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Succession Season 4 Episode 9's Best Fashion Moments: 'Church and State'
Oh yes, we'll get to Marcia.
On Sunday, I’ll be hosting a live chat after the series finale of Succession for paid subscribers! I have a feeling the end of this show is going to be DARK but we’ll get through it together.
What do you wear to a funeral that doubles as a business meeting for a right wing cabal who possess the same interest in the greater good as they do wearing logo prints? This is the question Succession’s costume team had to answer in the penultimate episode about Logan’s funeral. Black? Sure. Suits? Of course. And if you’re a lover of the deceased, particularly one with the emotional durability of a California redwood tree, maybe you add accessories. Why not? This is a hard day, but not so hard that you have to completely forget your own taste.
Next week is the show’s final episode, and we’re trending in a pretty depressing direction! In which what I’m assuming is the show’s largely left-wing demo must continue reliving the horrors of the 2016 presidential election in harrowing detail, down to the protest march down Broadway in NYC the next day. The clothes remain fascinating to observe as they bring to life the differences between the plebeians who have to march to be heard and the elite group more interested in themselves than, like, basic rights. Here are the ninth episode’s best fashion moments.
Kendall begins the episode with a call from his ex-wife Rava who, fearing protests and violence, plans to leave the city with the kids to stay at a friend’s house. Kendall is armed for confrontation with her in the sharp, stiff coat corners of a man who in seriousness tells his driver he wants to be somewhere in Manhattan in “three minutes” and that he’ll “figure out fines and violations.” The silhouette of that coat, erect and virile in a way none of the men on this show really are, screamed money. Kind of like how that absurd Cadillac bus-like abomination the Roy siblings rode to the funeral in screamed money. But even those perky lapels couldn’t out-rich the little strip of leather running across the back of the collar area. You would only see it if the collar was popped, making it one of those unnecessary yet impactful design details, like the upholstery of the seats on a private jet, that only the world’s wealthiest people get to concern themselves with.
Roman’s Late-Stage Five O’Clock Shadow
Maybe his beard is so long now you wouldn’t call it a five o’clock shadow anymore. But that facial hair was a striking choice for the formal occasion of Logan’s funeral, particularly juxtaposed with the smooth jawlines of Greg and Tom. You know they would never dare to show up unshaven to either the office or a work funeral, no matter how hard they partied with Matsson the night before.
That facial hair just didn’t go with Roman’s bravado at the beginning of the episode, when he rehearsed his eulogy like he was practicing announcing a football game. It was not the beard of the disciplined person who has a walk-in closet organized to the point of sterility. It was the beard of a person who peacocks through life and then falls apart when it really counts. It was the beard of a man who probably tortured his decorator over every aesthetic choice to be made about his apartment, but then got distracted when it came time to select window treatments for his bedroom and just let them pick something. Was it just me or were those just a little too tasteful and light for the lair of a predatory, entitled, right-wing media executive from your nightmares?
Marcia’s Loud Luxury
The last time we saw Marcia was at Logan’s apartment right after he died. She had a surprisingly festive piece of tulle in her hair then along with silver necklaces so bulbous (for this show, anyway) that they could have been sponsored at a Cannes Film Festival photocall. Maybe the flashy silver necklaces are her thing, because she has another set here. But she also seems loudly dressed to signify her place in the pecking order of Logan’s romantic partners. This could help to explain her shouty hat affixed with a veil, rhinestones, and a big floppy embellished bow that looks like it got lost on the way to the Met Gala. Her mesh shirt is surely what inspired Roman to creepily note, “Marcia’s looking chic. Yummy. Sexy funeral lady.” But she also looked like she could go home, remove her blazer and all her accessories, throw on a pair of leggings, and jump on her Peloton — which is to say, she was distinctly not dressed like she worked here.
Kerry, however, was distinctly dressed like she worked here. Her tears, lawyer friend, and total lack of accessories suggested that her grief was so acute and paranoia so high that she barely had the wherewithal to smooth her hair before she came, to say nothing of dressing herself up beyond that. While Kerry may be overthinking all of this, perhaps resulting in an inability to think enough about her clothes, no one is really thinking much about her. The Roys likely view her as barely a step above the people they pay to pass out canapés. The exceptions are peers like the generally insecure Hugo, who was wildly jealous that she got to sit front row, like this was fashion week or something.
Lady Caroline Collingwood
I had to look up the mom’s name while writing, and she really came to this funeral dressed as a Lady Caroline Collingwood. If you asked me to describe what someone named Lady Caroline Collingwood would wear to her billionaire ex-husband’s funeral, I probably would have closed my eyes and pictured a large brooch, some kind of hat, and a wool coat — like she could either be here or dropping off a large basket of provisions for the poor family down the lane who sleep nine to a room and are battling scarlet fever.
Shiv’s Strange Collar
Shiv no longer has to dress to hide her pregnancy now that she’s telling people. I like how no one noticed anything about her that might lead them to believe she’s pregnant, which suggests she hid it well but also that these people are such narcissists they can’t pick up on major things affecting other people. (Hence ushering Trump-but-worse into office!) She wears a noticeably not-fashionable pearl necklace-and-earrings set with a scoop-neck collar that has almost an old Hollywood glamour vibe that ever so slightly reminds me of Andy Sachs at the big ball. But it’s an awkward outfit. If Marcia is giving Cannes Film Festival photocall, Shiv is giving host of Cannes Lions dinner sponsored by Audi. She has to project CEO, but has so much upheaval in her life between her pregnancy, Tom, and the Matsson deal that she seems to be devolving into the confused version of herself we saw in the sad brown Max Mara suit in the first episode. I’m not liking her prospects for winning next week.
Kendall’s Assistant Jess
What does it take to succeed as the executive assistant to someone like Kendall, who will bully you into a pre-funeral conversation about something you wanted proper calendar time for, and then call you “juvenile” and “fucking dumb” when you professionally and politely say you want another job? Putting on an armor of the blandest thing you can find from a mall store, down to the practical-but-still-uncomfortable heeled pumps. Shop Your TV identified the coat as past season J. Crew, which tracks because you know he doesn’t pay her well enough to buy anything designer. The only way for Jess to get through this is to leave her personality at the door each morning when she goes to work to separate her true self from the person who suffers at this company each day.
Lukas Matsson’s Formal Suit
This is the first time we’ve seen him in a suit on this show. If you think of the tech CEO archetype that this character embodies, like an Elon Musk or a Mark Zuckerberg, who make a whole thing of dressing like shit with the implication being that they’re too busy with “more important” stuff, when do they wear suits? To testify to Congress! For Matsson, that’s probably how this funeral feels — like an event that has all the joy of a Congressional hearing. After all, isn’t that most of the Roy family gatherings?