The Queen’s Gambit costume designer reveals the hidden meanings behind Anya Taylor-Joy’s winning on-screen style


Feeling ennui after Emily in Paris? Director Scott Frank’s elegantly plotted Netflix series, The Queen’s Gambit, is the whip-smart screen-style fix we needed this autumn (and I promise there isn’t a patent ankle boot in sight).

The glossy small-screen epic, which stars 24-year-old Anya Taylor-Joy as American chess prodigy Beth Harmon (a character original to Walter Tevis’s suspenseful 1983 novel of the same name) deep dives into identity, obsession, addiction and feminism against the backdrop of the 1960s counterculture revolution. Taylor-Joy’s formidable performance—this is a series you will want to consume in one sitting if you haven’t already—is matched by a custom-made wardrobe, masterminded by Berlin-based costume designer Gabriele Binder, which holds myriad hidden messages.

“My role is always to connect back to the story through the clothes and the initial brief is, of course, the script,” Binder tells Vogue over the phone from her home in the German capital. “I immediately fell in love with it as it was so full of inspiration.”

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