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Look of the Week: Power dressing in the Westworld season 3 teaser
Welcome back to Look of the Week, celebrating the best in TV and film sartorial excellence, past and present across sci-fi, horror, fantasy, and other genre classics!
San Diego Comic-Con was a stylish affair, ranging from the laid-back looks of the stars on stage to joyful fashion shows to stunning cosplay. Some of the standout moments also come courtesy of the teasers and trailers unveiled for the first time. Westworld won’t be returning for its third season until the first half of 2020, but they did release a juicy first look featuring returning characters, a war-themed park, robot pals, and new cast members. The multiple timelines of Westworld coupled with keeping up with the identities of hosts and humans can sometimes make for challenging viewing. However, one consistency, no matter what kind of body swap shenanigans are going on, is the fact that these characters know the value of power dressing.
Charlotte Hale’s (Tessa Thompson) bikini-clad introduction in the Season 1 episode, “The Adversary,” which intentionally masqueraded her executive status, is a power move in and of itself. Since then she has wielded clothing like a weapon, from the red dress she wore in this same episode to the borrowed western shirt and pants in Season 2. After all, the slinky frock she donned for the gala event is not ideal for escaping the nightmare situation within the park. Not that the real Charlotte did escape; instead, the person we were watching after a certain point is Dolores in a host version of Charlotte’s body. The executive of Delos Destinations, Inc. now exists in robot form. It is no consolation to the actual Charlotte, but at least she keeps her sense of style.
Using 3-D printing technology, Dolores is back in a likeness of her original body (as Evan Rachel Wood), having escaped the park as Charlotte. She took five brain pearls (or orbs) that contain the consciousness of other hosts, one of which is now in Charlotte's host body. The answer as to who is posing as the Delos executive is unclear, but Dolores is clearly fond of whoever it is, as the teaser features a moment of spooning intimacy. Light and dark are represented at this moment, with Dolores wearing all black to "Charlotte's" white undergarments. The likely answer appears to be Teddy (James Marsden), until you remember that Dolores uploaded his details into a virtual simulation (aka a host afterlife).
Whoever this person is, they have Charlotte’s strut down. One of the best moments of the teaser is a caped Charlotte lighting a cigarette after exiting a futuristic vehicle. It is like a more dystopian and less psychedelic version of Thompson's Valkyrie swagger from Thor: Ragnarok.
The real Charlotte stuck to dresses in her executive wardrobe, so it is interesting this version is embracing expensive suits. Not that she is ditching the frocks. They don’t want to give the game away completely. In the teaser, there is a brief shot of what appears to be Dolores dressing whoever is in Charlotte’s body. Clothing is a vital part of this long con.
In Season 2, we got to see Dolores out in the “real world” in a memory with Bernard (Jeffrey Wright) showing a version that was intended to lure investors. Wearing a short black body-con dress, her purpose is to sell the park via her blonde hair and alluring attire. Clare Denis took over the costume designer reins from Ane Crabtree for Season 2, which saw Dolores stepping out of her Western get-up for the first time. Information about who is designing the forthcoming season is not available at the present time, but in the teaser, Dolores is sporting an LBD similar to this one from an older timeline — except, on this occasion, she is accessorizing it with a gun.Dolores is also mixing it up with a power-shouldered black blazer, paired with a red mini-dress and stiletto ankle boots. The slick contemporary wardrobe is in sharp contrast to her original blue frock (as designed by Trish Summerville). A first look shot over at Entertainment Weekly shows Dolores in a quilted leather jacket and slicked-back hair. She is very much delivering a badass vibe to aspire to.
Women are doing it for themselves both in the real world and within the park, as someone has put Maeve (Thandie Newton) back together again. (Alternatively, this could be a different timeline or a new version of this character.) The last time we saw Maeve she was very much inactive, but the beauty of Westworld is no one is truly dead. A new park called “Warworld” sees Meave sporting a ‘40s roll and tuck hairstyle, pearl earrings, a chic skirt suit, and Nazi-punching hands. She is also still smooching Hector (Rodrigo Santoro) on the side.At the end of last season, Dolores built herself a new Bernard, and he is sporting overalls and a waffle shirt ensemble that suggests he wants to live the simple life. Or he could be playing at a hipster aesthetic. The heavy beard supports both theories. Sadly for Bernard, a simple life is impossible.
There are some newcomers this season, including a very suave Vincent Cassel. It is safe to assume he is playing a bad guy (because he often does). The open collar suggests he doesn't need a tie to flex his authority.
Meanwhile, Aaron Paul’s character name has yet to be revealed, but co-showrunner Jonathan Nolan did tell Entertainment Weekly that "Aaron’s character will challenge Dolores’ notions about the nature of humanity. He’s the type of person who doesn’t get to go to Westworld.” He is playing a construction worker, which explains why his clothing is unflashy and utilitarian.
Events in Season 3 will pick up soon after the park massacre, but as this is Westworld, expect multiple timelines, even if Nolan assures viewers it will be less confusing: “This season is a little less of a guessing game and more of an experience with the hosts finally getting to meet their makers.” There will still be multiple periods covered, including the aforementioned Warworld and the potential for a Medieval World to make an appearance. The weapons from this arena are definitely coming into play, as Stubbs (Luke Hemsworth) gets to spin a battleaxe. In the Season 2 finale it was confirmed that Stubbs is also a host, and at the Westworld SDCC panel Tessa Thomspon joked that she “never leaves the house without a Hemsworth.” Truly the best accessory.
So while Season 3 is still a long way off and details are unsurprisingly vague, this teaser reinforces the notion that the women of Westworld are not coming to play, and they power-dress for every and all scenarios.