Anya Taylor-Joy was so connected to Beth Harmon that after production on “The Queen’s Gambit” came to an end, she was given the chance to keep some of her character’s wardrobe.
“I was just overwhelmed by that kindness because I really wanted to keep a bit of Beth with me,” Taylor-Joy told Stephen Colbert during an interview earlier this year. “However, the show is so successful, those clothes are currently in a museum. So, I do not know when I will get my clothes back.”
Focused on the life of a child chess prodigy navigating her life as a young adult in the 1960s, “The Queen’s Gambit” set viewership records for Netflix while simultaneously reinvigorating chess for an entire generation.
“It’s overwhelming and it’s still surprising,” costume designer Gabriele Binder tells Gold Derby during the Meet the Experts: Costume Designers panel. “With [creator and director] Scott Frank, we just said it should be natural and effortless. We never expected this. People write to me some really wonderful things about what it means to them.”
The show, which debuted in October to great acclaim, has often been credited with making chess “sexy” for the first time in ages. Much of that has to do with Taylor-Joy’s costumes, a celebration of the era that manages to feel completely specific to Beth herself. Take Beth’s final outfit, an all-white ensemble that turns her into a living embodiment of a white queen.
“After she won it all, we had to make a finishing statement,” Binder explains of the costume, one of the most recognizable from the entire series. “The message is that the world is now her chessboard. She’s free, she’s won, and now she can play again for playing’s sake.”
Watch the full interview with Binder above.
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