To strike the right sartorial note for the steely and scheming female vixen at the black heart of the awesomely backstabbing and power-grubbing political drama on Netflix, House of Cards, the costumer had to look for realistic fashion role models in the generally covered-up power-spouses of the Middle East. Notably Queen Rania of Jordan (near left) and Qatar's Sheikha Mozah bint Nasser Al Missned. “The sheikha wears all the European designer labels but is still respectful and covered up,” says Johanna Argan, the costume designer for show's second season - which is heavily populated with names like Akris, Dior, Ralph Lauren, Theory, Armani and Prada (like the not-so-innocent cream frock, above). And Rania is deemed "very controlled" but “exquisite and very fashionable." Apparently unlike the country in which the series is set. “I look around the world and see that the wives of other leaders are such fashion plates,” continues Argan. "Fashion in politics has become more important and Claire is right in there. Her clothes are her armor. She is the modern-day Lady Macbeth. "
Macbeth, you'll recall, was Shakespeare's darkest tragedy. Penned somwhere between 1599 and 1606, it tells the story of a brave Scottish general who receives a prophecy from a trio of witches that one day he will become King of Scotland. Consumed by ambition and pushed to act by his wife, Lady M, Macbeth murders King Duncan and seizes the throne. His guilt and paranoia transform him into a bloody and brutal tyrant, resulting in a civil war and epic bloodbath which whisk this awful power couple into a realm of narcissism, madness and of course, death.
Small wonder a small girl like Claire harboring some mighty ambitions needs just the right look.