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The Real Life Inspiration Behind the Costumes in Netflix's Shadow & Bone

Netflix shows have been upping the game when it comes to fashion. From Bridgerton’s historical costumes to Stranger Things’ trendy 80s looks, Netflix's costume teams haven’t disappointed. The new Shadow & Bone show, which aired this past week, is no exception. Here are a few of the best looks from the Grishaverse and the real life cultures that inspired them.

How could I not start off this article talking about keftas? For those of you unfamiliar with the books or the show, a kefta is a garment that a Grisha wears when they are

in the Ravkan Second Army. For a fictional country based on 1800 Tsar

Russia, the costume designers nailed it. Thick and long enough to protect from the cold, it’s not only the material but the patterns themselves that were inspired by Imperial Russian clothing (pictured left) and their intricate details. Look at the two and tell me honestly, can you even spot the difference?

Next up we have the flawless costumes of the Grisha’s enemies, the Fjerdans.

Based on Scandinavia, the costume designers really leaned

into the whole Vikingesque idea. And you know what? It completely works. The Fjerdans are a brutish bunch who live in even colder climates than their Ravkan neighbors. This is apparent by the furs, wool and tall boots they wear. I mean, this picture of a viking literally has the same Wolf coat slung around her neck as some of the Fjerdans while also resembling the rest.

Even the mundane outfits of the greed driven people of

Kerch are incredible. It's not because the muted grays and blacks jump out at you like a stunning red kefta—in fact, it's because they don’t catch your eye. The entire Kerch culture is centered around money, so it isn’t surprising the costume designers went for a 1920s mobster vibe. The coats worn by the characters mimic the trench coats worn by notorious New York gangsters and when paired with a snug tie, the effect is chilling, especially when the audience watches crime boss Pekka Rollins threaten one of the Crows, Kaz Brekker.

Speaking of Kaz Brekker, I couldn’t finish this article without dedicating a section to the mastermind and leader of the Six of Crows crew. Is this simply an excuse to talk

about one of my favorite characters ever and include a picture of the fantastic Freddy Carter? Absolutely. But, it’s also because as an avid Kaz fan, I can confidently say the TV show nailed his costume. The dark coat but lack of a tie to symbolize that although Kaz is part of a gang, he isn’t like the other crime bosses? Genius. His slick black gloves (I.Y.K.Y.K) and crow cane are

impeccable and even if you haven’t read the books, give you serious insight as to who Kaz Brekker is. I think the costume designers did an amazing job referencing both the eras Kerch is based on (ie. 1920s NYC, Victorian England and Amsterdam) and Kaz’s unique personality. They even had him wear an identical hat to the ones worn by the Victorian criminals pictured on the left!

If you haven’t watched Shadow & Bone yet and this article has made you want to, great! It’s currently the #2 show in the US today on Netflix. And, if you’ve already seen the show but looking at the costumes has just made you want to rewatch it, I fully support that decision because the more viewers, the more likely we are to get that highly anticipated Season 2 announcement. And I can't wait to see what the costume designers have in store for the future of Shadow & B


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