Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Poirot Fashion Special: Episode 2, "Murder in the Mews"

Ta-da! Another focus on the amazing fashion of the David Suchet Poirot series. This time we're in London for 'Murder in the Mews'. I didn't know before reading the accompanying Poirot magazine that Mews were built as stables/garages with servants quarters above. (I can hear you asking, "Poirot magazine?" - oh yes, there is such a thing!)

The episode is set around Bonfire Night, which as Hastings points out, would be ideal for shooting someone as you wouldn't hear the shot above the sound of the fireworks. Indeed, a body turns up the next day - a Miss Allen, found by her flatmate Miss Plenderleith.

The funny thing about the way this episode is filmed is that we never really get to find out much about the victim - there are no 'flashbacks', so all we see of her is her corpse on the floor, and as such we can't identify with her or feel that bothered that she's dead! Ah well, a death takes second interest after the fashion in Poirot anyhow.

First up in the fashion parade is the prickly Miss Plenderleith (click on photos for larger images). Obviously a lady of means, judging by her wardrobe - her photography must pay.

There's something a little '80s about the look that I can't quite put my finger on. Is it the hair? Make-up? Any other thoughts?? Something not quite right. But Miss Plenderleith redeems herself in the next outfit, a fabulous trouser set with gorgeous technicolour floral pattern. (please do click on the bottom pic in particular for a better look at it, it was hard trying to get a full length shot).

Miss Plenderleith also has some rather lovely hats, I like the soft velvet one in the first picture, think this is more flattering than the second one.

And then some Sportswear - to the Golf Course! I could see the Vintage Baroness wearing something like this! I love the way the socks match perfectly.

What's interesting about the shoes is that Poirot wears the exact same style later in the episode, except in black. I don't know if some shoes were truly unisex back then or if the costume department only had enough budget to get one style made?
Now on to Miss Lemon. Notice in this first picture that she's giving that fabulous chocolate and cream frock another outing, we saw that in the first episode. She's well paid in her position as Poirot's secretary but not as well-to-do as most of the clients are.

I wish we could see more of this outfit - I think it's a dress not separates. She looks chic, respectable and efficient in this.
A different dress here again, with a great collar and cuff detail. So far we've seen her in dark, earthy colours - a dark red, chocolate, black, and now a deep forest green colour. She likes feminine details (polkadots, buttons, bows etc.) but no evidence yet of a taste for florals or candy colours - it's very evident that this is a professional, working wardrobe.

Miss Lemon wins hands down again for her impeccable taste.
There is some talk of fashion in this episode - Poirot faces an ongoing battle with the local laundry which fails to starch his collars sufficiently, and Hastings suggests he purchase shirts with a modern, turned-down collar.

Finally, a few humorous wardrobe moments - a gentleman's robe that I took a dislike to, and a shot of an extra wearing the most peculiarly fur-trimmed coat (have a look - the fur goes from the wrist to the elbow! It's like she's got Ugg boots on her arms!).


  1. ohhh, that Miss Lemon. How I LOVE that chocolate and cream dress!! I agree with you about Miss Plenderleith looking out of the 80s: it's DEFINITELY her hair (the bangs are so un-30s. AND her eye makeup. too much undereye kohl). ;)

  2. I thought the same thing about the first outfit when I watched that episode! I can't quite put my finger on it either. Maybe the hair in combination with the cut of the dress?

  3. Her hair is much too high and curly on top, it would have been flatter. And the eye make-up is wrong, and even that first dress has an 80s cut - the bodice is much too pooufy. Miss Lemmon is by far the best dressed here!

    *note to self, neeeeed to buy Poirot magazine

  4. Ooo I love Poirot, the fashion is fab! It does rather make murder seem like a light hearted affair though....! x

  5. So glad to find another poirot enthusiast. I was brought up on these (along with Joan Hickson's Miss Marple and Jeeves & Wooster) Will look forward to rest in your series


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