Creating the ‘Mob Wife Aesthetic’: ‘The Sopranos’ Costumer Reveals Where Those OG Looks Came From (Exclusive)

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Creating the 'Mob Wife Aesthetic': 'The Sopranos' Costumer Reveals Where Those OG Looks Came From (Exclusive)

“It’s intoxicating when you dress with power,” says Juliet Polkasa.

Perhaps it’s the appeal of the “mob wife aesthetic,” a phrase that has increasingly sunk its French-tipped claws into the Internet. Type the term into TikTok’s search bar and you’ll get an endless scroll of videos instructing what the look is, how to achieve it, and where it comes from. Fur jackets, black robes, stacked necklaces, animal prints, long manicured nails, and heavy updos are the most advised essentials. “If you look like you’re going to a funeral,” a popular TikTok quote says, “you know you’re doing it right.” A very glamorous funeral, might we add.

For visual examples, one woman is constantly mentioned: Carmela Soprano. Twenty-five years ago, the wife of mob boss Tony Soprano, from what is now considered one of the best television series of all time, was the quintessential mob wife of modern times and now, more than two decades later, she’s trending again. Is – – this time on social media.

But before the existence of social media ecosystems to broadcast trends and iPhone apps that could track essential items to follow suit in just one click, costume designer Juliet Polassa had to create a new show for the Mob Wife characters. Was assigned the task of preparing. the Sopranos, And she went to a mall in New Jersey.

,[Carmela Soprano] ‘There was a mobster wife, but she was really a rich, suburban housewife,’ Polsa told ET. ‘This was in the mall years and that’s where you shopped, and so, I spent a lot of time in New Jersey malls looking at these rich women.’

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Cash, a now-defunct chain store, caught his eye. “The cash was a goldmine,” Polkasa says. While the majority of Carmela’s early wardrobe came from Cash, Polsa turned to Arden B. for the youthful, sensual wardrobe of Adriana La Cerva, the ill-fated fiancée of Tony Soprano’s nephew and protégé, Christopher Moltisanti, another now-discontinued The mall is done.

Anthony Neste/Getty Images

After joining the show after the pilot, Polkaša immediately wanted to add some extra charms to Carmella’s head and hands. “I felt like her hair and nails were somewhat average and needed something special,” Polkasa says. “Those French tip nails, to me, were important…women were doing amazing things at that time.”

As for her trademark accessories – striking layered necklaces – they were born out of the show’s storyline. “The conceit was that these things were gifts from Tony,” Polsa says, noting the antihero’s frequent infidelities. “She will take advantage of his guilt and therefore, he will feel a lot of guilt.”

Her signature stack included a mesh necklace from Christian Tse and a diamond cross necklace, which is almost essential for Italian-Americans.

Anthony Neste/Getty Images

Perhaps her most referenced accessory on TikTok these days is one she doesn’t actually wear often: a fur coat gifted to her from Toni. “We actually rented it,” Polkasa recalls. “We didn’t buy it.”

Indeed, the dress budget didn’t always match the mob wives’ penchant for designer labels, so Polsa says she turned to outlet stores for Versace and Gucci and then copied the late-’90s aesthetic. Got creative to do. “It was all I could find on TV Look That way,” she explains, “but it doesn’t have to be that way. Happen He.”

“We didn’t use the originals as much, but we still had a feel for it,” says Polska.

Now that these looks are gaining attention from a new audience, what are the real must-haves according to Polsas? Black clothing is really a staple, as are many pieces of jewellery. Pollock’s favorite is a tennis bracelet paired with an expensive watch, a combo that has been seen on Carmella. Nails should be neat and hair should not be messy. One accessory Polkaska hasn’t seen mentioned in social media discussions is a chain belt, one of Carmella’s standard accessories. “He had a whole wardrobe of different chain belts,” she says, “many of which came from caches.”


However, aesthetics appear to be a key element at the heart of the revival appeal. As Polkasa explains, it depends on a strong, “don’t mess with me” attitude.

“I think it’s very powerful,” she says. “The world is kind of in chaos right now. There are a lot of bad things going on in the world and we feel like we have no control over everything, but when you dress with power, it’s intoxicating.” It happens.”

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