Ready To Wear: Dirty Harry never looked this damn good

 

If Sarah Lund's Nordic knit sweater in The Killing was a signifier of a certain gentleness and, more particularly, a character who would never stoop so low as to use her sexuality in a clichéd, woman-hell-bent-on-surviving-in-a-man's-world kind of a way, the wardrobe of Laure Berthaud, the lead in Spiral, demonstrates no such politically-correct concerns.

The character in the clothes, played by Caroline Proust (and, yes, that is the mother of all surnames), is a woman more than happy to make the most of any physical assets. And she has many. And so, Lund's by-now folkloric jumper is in this case replaced by layered skinny vests of a type best worn without underwear and only by women who know their bodies don't need it. Lund (played by the estimable Sofie Grobal) wears blue jeans – straight, but not skinny; faded, but not distressed – that are studiously uninteresting; Berthaud likes black, boot-cut Levi's which, given the Gallic snakehips that go into them, look nothing short of amazing. If one woman has the ability to drag black, boot-cut Levi's kicking and screaming back into fashion then, surely, it is she. Finally, there's her square-cut leather jacket to consider, not to mention the masculine swagger...

Laure Berthaud gives Dirty Harry a run for his money but – quite obviously – she is more beautiful by far. And, debatably, more dirty to boot.

"You smell of sex," said Pierre Clement, her tormented sidekick (think a Parisian Bad Lieutenant and you won't go too far wrong).

Berthaud shrugs it off in a quintessentially Gallic way; a way that suggests: "But of course!"

More generally Spiral only serves to emphasise the difference between the French attitude to dress and the rest of the planet's. A corrupt civil servant's wife, for example, is hauled over the coals because her wardrobe is improbably expensive.

"Your suit, it's Chanel, no?" says her interrogator, suggesting that it won't be long before her elevated dress sense will be used as evidence against her in court. "And your shoes? They're not cheap, either."

They're Prada. Even the poor woman's watch is called into question by this fiftysomething fashion guru (male). "Take off your watch," he concludes. "Chaumet... I see."

PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebookA wonderful selection of salads, starters and mains featuring venison, grouse and other game
Life and Style
Child's play: letting young people roam outdoors directly contradicts the current climate
lifeHow much independence should children have?
Arts and Entertainment
Tycoons' text: Warren Buffett and Bill Gates both cite John Brookes' 'Business Adventures' as their favourite book
booksFind out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
Arts and Entertainment
<p><strong>2008</strong></p>
<p>Troubled actor Robert Downey Jr cements his comeback from drug problems by bagging the lead role in Iron Man. Two further films follow</p>
filmRobert Downey Jr named Hollywood's highest paid actor for second year running
Life and Style
Dale Bolinger arranged to meet the girl via a fetish website
life
Property
Sign here, please: Magna Carta Island
propertyYours for a cool £4m
Life and Style
tech
News
The Commonwealth flag flies outside Westminster Abbey in central London
news
Arts and Entertainment
Struggling actors who scrape a living working in repertory theatres should get paid a 'living wage', Sir Ian McKellen has claimed
theatre
Extras
indybest
News
Skye McCole Bartusiak's mother said she didn't use drink or drugs
peopleActress was known for role in Mel Gibson film The Patriot
Arts and Entertainment
tvWebsite will allow you to watch all 522 shows on-demand
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Fashion

    Sales and Maketing Director (Designate) , Watford, Hertfordshire

    £60- £70K OTE £120k Plus Car: Charter Selection: Major multi-million pound lan...

    Graduate Web Developer

    £18000 - £28000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Excellent opportun...

    Graduate Database Developer (SQL)

    £18000 - £28000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Excellent opportun...

    Community / Stakeholder Manager - Solar PV

    £50000 - £60000 Per Annum: The Green Recruitment Company: The Green Recruitmen...

    Day In a Page

    Some are reformed drug addicts. Some are single mums. All are on benefits. But now these so-called 'scroungers’ are fighting back

    The 'scroungers’ fight back

    The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
    Amazing video shows Nasa 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action

    Fireballs in space

    Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
    A Bible for billionaires

    A Bible for billionaires

    Find out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
    Paranoid parenting is on the rise - and our children are suffering because of it

    Paranoid parenting is on the rise

    And our children are suffering because of it
    For sale: Island where the Magna Carta was sealed

    Magna Carta Island goes on sale

    Yours for a cool £4m
    Phone hacking scandal special report: The slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

    The hacker's tale: the slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

    Glenn Mulcaire was jailed for six months for intercepting phone messages. James Hanning tells his story in a new book. This is an extract
    We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

    We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

    Child abusers are not all the same, yet the idea of treating them differently in relation to the severity of their crimes has somehow become controversial
    The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

    The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

    For instance, did Isis kill the Israeli teenagers to trigger a war, asks Patrick Cockburn
    Alistair Carmichael: 'The UK as a whole is greater than the sum of its parts'

    Alistair Carmichael: 'The UK as a whole is greater than the sum of its parts'

    Meet the man who doesn't want to go down in history as the country's last Scottish Secretary
    Legoland Windsor's master model-makers reveal the tricks of their trade (including how to stop the kids wrecking your Eiffel Tower)

    Meet the people who play with Lego for a living

    They are the master builders: Lego's crack team of model-makers, who have just glued down the last of 650,000 bricks as they recreate Paris in Windsor. Susie Mesure goes behind the scenes
    The 20 best days out for the summer holidays: From Spitfires to summer ferry sailings

    20 best days out for the summer holidays

    From summer ferry sailings in Tyne and Wear and adventure days at Bear Grylls Survival Academy to Spitfires at the Imperial War Museum Duxford and bog-snorkelling at the World Alternative Games...
    Open-air theatres: If all the world is a stage, then everyone gets in on the act

    All the wood’s a stage

    Open-air productions are the cue for better box-office receipts, new audiences, more interesting artistic challenges – and a picnic
    Rand Paul is a Republican with an eye on the world

    Rupert Cornwell: A Republican with an eye on the world

    Rand Paul is laying out his presidential stall by taking on his party's disastrous record on foreign policy
    Self-preservation society: Pickles are moving from the side of your plate to become the star dish

    Self-preservation society

    Pickles are moving from the side of your plate to become the star dish
    Generation gap opens a career sinkhole

    Britons live ever longer, but still society persists in glorifying youth

    We are living longer but considered 'past it' younger, the reshuffle suggests. There may be trouble ahead, says DJ Taylor