Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

And now, a detailed analysis of Margot Tenenbaum’s sartorial choices

Screenshot: YouTube

It’s been almost 18 years since Wes Anderson’s The Royal Tenenbaums first came out, a film as meticulously crafted as any of the other live-action films in his body of work. It should come as no surprise, then, that people are still finding new things to explore in its visual world in particular. So here you go: over 15 minutes on Margot Tenenbaum, emotionally stunted playwright and eternal style icon.

This video from The Take digs into everything from Margot’s loafers to the several meanings behind her fur, from her blunt bob (like her blunt way of speaking) to her Birkin bag (a symbol of wealth). As with any good analysis, it’s likely that some of the conclusions will surprise you, and one or two might seem like a bit of a stretch. Such is the way of things. But by the time the video arrived at the issue of Margot’s secretive smoking, we were pretty convinced, and think you will be too. It also pulls from interviews with the film’s costume designer, Karen Patch (also the designer on Rushmore) as well as actor Gwyneth Paltrow.

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Costume design doesn’t always get the attention it deserves, particularly when the film (or TV show, or stage production) in question isn’t a Regency comedy, a medieval war epic, or something more fantastical. They’re just clothes, right? Not so! Another great example of costume design analysis can be found in our list of the best, worst, and weirdest things we saw on the internet in the last decade, sitting at #25: Tom And Lorenzo’s lengthy series on the work of Mad Men designer Janie Bryant.

In short, this is a smart video about a great designer doing great work for a great film, and the next time you see someone dressed as Margot for a costume party you’ll have plenty to say vis-à-vis their Izod tennis dress.

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About the author

Allison Shoemaker

Contributor, The A.V. Club and The Takeout. Allison loves television, bourbon, and dramatically overanalyzing social interactions.