I strongly believe that to truly appreciate the customization between the book and the screen, you must read the book first, spend hours (if not more) figuring out what each character looks like, and then choose the actor I want to see. I also like to dream about her clothes (no wonder I’m done with fashion).
I do this with all the books I read. But of all the books I have consumed in the past few years, nothing in my head has been torn apart and themed as strongly as Sally Rooney’s novel, The Normal People, which was recently filmed on BBC television shows and premiere, yesterday in Hulu.
After hearing that the novel on the 2018 Man Booker Prize list was aimed at a TV near me, I immediately went to clothes. Will the Marian Deb Fundraiser dress look like the Paco Rabanne mini dress I imagined?
What about the dress she was wearing when Connell arrived in Italy to find hanging laundry in his garden? Rooney described the dress as a “white wedding gown” that “looks perfect”. Unlike the Paco dresses, there is no particular designer who remembers this. I wish I had one – I would already buy it. Instead, I immediately thought of the dress Mischa Barton made at The O.C. wear in the first six season episode. The color is blue with small white spots, dumbbells and knee-length silhouettes. If she is white and with eyelashes, Mariana will wear it.
Don’t let me start with Marian’s outfit for the party where she and Connelly met for the first time at Trinity. On the stage it was explained that he was “wearing a velvet jacket over the dress, his hair nailed back. His hand holding a cigarette looks long and smooth.” Rooney later described the dress as durable, gray and able to make Marianne appear “toned and soft”. As soon as I finished the book for the first time, I went out and bought a dress that was very similar.
Last week when the TV adaptation first date approached me, I became nervous and maybe all the clothes on my head were not revived on the screen. This mode is not a priority in production. After all, the story of Marianne and Connelly wasn’t even about clothes from afar. However, my worries were resolved within a few seconds of the first scene of the episode: Marianna walked down the aisle in school, her uniform as I imagined – maybe even better.
Nominated costume designer Emmy Lorna Marie Mugan also created an ensemble for Peaky Blinders – a series in which Sillian Murphy’s sharp blue eyes are the only thing better than clothing. Of course, he was also involved in this role and created the exact type of clothes you would expect for such a story in “Normal People”. So there will be no moments that will soon be fulfilled. But it makes sense about this event, so I will handle it. Mariana did not appear at nightclubs in the small town of Ireland and wore Paco Raban. Because why do you want to? However, in the next scene, she wears a chain gown and a scarf combination reminiscent of the silver mini-gown by Paris Hilton (and later Kendall Jenner) of her dress for her 21st birthday.
Thanks to Marie Magan’s thoroughness, scenes from the novel were recorded in a television adaptation that I had never thought of as a toilet. Light denim miniskirts and chemise combinations from the second to last episodes, black metal presented on stage in the pool, even Connell’s suit is too small for Rob’s funeral – all these parts, at least for someone dressed as large as that Marie Mugan perfectly performs conversation.
Even the small details stand out. Connell’s silver necklace is characteristic of his character like Adidas’s tattered shoes – he has a simple and uncomplicated facade, like someone who doesn’t think twice about what other people think of him. Of course, this is far from it. Adding jewelry and accessories to Mariana’s wardrobe at the university compared to her school days was a symbol of her growing confidence. Like Rooney on the Normal People page, Marie Mugan did not miss a knock on the screen, which made the program memorable like a novel.