Netflix Series The Get Down, Stranger Things, and Narcos Trigger Fashion Nostalgia

 Credits: Photo - Anonymous, Styling - Sarah G. Schmidt, Location - Sarah G. Schmidt's home

Credits: Photo - Anonymous, Styling - Sarah G. Schmidt, Location - Sarah G. Schmidt's home

I’m not ashamed to admit that I am a binger. A full on Netflix binger that is. There’s something quite delicious – or perhaps just indulgent – about seeing every episode for a series at your fingertips. It's like having the keys to the kingdom. It’s just you, the couch, and a whole schwack of time hitting “play next episode” until you’ve wrapped the season. Ahhhhh.

This summer I crushed A LOT of Netflix but three series that stood out to me. The Get Down, Stranger Things, and Narcos: Season 2. Part of the reason I was totally immersed in these shows is because they are set in the past. As you watch the shows you can’t help but become a bit nostalgic. Either you’re reminded of times past or you get a slice of what it must have been like. I noticed the different cars, the styles of homes, the hair, and, of course the clothes. The character looks are no accident; we have Costume Designers to thank for that.

The Get Down

In The Get Down the viewer is transported to South Bronx in New York City in the late 70s. 1977 to be exact. The show is centred on a group of teenagers that use music to find their voice amidst the crumbling times. This was the time when Disco was lighting up the clubs as hip-hop and rap were bubbling up from the underground. Music aside – which is fantastic – the costume pull a tonne of the weight in telling the story. Envision wide lapel and flared pant suits, revealing wrap dresses, and fresh not-a-spot-of-dirt-on-them sneakers and silk varsity jackets.

The show’s costume design is led by Jeriana San Juan. Catherine Martin, a frequent collaborator with the show’s co-creator Baz Lurhmann, is credited as well. A shout out to Jeriana for making me wish I was young in the late 70s. All that glitter, midi length dresses, and proper suits? I’m so down for the get down.

Stranger Things

Just like the Internet I was in love with this show. It was so weird and dark that my mind couldn’t help but wander to spooky thoughts. I, like the kids and mom, simply believed it to be true so that I could let myself sink in. The show is set in a fictional Indiana town in 1983 about a young boy going missing and his friends and family’s quest to get him back. As the show moves episode to episode the viewer learns that disappearances and appearances are not all that strange in this town. In fact, they are connected.

Malgosia Turzanska and Kimberly Adams-Galligan are the shows costume designers. They are the reason we feel the tingles when we see acid wash jeans, striped polyester shirts, and zip up windbreakers. Likely the most identifiable look is a young girls hand me down pink Sunday dress with peter pan collar that gets filthier as the adventure unfolds. It’s familiar. Too familiar as it takes us back to our parents basements.


Back for season two Narcos elaborates on the Columbian drug trafficking mega business true story with Pablo Escobar as the prime focus. With season two, the viewer watches the last year and a half of Escobar’s life until his eventual capture and death in late 1993. Each of the character’s are given a unique look to suit the character thanks to Bina Diagler and María Estela Fernández.

Whether is the brazen, bright power skirt suits reminiscent of Chanel or Versace worn by the TV journalist or the more subdued, almost country club look of Escobar’s wife we are gathering intel into who the people might have really been. We learn about their values and motivations. The undercover cops were mostly in jeans and t shirts and would pop on a leather jacket on the way out to chase a hot tip. Even in these seemingly uninteresting looks subtly was used. One cop wore mostly black – black T shirt, dark jeans, black leather jacket - while the other was often in blue or red polos, light denim jeans, and a tan leather jacket.

The stand out for me is the detail that was taken to re-create Escobar. A man-boy in style he was often found in sport polo shirts and jeans or cotton jumpers with nautical emblems across his broad chest. I laughed out loud as he is a poster boy for the hipster dripping norm-core style movement. Back to the program, he did not appear to be flashy like many of his ally’s and enemies who wore their riches. He was ultra causal in dress but a monster in action. Obviously.

Take your pick. Are you feeling the 70s, 80s or 90s? Watching these shows may let you enjoy each of those time periods a little bit more.