'Elementary': Lucy Liu's Joan Watson is 'fashionably functional'

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Much as New York women love their heels, they also face a hard truth: They will walk thousands of steps before the day is done. Racing up and down subway stairs, sprinting 17 blocks rather than wait for a crosstown bus, and standing on lines endlessly are all agonizing in 5-inch heels.

New York women carry bags that hold a lot, including a change to heels for nighttime. They don't fancy the bright colors our sisters in tropical climes do. Real New York women look exactly like Dr. Joan Watson (Lucy Liu) on CBS' "Elementary," Thursdays.

"I describe it as very New York, fashionably functional," costume designer Rebecca Hofherr says of the look, "which is why I try to mimic all of the fabulous ladies in New York. I don't look at magazines; I look at actual people in the city to get ideas for Joan Watson."


"There is a certain way you have to dress as well as be stylish," Hofherr tells Zap2it, "and I think about that with Joan because she is all over the city all day long. I don't think that style is particularly what is in magazines or what's on the runway. When I think about being stylish, as an individual person, having something that is your own, you could put a black T-shirt on five different people and get a completely different outcome."

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Hofherr pays special attention to Watson's silhouette, which is feminine and a reminder that she is often the only woman in a room full of men. Watson's signature look includes ankle boots and a white linen jacket, which Hofherr bought at the DKNY store. Here, the tights are from American Apparel, the gray skirt is from Club Monaco, and the booties are from Barneys Co-op.

lucy-liu-jonny-lee-miller-elementary-tv-fashion.jpgThe blazer started as a simple navy one from J. Crew, the kind that automatically makes an outfit more pulled together and more serious.

"We added onto the blazer the red lapel details," Hofherr says. "Just because Joan has a bit of a unique style, and I feel like she would do something like that, so we put the embroidery detail on it." Her long-sleeved, striped T-shirt is Madewell, and her pants are Isabel Marant.

lucy-liu-elementary-tv-fashion-4.jpgThe drapey sweater is Three Dots from Bloomingdale's, the jeans are Rag & Bone, and the top is Helmut Lang, but the studied casualness of it all is pure Watson.

"It's most important that she feels comfortable in the outfit because she is the one who has to wear it for 12-14 hours a day and that it makes sense for her to go to all of the places she has to go. Even though it is a crime show, she is the only woman on the show. Without trying to make her look overtly sexy, I am still trying to make her attractive, which is very easy to do because she is a beautiful lady."
Photo/Video credit: CBS