An Ode to The Sopranos Fashion
In honour of the anniversary of the series' controversial finale.
Fifteen years ago, Tony Soprano (played by the late James Gandolfini) sat down in a New Jersey diner, put some change in the jukebox on the table, and selected Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin.’” Carmela (Edie Falco) was the first to slide into the booth, and they talked about some mundane things (Meadow would be late, she was at the doctor changing her birth control prescription) and some serious things (mobster Carlo Gervasi flipped). Outside, their aforementioned daughter (Jamie-Lynn Sigler) struggles to parallel park her car when Anthony Jr. (Robert Iler) arrives, lamenting about his new gig.
“It’s an entry level job. Buck up,” Tony says.
“Right. Focus on the good times,” Anthony replies. “Isn’t that what you said one time? Try and remember the times that were good?”
Tony appears appreciative of his son’s new outlook as they share a bowl of onion rings. We see Meadow run toward the diner when the camera cuts to our protagonist. The bell above the door chimes and, as we all know by now, the screen fades to black.
While the debate over whether Tony lived or died in that moment raged on for years (creator David Chase let it slip in an interview last year with The Hollywood Reporter that this was, indeed, a death scene), truthfully, I’ve never cared much —I just want to remember the good times.
The Sopranos is undeniably one of the greatest shows ever made. Since its premiere in 1999, the HBO drama’s depiction of the Italian-American mafia through the lens of North Jersey crime boss Tony Soprano has never found itself far from the public consciousness. But arguably, thanks to costume designer Juliet Polca, the fashion on The Sopranos was just as pioneering.
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Interviews with Polca are few and far between, but her suburbanization of late ’90s-early 2000s mobster attire was as much of a scene-stealer as the actors themselves. And decades after the show’s premiere, our nostalgia for the styles of that period has brought a new appreciation for her work.
I mean, between Carmela’s perfectly put together Catholic mafia wife outfits to Christopher Moltisanti’s (Michael Imperioli) tracksuits to Adriana La Cerva’s (Drea de Matteo) body-hugging animal prints, what’s not to love? Even simple pieces — like Tony’s wifebeater-boxer-robe combination to the patterned button-ups worn by the wiseguys — brought a level of authenticity matched only by the writing and cast. And let’s be honest, Tony was rocking the oversized leather jacket since before it was cool.
And so, in honour of the 15 year anniversary of The Sopranos iconic finale (which aired June 10, 2007), we present a roundup of fashion from the show.