A Look at the Spectacular Fashion in Material Queen

I make no excuses for raving about Material Queen when it first premiered, waxing in recap after recap about its merits both superficial (its breathtakingly gorgeous) and substantive (tightly plotted story with exhilarating character development). So when it hit a huge plot ditch in episodes 10-11, I took a break from recapping it hoping it would regain its footing and I could write off the glitchy middle episodes. Sadly, the entire drama plot went to hell in a handbasket thereafter. It turned to forced misunderstandings and dumb plot developments to keep the OTP apart for another 10 episodes, plus to hammer home the point of “their love can withstand all materialistic wants in life”.

What was originally so subversive and sharp about the drama turned maudlin and lame, and I wept for a drama that could have been but ended up self-destructing on the pen of a bad writer. I have no regrets about loving the first half of MQ, which remains a stellar piece of work, and the performance of Lynn Xiong as Lin Chu Man is one of those iconic ones for me whereby I’ve completely become her fan henceforth. The costume designer of MQ released a behind-the-scenes blog about designing the outfits for Chu Man with the input of special costume director Patricia Field. Follow me on an inside look at the unmatched sartorial splendor of MQ.

This cocktail dress was a creation by Turkish design Arzu Kaprol. When trying it on, the costume designer felt something was missing, and it become complete once it was paired with a pink tulle underskirt. It gave off a playful freshness, like returning to the innocence of childhood. The dramatic necklace and bracelets added to the theatrical element of the entire outfit, rendering it perfect for a drama setting.

This dark-colored strapless gown has a skirt design ringed with feathers, which gave it texture and depth. The bodice has a criss-crossing ruched arrangement, and the waist was wrapped by a large satin bow, giving it an elegant but sophisticated aura.

Chu Man wore this outfit to have afternoon tea, which showcased her look as a high class European lady, with the hat a necessity for such ladies to complete their outfit. The hat was custom made, and was paired with a simple v-neck dress to accentuate her curves. A furry bracelet took away the emptiness of her arm and added a unexpected splash to the look.

This scene has Chu Man touring the luxury condo she will be residing in after receiving the affection of Yen Kai Ming. She looks sophisticated and ladylike. Her dark colored dress was paired with a light purple purse, plus the exaggerated earrings and a bracelet in the same color family of the dress accentuated the outfit. It was completed with a purposely light-colored playful fur stole to show how Chu Man was suited for her materialistic aspirations.

This is another Arzu Kaprol dress, and paired with the feathery over-sized earrings, really emphasized Chu Man’s strong feminine loveliness. This was one of my personal favorite looks in this drama, and the scene had Chu Man destroying Jia Hao for the sake of saving him (he doesn’t know it), so her beauty became her weapon to simultaneously hurt Jia Hao while protecting him.

This was a bright-colored custom made Christian Dior dress. Paired with a similarly bright-colored Dior bag, it is eye-catching without being too blinding. It suits Chu Man’s fair skin perfectly.

This outfit shows off the creativity and strength of mixing and matching. A khaki-colored jacket paired a ruffled and tiered mini normally wouldn’t come to mind, but together with the right accessories, it feels casual yet eye-catching. Chu Man wore this when she took a flight from Paris back to Taipei. The shiny finger-less gloves and the wide belt complete the look, and screams out a low key type of lavishness.

After a series of glamorous outfits, it’s time for Chu Man to don something casual to match her current residence at the Due South Market. It’s a more gender neutral look, and her plaid shirt is actually a menswear shirt. She’s plotting against her friends at the Due South Market, so her Sherlock Holmes-esque hat and muted colors show she’s rather plotty and trying to lay low. Plus she playfully tied her shirt in a knot to make it more feminine, and broke up the monotony with a suit jacket used without it’s suit bottom.

This is model Chu Man modeling a swimsuit in Paris. This entire outfit is from another Turkish designer that Patricia Field loves, and shows off Chu Man’s glamourpuss ways.

Nude color outfits are in for 2011, but it’s hard not to look washed out or grimy in it. She added to the texture of this dress with a thick corded satin belt connected with a gold toned buckle. Her cloak is both dramatic and adds practical warmth, and paired with her favorite bright pink Dior bag, makes the nude color pop when it otherwise wouldn’t.

This is a Valentino 2010 Fall/Winter couture outfit that Chu Man wore for a modeling assignment. Yes, she was teased in the drama for looking like a bird in a bird cage. This outfit is normally only displayed and never worn except for photo shoots, and the production managed to borrow it for a day to shoot the scene. What was fresh was the custom-made hair piece using Taiwanese fabric.

All the models in Paris. Chu Man’s fur capelet/stole was handmade, with each feather, tulle, and leather stitched together. Patricia Field brought the feather earrings with her from New York, and she had four of them, so each was given to a model. Added to the entire insane dramatic look were the furry white boots.

Chu Man vacationing on an island, wearing an outfit inspiring by the bright dyes of Indian fabrics. The yellow billowy-sleeved top with the bright green shorts give off a vibrancy perfect for the beach setting. The outfit was completed with over-sized sunglasses with an dazzling orange frame and a turquoise necklace to add more color.

For a charity auction, Chu Man used her creativity to don an old-fashion hot maid outfit, drawing the attention of the entire crowd for daring to showcase her beauty in such a way. People talked about her. but more importantly, everyone remembered her that night. So there you have it, a visually memorable stroll down the MQ costume design memory lane.

For those of you curious how the drama ended, of course Jia Hao and Chu Man beat all odds and ended up together. She proved that she loved him more than financial security, and he showed that he loved everything about her and trusted her completely. A nonsensical detour occurred where a rich old man tried to bargain with Chu Man, her companionship for financial security, which she declined in the end, EXCEPT it turned out all to be a “test” administered by that old man to prove to his dead wife that Chu Man and Jia Hao indeed loved each other more than anything else in this world, including money. Don’t ask about the whys, it doesn’t make anymore sense. With this post, I put MQ to bed, thanking it for the brilliant episodes and forgetting everything else thereafter.


A Look at the Spectacular Fashion in Material Queen — 16 Comments

  1. Thanks for the post… MQ is the drama that I was hoping to love… i love it at the beginning… until cm broke up with YKM.. then the story went down hill from there.. the chemistry between the leads were lacking… the acting from vanness .. >_< i think i would have to watch AC to get my vanness fix… he was pretty decent there… but without a doubt MQ is a piece of eye candy.. love the fashion… love the vibrate color.. love the scenery… love the ost… i enjoyed lynn's performance a lot and i think she has a lot of potential… other than all the pretty… i was disappointed.

  2. *sigh* I share your exact sentiments on this half gem, half turd. As delightful as it was to watch the first 10/12 eps, it’s equally as unbelievable witnessing its trainwrecking. it’s Jekyll and Hyde in drama form.

    But I still love Lynn’s performance till the very end, even when the PDing by awesome ladyPD is nowhere to be found, Lynn still acted her most earnest in the midst of everything around failing her, when even Peter fell flat.

    Vanness, gawdawful throughout. If u didn’t believe he’s a horrible actor, watch this. I was this close to swear never watching anything with him in it (I think he’s overrated in AC) and this is a whole hayfield of last straws. I’ve ranted he’ll be the weakest link before the drama started but he still surprised me very unpleasantly. He was an non-issue, sth I tolerate when things were brilliant in the first half, but he made things stinkier than it already was later on.

    • I hated the horrible writing in the second half more than anything else, and Vanness’ bad acting was just there but couldn’t possibly be worse than a story that took a turn for the macabre in terms of just how STUPID it was. *raaaaaaage*

  3. Never watched the drama but the Fashion was high class indeed..I think the production totally splurge the budget on the custom dept. I love all the outfits….thanks for the pics!

  4. I gave up on this, mostly because of a hectic RL, but…I guess if I say I’m a tad relieved I didn’t invest so much time on this as I previously planned, that would make me a bad viewer?

  5. Awe, Material Queen. Stopped watching at episode 11. Will have to finish it one day only because I enjoyed the first half so much. Beautiful clothes and I like the OST too.

  6. sigh~ my sentiments exactly. i was OBSESSED with this show up until about ep 14. All the amazingness from ep 1-11 completely disappeared… If only it had kept up its great plotline all the way through. I can’t help but wonder if they switched directors or writers partway through- is it possible for the same genius director to suddenly bring the drama downhill? Who knows. Anyways, at least we were able to appreciate the stunning fashion and shots.

  7. Ugh, I have yet to watch the last two episodes but yea…the second half went to hell. I don’t know what they did there…it’s my first TW-drama so I’m left wondering is it how it is with a huge chunk of these dramas? From what I read DTLY was sort of the same, the plot became all convoluted. I say we pitch this idea to some K-Drama Writing bigwig and make what this drama could have been into a reality. That or we can get our resident Koala to write it 😉

  8. Thank you so much for this post!

    I was pretty much watching MQ for Lynn Xiong, and Peter and some other characters after a while.. Oh well, I’m still glad I watched it!

  9. Does anyone know where I can get my hands on the Over sized Black & Gold earrings in Picture 6 from Episode 9? I am so in love with them!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.