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‘Being Human,’ Where Fashion is Undead
by vilawolf (vilawolf)
at August 11th, 2009 (12:41 pm)

August 11, 2009, 5:31 am
‘Being Human,’ Where Fashion is Undead
By Joshua David Stein
blogs.nytimes.com | fashion-is-undead

Much has been made lately of the bloodless rise of vampire chic. “Rarely have monsters looked so sultry — or so camera-ready,” writes Ruth La Ferla, picking up on the generally attractive and well-clad undead of “Twilight,” “True Blood” and “Vampire Diaries.” To wit, a fair number of male models seen in Paris and Milan this season mimicked a pale epicene vampire. But vampires aren’t the only supernatural beings who contend with an eternity of sartorial choices. Witness “Being Human,” a new BBC America series about a vampire, a ghost and a werewolf sharing a flat in Bristol, England. What of the other creatures in this monster mash — what do ghosts and werewolves choose to wear forever? The style conundrums of the undead may be a new field of study, but let’s sinks our teeth into it, shall we?

In the series, which premiered on July 25, the vampire Mitchell, played by Aidan Turner, is predictably the most handsome of the trio. He favors leather overcoats and fingerless gloves when he’s not wearing the baby-blue scrubs of the hospital where he works. His long thick hair — luscious even — is perpetually slicked back with some sort of gel or perhaps pomade. Happily, undercutting this strangely “Blade”-inspired ensemble is Mitchell’s comforting proclivity for T-shirts over long-sleeved shirts, à la University of Michigan 1999. It’s really George, his werewolf friend, and Annie, his ghostly roomie, who offer a glimpse into the eternal closets of the undead.

Annie, the ghost, has only one outfit for the rest of her afterlife: a monochrome ensemble of dark gray cotton leggings that stop midcalf, a slightly lighter cotton cardigan, with a white tank top underneath and dark suede boots. She could be an American Apparel ad from the beyond. Some of her look — which is only slightly more raffiné than the standard Juicy Couture sweatpants-and-Ugg traveling costume of the American teenage girl — must stem from the fact that she will be lounging, largely unseen by the living and fashion critics alike, for eternity and might as well be comfortable. But her wardrobe also seems an almost quaint holdover from Halloweens (in the pre-latex mask days) when an old sheet made a quick and easy ghost costume. One wishes she’d add some color to her ensemble. Just because you’re dead doesn’t mean you have to dress like you are.

George is perhaps the nicest of the three roommates. He was scratched by a werewolf on holiday and was supposed to die, but didn’t. Now he is a werewolf. (The logic on this is fuzzy.) Since his lycanthropic ailment afflicts him only once a month, one would assume he’d dress as a civilian during the crescent or gibbous lunar cycles. And he does, kind of. George has a preternatural fondness for plaid work shirts and khakis — an outdoor look that echos his feral alter ego. What’s more, because George frequently awakens from his wolf nights naked, there’s no need to waste money on more directional men’s fashion

So, for now, the vampire continues to be the supernatural fashion meme, but just wait until ghosts start wearing Demeulemeester.