Keep your eye on the pocket square.

By Darren Franich
Updated August 29, 2015 at 12:00 PM EDT
Advertisement
Image
Credit: NBC
type
  • TV Show
network
  • NBC
genre

Hannibal ends on Saturday night. It has been wild, crazy, strange, scary, romantic, Sopranos-esque, just plain great. We will miss it for many reasons. Maybe not the most important reason, or maybe the absolute most important reason: the world will no longer thrill to the far-flung excursions of Hannibal Lecter, Fashion Plate. As we await the show’s final act, we honor Hannibal’s fashion legacy — in chronological order from the pilot onwards. (A shout-out to Hannibal costume designer Christopher Hargadon, Hannibal’s three-piece man since day one.)

Image

Eggshell tie on eggshell shirt, with matching eggshell pocket square. It’s a look that says: “I am a trustworthy medical professional.”

Image

Your dad’s second-favorite tie paired with a brown blazer and a red pocket square. Nothing to be afraid of, Will Graham.

Image

Sign of problems ahead: When alerting a local serial killer to the authorities’ impending arrival, Hannibal goes for a tie-optional sweater-blazer combo. (On this show, “Tie-Optional” means “Up To No Good.”)

Image

Episode 2, and we’re past that initial, tentative, “It’s the pilot so let’s play it cool on the windowpane checked three-pieces” phase. Whether he’s rocking a lighter suit with a blood-red pocket square…

Image

…or a darker suit with a bright-white pocket square, the Hannibal style has officially arrived.

Image

Another first in episode 2: Hannibal and his sitcom sidekick Hannibal’s Vest. Karl Lagerfeld wishes he read a tablet like this.

Image

“I’m here for you,” says Hannibal’s face. “I am Shiva the God of Death” says that tie matched with that jacket.

Image

A study in contrasts: Jack Crawford, always in black and gray, often shot with straight-line geometric ties. His tie represents Law & Order. Whereas Hannibal’s tie represents Law & Order: SVU FanFic illustrated by Hieronymus Bosch.

Image

Another study in contrast. Look at Hannibal’s overcoat (powerful, passionate, impeccable buttons) and Will’s everything. Concrete gray and puke magenta? Everything that follows between them will be a fashion intervention.

Image

A closer look at that tie grants us an opportunity to Rorschach some deeper meaning therein. What do you see when you look at that necktie? Personally, I see a drop of meteorite sperm cried from the 15th eyeball of Cthulhu.

Image

Sorry, Hannibal, is that a blue-black plaid blazer on top of a blue zip-neck sweater on top of a tie?

Image

Sorry, wait, Hannibal, is that yellow-black plaid blazer on top a red zip-neck sweater on top of a different tie?

Image

Having reinvented the zip-neck sweater into a crime-scene three-piece, Hannibal settles down with a tie that looks like a sonnet about a bloody water lily.

Image

Up to no good in a tie-optional combo of that yellow-black blazer and a zipper-free sweater.

Image

Letting his hair down and his vest breathe with Alana.

Image

Like No. 1, but with more patterns this time, because the madness rises.

Image

Thought bubble over this outfit. “Me? Cook humans? I’m just the humble manager of a successful brokerage concern!”

Image

A gentlemen knows when to wear a suit, and when a set of demure black slacks will do just fine. Note how Hannibal is making the same expression as the pocket square.

Image

Hannibal’s most and least subtle outfit: The devil-red shirt/square combo.

Image

Before dinner time, a gentlemen only removes his jacket if he is planning to put on an apron.

Image

Hannibal’s bathrobe is obviously an homage to Number Six in The Prisoner. Or maybe it’s a kimono? Hannibal’s kimono is obviously an homage to Number Six in The Prisoner.

Image

Dinner with friends, back to plaid.

Image

Red patterned tie on a red shirt, symbolizing the nefarious allure of the forbidden.

Image

Red patterned tie on white shirt. Symbolizing the battle between good and evil.

Image

Stare into that tie long enough, and it becomes the “Night on Bald Mountain” scene from Fantasia.

Image

The tale of the lonely yellow pocket square, cast adrift upon the Great Sea of plaid teal.

Image

Return of the Yellow Pocket Square.

Image

Never has a paisley tie looked more like a slumbering mystical serpent of lore.

Image

In episode 6, we meet Frederick Chilton, eternal pretender to the throne. Chilton doltishly pairs an ill-patterned tie with a licorice-candy-cane shirt and a tan blazer. Obviously, this means war. And when Hannibal goes to war…

Image

…he reveals his full power with a casual unbuttoning. GAZE UPON YOUR PAISLEY DOOM, FREDERICK CHILTON.

Image

In the present, Hannibal and his paisley pet listen patiently to Jack Crawford describe his long-lost student, Miriam Lass.

Image

In the past, Hannibal and the tie he carved out of your mother’s garden prepare to give Miriam Lass the long-lost treatment.

Image

Midway through the first season, Hannibal decides to stop fooling around. Thus, tux.

Image

Thus, purple.

Image

Thus, scarf.

Image

Thus, vest on salmon.

Image

Thus, vest plus rolled-up sleeves.

Image

Thus, a rare moment of de-vested glory. Because sometimes it is merely enough to let your tie breathe. In Hannibal’s world, skinny ties were never invented. Nor digital watches. Nor whatever we wear now instead of pocket squares.

Image

Addendum to the rule about jackets before dinner: It is barely acceptable to remove it if you are rescuing someone from an organ-fetishist EMT serial killer.

Image

Clean white shirt = Normcore Lector.

Image

Black tie over an apron = Food Network Lector.

Image

When hosting a dinner party filled with annoying people eating other annoying people, sometimes a subtle tie is the best tie.

Fun fact: The last ten outfits? All from the same episode.

Keep up with all the latest from last night’s television by subscribing to our newsletter. Head here for more details.

NEXT: More pretenders arrive[pagebreak]

Some people want to be Hannibal. Not Franklyn.

Image

Franklyn just wants to be Hannibal’s pal, the Jimmy Olsen to Hannibal’s Clark Kent. He tries! See Franklyn with a madcap spackle-tie sweater combo…

Image

Or Franklyn, wearing what amounts to the Safeway Select Cola version of Hannibal’s closet.

Image

Unimpressed. Plaid.

Image

But Franklyn’s pal Tobias, who has a keen sense of the blending of charcoal gray with charcoal tie?

Image

Impressed. Like, overcoat impressed.

Image

So impressed that Tobias earns a dinner invite.

Image

Another day, another pocket square. Boring, boring, boring…

Image

…until Tobias shows up, covered in blood and gore and looking like a maniac but wait a second DOES THAT VEST HAVE LAPELS?

Image

A vest with lapels. The only appropriate punishment: Death by skull-bludgeon. Now, many people have noted the symbolism of Hannibal’s chosen instrument of bludgeoning: The stag sculpture. But take a closer look. Do you see what Hannibal wraps around that stag sculpture?

Image

Oh yeah.

Image

Pocket square: Out.

Image

Orange: In!

Image

Goodbye, orange! Hello, muted palette!

Image

Goodbye, muted palette! Hello, Mother’s Garden Necktie, making its first non-flashback appearance in glorious rose-red color!

Image

Evidence that Hannibal is a good influence on those around him: Alana begins to wear dresses made out of the bad dreams of Hannibal’s ties.

Image

Counter-evidence: Will Graham, human incarnation of cargo pants.

Image

With the suspicion off Hannibal, he de-mutes himself. Dig the goldenrod gradations manifesting across this necktie-shirt-square combo. “Goldenrod gradations” are both words, right?

Image

Why so sad, Auburnscale Hannibal?

Image

Could it be because your best pal is suddenly wearing a black vest over a henley?

F’real, though, this is every conversation between Will and Hannibal toward the end of season 1:

Image

Anyhow:

Image

Another day, another pretender to Hannibal’s fashion throne. Meet Dr. Sutcliffe, potentially serious threat in the Medical-Professional-Will-Loves-most sweepstakes

Aesthetic: Light antiseptic tones, the angel versus Hannibal’s dark-hued demon.

Weapon of choice: A tie clip.

Image

Sensing a threat, Hannibal invites Dr. Sutcliffe over for dinner. Sutcliffe stumbles out the gate with a black suit. Embarrassing.

Image

All alone in the suit your uncle wore in the ‘70s, Hannibal ponders his options…

Image

…and decides to end Dr. Sutcliffe, leading to the first sighting of the Plastic Suit of Death, which is really just an example of Hannibal’s fashion-forward aesthetic. Technically, this is a four-piece suit. (note that he is still wearing his watch and the Mother’s Garden necktie.)

Image

A new tie, so colorful.

Image

But that blue pocket square? Starting to feel a little last week. And so now is the time for the dawn of a new age…

Image

WITNESS THE RISE OF THE RED POCKET SQUARE WITH YELLOW TRIM.

Image

WITNESS.

Image

The blue period.

Image

Back to plaid.

Image

OH MY GOD IS SHE WEARING THE MOTHER’S GARDEN TIE?

Image

Will’s gone mad. Time to go full Merlot.

Image

The scene where Will finally, finally figures out that Hannibal Lecter is maybe not the most trustworthy psychiatrist in Baltimore. Notice anything missing? Like, say…a tie? “Not wearing a tie” is Hannibal’s Heisenberg Hat.

Image

A moment of triumphal plaid demands the Mother’s Garden tie.

Image

Season one ends with a blue shirt, a brown plaid vest, and an overcoat.

NEXT: The neckwear gets more elaborate.[pagebreak]

Image

Season two begins with a flashforward to apocalyptic calamity: Hamlet’s shirt, creased.

Image

Eat your heart out, Chuck Bass.

Image

Blue and yellow. Difficult to pull off. Not impossible, obvs.

Image

A new tie, featuring spotted outlines of playful whales.

Image

Whoever he’s eating, they couldn’t wear paisley.

Image

Bold fashion choice of the season: Hannibal begins accentuating his pocket square with a Visitor’s Badge.

Image

(Fun fact: Everyone in these pictures who isn’t Hannibal Lecter will probably get attacked by Hannibal Lecter, eventually.)

Image

This is the point in Hannibal when the show begins to gleefully push the notion that Will and Graham are mirror images of each other/are becoming each other. See: A montage of two men preparing their neckties.

Image

And now, a window into the mind of Will Graham:

Image

Anyhow:

Image

It’s a look that says: I just purchased the golf course from Caddyshack and now I’m only going to use it for Eyes Wide Shut orgies.

Image

The best-dressed man at every crime scene.

Image

The single most offensively beautiful tie anyone has ever worn.

Image

I know, pretty boring look for a testimony, right? Well…

Image

HOW ABOUT SOME HORNS?

Image

Also note the new polka-dot pocket square.

Image

Jack Crawford’s badge < polka-dot pocket square.

Image

Further adventures in fashion: pairing the Visitor’s badge with blue latex glove.

Image

Return of the pretender: Chilton’s back, now with a snazzy new cane.

Image

Requiring heavy artillery, Hannibal brings the red pocket square with yellow trim out of his carbonite container.

Image

Surprised by an early caller, Hannibal casually dons a morning sweater.

Image

You’ve seen the tie. You’ve seen the jacket. Now see them with carefully placed symbolic horns!

Image

Wearing a suit made out of Jack Nicklaus’ golf pants, Hannibal catches up on Mr. Robot.

Image

If you think about it, a noose is kind of like a necktie. (PS: Sweet trunks, bro.)

Image

Having barely survived his ordeal with the Hangman, Hannibal briefly allows himself to wear something a typical human male might wear in the 21st century.

Image

TWIST! ASCOT!

Image

Chilton cannot handle the Ascot.

Meanwhile, behind Chilton’s left shoulder: Witness the two most overdressed background extras this side of a Baz Lurhmann champagne commercial. I’d watch an entire spinoff about those guys. Let’s call them “Emerald Jacket and Checkerboard Jones.”

Image

Hannibal takes off his tie for a late-night piano session with Alana. His intentions must be pure, right?

Image

McDreamy. McSteamy. McHungry.

Image

Remember that morning sweater? Thrill to the paired pajama bottoms. (PS: Horns!)

Image

When eating a dinner guest — while he’s still alive, sitting at your table, eating himself – we recommend gray plaid.

Image

Blue over plaid is ideal for lying straight to your brainwashed former captive’s face…

Image

…but four out of five psychopathic doctors recommend pairing the blue-over-plaid combo with a plastic murdersuit.

Image

This is what happens when Hannibal Lecter gives you a makeover. Lesson learned: Dr. Lecter doesn’t like tie clips.

Image

Hannibal Lecter: The single greatest advertisement for the zipper-sweater/tie combo

Image

Free from imprisonment, Will finally starts dressing like a grown-up…

Image

…and Hannibal couldn’t be prouder, nor plaider.

Image

It’s all a scam, of course. Will’s long con to ensnare Hannibal is expressed, via clothing, with his inability to truly divest himself of his gray-brown prairie grandmother look.

Image

Hannibal is unamused. His black polka-dotted pocket square belies his melancholy.

Image

In a dream sequence, Will gives Hannibal another noose-tie. Hannibal makes it work.

Image

A new tie, modeled after the Turkish rug they buried Hoffa in.

Image

The show’s deepest layers expressed via fashion. See Will Graham, torn between two extremes. Will he choose the earthy embrace of Jack Crawford’s goodness, his brown overcoat, his simple-geometric-forms tie? Or will he choose Hannibal, cast here in darker shades with a red scarf-and-tie combo?

Possible cause for concern: That subtle burst of red from Will’s shirt, gravitationally pulling him toward Hannibal’s side of the frame.

Keep up with all the latest from last night’s television by subscribing to our newsletter. Head here for more details.

NEXT: Nemesis arrives.[pagebreak]

Meanwhile, the show introduces Hannibal’s most profound fashion nemesis:

Image

Mason Verger, shown here dressed as a society matron on the way to a Sum-41 concert.

Image

Hannibal understands the seriousness of Mason’s threat. He goes to the Verger estate, wearing dapper leather gloves. But Mason anticipates the fashion attack, wearing a pair of his own.

Image

A new painting: Ponderance in Maroon. I think that tie has a watermelon on it.

Image

Pairing a tan vest with a plaid jacket. A clear sign of frayed nerves.

Image

With Hannibal on the ropes, Mason launches a more devastating attack, arriving at his first therapy session wearing Tom Wolfe.

Image

Reeling, Hannibal goes orange-on-orange.

Image

Surprised late at night, Hannibal has nothing to defend himself with, besides his vest and his loose strand of Petrelli hair.

Image

Mason loans him a jacket. Hannibal makes it work.

Image

Mason loans him a pig’s head. Hannibal makes it work.

Image

The season 2 endgame approaches. Another new tie.

Image

A nice clean shirt to prepare dinner. Spoiler alert: Won’t stay clean.

Image

Doin’ laundry.

Image

Season 3 beckons. New life, new tie.

NEXT: La Dolce Vita[pagebreak]

Image

Going Full Brando with a leather jacket. Totally not interested in that dude’s scarf game, either.

Image

Going Full Bond with a red bowtie and a white pocket square.

Image

For a man of the world living under an assumed identity, it’s best to adopt radical new fashion rules. No vest. No tie. No plaid. Black pocket square on light brown suit. It’s a look that says: “I am third in line for the throne of a country you haven’t heard of.”

Image

A bold pairing of a classical bowtie with a postmodern projected-hallucination facemask. Kanye has already co-opted this look somehow.

Image

Things are going great for Hannibal in Italy. His pocket square occasionally resembles the folded leaves of a succulent plant.

Image

A horrifying flashback to Hannibal’s turtleneck days.

Image

Modeling sharp obsidian, Hannibal ponders misspent turtleneck years.

Image

And this is the part of the show when Dream-Hannibal starts appearing, in his office chair, in the middle of the Lithuanian wilderness. With a new tie.

Image

Meanwhile, Actual-Hannibal continues his exploration of the outer reaches of bowtie fashion with this coat taken from Pete Campbell’s Leisure collection.

Image

Yet even in this bowtied Florentine utopia, Hannibal must suffer the social nuisance of pests who think they can out-Hannibal Hannibal. Italy’s Chilton is Doctor Sogliato, who dares to challenge Hannibal’s knowledge of Dante.

Image

Nobody ever talks to Hannibal like that. And definitely not about Dante.

Image

Having flushed out the pest, Hannibal settles back into casual bowtie bliss.

Image

But this pensive sweater is a sign. He’s dreaming of Will, and workshirts, and gray-brown sweaters.

Image

And Will is dreaming of Hannibal, an what could have been. (You can tell it’s a dream, because Actual Hannibal would never pair a black pocket square with that jacket.)

Image

Side note for those keeping track of how Hannibal gradually turns every character into every other character: This is the point when Alana starts walking with a snazzy cane, a look which Anna Wintour refers to as “The Season 2 Chilton.”

Image

That pocket square, though. Damn. It’s like peacock feathers for the heart.

Image

That shirt is arguably the only truly indefensible fashion decision Hannibal has ever made, although it becomes acceptable when you remember he’s serenading Bedelia with tunes from The Jimmy Buffett Soundtrack: Songs in the Key of B(each).

Image

Peak Blazer.

Image

Literally the only time in three seasons that Hannibal’s shirt is ever untucked.

Image

In a moment of reminiscence, Hannibal gives in to the turtleneck.

Image

Reunited and it feels so good. Clearly, Will has not learned his lesson about what happens whenever Hannibal isn’t wearing a tie.

Image

What happens, part 1: Hallucinations of Dream Hannibal rocking the magenta look with a bold whitescale jacket.

Image

What happens, part 2: Hanging upside-down in the pig truck. (I would argue that Will’s shockingly specific blood-splatter constitutes a tie.)

Image

At last, the showdown with the Great Pretender. Mason Verger has armed himself well. It’s not just the tie, or the checked jacket. Look closely. At last, Hannibal has met a nemesis daring enough to attempt the pocket square.

Image

Hannibal finds Mason’s assault positively delightful. Maybe it’s because Mason took the time to craft Hannibal a perfectly fitted brown three-piece with a turquoise handkerchief/tie combo. Or maybe it’s because…

Image

…Will FINALLY looks presentable! Ladies and gentlemen: Witness Three-Piece Graham.

Image

Another day, another tie made of ropes.

Image

Caught by law enforcement? A low point, to be sure. But only because Hannibal looked all around Wolf Trap and couldn’t find a single solitary checked plaid vest.

Image

Oh, we can dream of red pocket squares and three-piece suits and ties that look like the wormhole sequence from 2001

Image

…but the new normal is boxer shots and handcuff bracelets…

Image

…and white frumpcore jumpsuits…

Image

…and slightly different dream three-pieces…

Image

…and the ghosts of pocket squares past.

Image

But the good news is: Hannibal still gets to wear Will Graham.

Image

And the great news is: At the asylum, there’s always the opportunity to accessorize.

Image

Good night, paisley. Good night, plaid. Good night, pocket square. Good night, Dr. Lecter. Good night, Hannibal.

WANT MORE EW? Subscribe now to keep up with the latest in movies, television and music.

Episode Recaps

Hannibal

type
  • TV Show
seasons
  • 3
rating
  • TV-14
genre
status
  • In Season
network
  • NBC

Comments