through a spaghetti press, coming out in weak little pieces on the other side, and they’ve got the clothes of man-children to match.
Here are the sixth episode’s best fashion moments.
Shiv’s Sexy Dress-Blazer Combo
Last episode, she was in turtlenecks. This episode, she’s got the low-cut dress of a woman planning to run into an ex. Her hair is flirty and wavy, and she most definitely does not have a sad black elastic on her wrist. I feel like we’re so used to seeing celebrities on Instagram on private planes wearing sweats with Birkins on the seat, a shadow of their former commercial flying selves who have always dressed comfortably for the indignity of air travel. This is the opposite, a super-wealthy woman using her plane like the subway to get to a meeting and, what do you know? Bumping into a buddy along the way.
Matsson’s Barefoot Plane-Hopping Look
Just like Shiv came to play, so did Matsson in his black shades, black T-shirt, and black parachute-y pants with blue accents. He was one green juice away from being a celebrity leaving a mid-morning yoga class, one midriff away from being an estranged member of Shawn Mendes’s smoothie squad. He bumps into Shiv at a private plane airport where she says she’s just fueling up, and after waving at her from his own jet, saunters barefoot across the tarmac and onto hers, where he slouches into a seat and sasses her. Her jet is mostly white, pristine, and as stealthy as private jet interiors can get (it’s still a private jet). Matsson declares it “tired.” I guess they’re setting him up to be a sort of Steve Jobs design-obsessed psycho-genius, because his private plane is outfitted with caramel leather-trimmed seats with some sort of fuzzy white inset fabric, probably the skin of a seal one of his brown apron-wearing servants killed as part of their morning chores.
Roman’s Man-Child Sneakers
Roman often looks rather nondescript, so business casual and accent-free he could be any dude in Midtown at 12 p.m. on a weekday in a Chopt line. Such was the case with his checked shirt and whatever pants — until that brilliant shot of him in a golf cart getting taken to meet studio executive Joy, an actual businessperson. At this point, we see he’s wearing the sort of glorified leather sneakers that make him look like an executive at BuzzFeed, but also say, “I have money” and “I plan to show you no respect.” Which is what he does when he fires Joy as part of a tantrum over her performance along with an inability to summon any executive presence whatsoever. Tom may look like he’s posturing in his suits — but sometimes posturing is important!
Joy’s Dark Brown Suit
Dressed appropriately for her station was Joy, the studio executive who expresses to Roman that Hollywood people are freaked out by ATN’s hard-right lean. I recall reading a review of the last runway show season, I think in Vogue, where a critic wondered who all the brown suits were for. I think they’re for all the women like Joy who have stifled their creative souls in black, gray, and navy suits their entire careers, and are oddly titillated by their new attraction to brown tailoring.
Kendall’s Sandblasted Jeans
Kendall’s jeans are so inappropriately sandblasted for a corporate executive. With his occasional uber-casual looks, Kendall looks like he’s trying to make fetch happen, whereas Matsson just IS fetch. As Gerri says, “Nobody minds a genius acting weird.” But Kendall is not a genius. He’s a nepo baby! And he’s going to the office to prepare for maybe the most important meeting of his professional life dressed like a suburban dad at his kid’s little league game. When he opens his mouth, he sounds like a playground bully: “Here’s the rule, no one can say no,” he tells his team. “Thank you, Kendall, for the cool new rule.” He is the kind of person who likely thinks his trendy orange-flecked sneakers make him seem young and hip when they really just make him seem like he got lost on the way home from Barry’s Bootcamp.
Shiv’s White Look at the Investor Reception
We see this episode how fragile the Roy kids actually are as a result of their father dying. Shiv’s dealing with it by booking a private room to cry in every day, prompting Tom to say, “You’re scheduling your grief?” The clothes thus seem like not only her way of asserting power over her idiot brothers, but also a way of hiding her fragile lady emotions, which I assume is how they’re viewed in this rightwing media company.
At the party, after she and Tom kissed during her grief hour, they engage in further flirtation in the form of Shiv’s game of Bitey, which involves biting each other’s arms in the middle of the party. Of course, this segues into them sleeping together, and the revelation of…
Tom’s Short Sleeve Surprise
I was studying Tom’s party outfit to try to figure out if he had just removed his tie from earlier in the day or had bothered to change into another dusty blue suit. Turns out he did change into another dusty blue suit and — surprise surprise — flirtatious short sleeves. L.A. Tom is on the loose! He goes onto admit to Shiv in this rare, unguarded, postcoital moment that he’s super into his job because he’s super into money and, “I like nice things.” He suggests he and Shiv get back together and go live in a trailer park together and before we can think too hard about whether or not he’s maybe slightly serious, she just laughs the most perfect, “LOL, no” laugh. And now we know that not only does Tom look down on those with ludicrously capacious bags, but that Shiv has likewise noticed them and most certainly does, too.
The L.A. Party House
I love how Succession takes the ultra-wealthy enclaves we think we know, and turns them on their heads. The house they hold the investor party in is the type of LA home we’d want to see on this show — conjoined box architecture, on a hill, windows for walls, postcard view — but stripped down to its least tacky state. No bad comic book art or statement high-contrast marble here, thank you very much!
Kendall’s Flight Jacket
This man must have studied the Met Gala because he likes to choose gimmick over elegance. (I’m here all week, guys!) Instead of wearing a suit, which is what would play best on someone like Kendall, who is a vacuum of charisma, he opts for a flight jacket to emphasize that the company is reaching for the moon/stars/whatever. Kendall makes this point this with bogus financial projections and pretty remarkable editing of the video of his dad talking about Living+, which Shiv later calls a “prison camp for grannies.” “It’s enough to make you lose your faith in capitalism,” Kendall says of the fudged numbers. “You can say anything!” This is such a good line — somehow different from yet equally as searing as the anti-capitalism critiques of lefty, large purse-carrying young people. And he does say anything, despite Karl reminding him before he went on stage that if he fired him, it would be at his own peril, and that they had each other’s dicks in their hands. Cute!
Gerri’s Black Elastic
The black hair elastic on this show seems to foretell nothing good for the characters. Gerri wears her hair in a loose low ponytail for much of the episode. In her capacity as a voice of reason, she tells Kendall and Roman that Matsson’s eccentricities are OK, that the deal can probably survive them. She later tells Roman that firing Joy was a big dumb mistake: “Joy has a lot of relationships, she has a lot of friends, and you are a weak monarch in a dangerous interregnum.” She is dressed like a person who casually throws around words like interregnum, and Roman can’t take it. Despite being generally quick-witted, he does not possess the intellect or experience to go toe-to-toe with her. He also knows that she is right! So he reaches into his nepo baby-at-work toolbox and pulls out the “I’ll fire you” card. Which, I guess, Gerri just ignored? Because she sat in the skybox shaking her head for the entirety of Kendall’s presentation. Roman did tell Kendall — while he was at a vending machine, as though he was performing pulling an all-nighter — that he fired Gerri. Kendall replied, “You fired Gerri? Shiv’s godmother Gerri? …Fuck it bro, why not?” Which is the response of a man in a job that doesn’t fit wearing sandblasted jeans that fit just a little too well.
Kendall’s Beach Look
After his ridiculous presentation, the skybox team cheers Kendall for lying and maybe committing some kind of SEC fraud? Because the stock price went up so who cares! Tom likes nice stuff, you know? Kendall then celebrates not with cigars and a flashy watch and embarrassingly overpriced sushi — because these people have no idea how to enjoy all this money — but by putting on his slob shorts and a T-shirt for a solo walk on an empty beach. I love how the Succession cinematographers made this beach, which I’m sure is gorgeous, just look so sad and depressing, like Kendall’s outfit. Then he takes off his shirt and dives into the surf. It made me wonder if he had a body man somewhere offscreen to hold his phone and a towel? Did he just jump in with his phone because he has servants to get him new ones whenever he wants? The message was that this is Kendall’s idea of living the Living+ dream, where “you’re not just surviving life, you’re really living.” And really living, for him, is drifting around in an ice cold ocean all by himself, not thinking ahead about what he’s going to do when he gets out and has no towel.
I love how the stealth wealth backlash is starting to take root on the internet. People seem offended that it exists and is currently popular. And I get it, no one likes the implication that their non-minimalist taste is bad! However, what gets lost in the criticism is that this show is not a billboard for having a lot of money. It is a billboard for how you can have all the money in the world and still be abjectly miserable. Maybe if these Roys knew how to be a little tackier and indulgent sometimes, in a Jeff Bezos at Coachella sort of way, there wouldn’t be so many things about them that are so damn sad.