From our partners at Gothamist: While nailing 19th century conventions and language are critical to replicating life in 1860s New York City, the new BBC America crime drama Copper has another edge: Clothes painstakingly hand-tailored and sewn from only fabrics available at the time. Costume designer Delphine White led the design and production of “600 dresses, frock coats and union suits” for the show. But it’s not all meticulous reproduction and corsets—find out what Mick Jagger and Robert Mapplethorpe have to do with the show’s costumes.
How the New York City’s high society dressed in 1864: Robert Morehouse (Kyle Schmid) and Elizabeth Haverford (Anastasia Griffith) in Copper.
1864 women’s fashions seen in Godey’s Lady’s Book; Women’s styles of the time took its lead from France, and the most fashionable ones were restricting (tiny waists, layers of petticoats, hoop dresses) and expensive.
While costume designer Delphine White looked at the past for ideas on how to dress Detective Kevin Corcoran (Tom Weston-Jones), she also injected some rakish-ness by way of 1970s cultural icons Robert Mapplethrope (pictured inset left, with Patti Smith) and Mick Jagger.
While women of lower classes didn’t have elaborate wardrobes, they still prided themselves on following the styles. Sara Freeman (Tessa Thompson) wears less voluminous dress than an upper-class lady would and she does wear a pair of mitts on her hands— they were an important accessory for women throughout the 19th century—as well as a shawl.