Hannibal ends on Saturday night. It has been wild, crazy, strange, scary, romantic, Sopranos-esque, just plain great. We will miss it for many reasons. Maybe not the most important reason, or maybe the absolute most important reason: the world will no longer thrill to the far-flung excursions of Hannibal Lecter, Fashion Plate. As we await the show’s final act, we honor Hannibal’s fashion legacy — in chronological order from the pilot onwards. (A shout-out to Hannibal costume designer Christopher Hargadon, Hannibal’s three-piece man since day one.)
Eggshell tie on eggshell shirt, with matching eggshell pocket square. It’s a look that says: “I am a trustworthy medical professional.”
Your dad’s second-favorite tie paired with a brown blazer and a red pocket square. Nothing to be afraid of, Will Graham.
Sign of problems ahead: When alerting a local serial killer to the authorities’ impending arrival, Hannibal goes for a tie-optional sweater-blazer combo. (On this show, “Tie-Optional” means “Up To No Good.”)
Episode 2, and we’re past that initial, tentative, “It’s the pilot so let’s play it cool on the windowpane checked three-pieces” phase. Whether he’s rocking a lighter suit with a blood-red pocket square…
…or a darker suit with a bright-white pocket square, the Hannibal style has officially arrived.
Another first in episode 2: Hannibal and his sitcom sidekick Hannibal’s Vest. Karl Lagerfeld wishes he read a tablet like this.
“I’m here for you,” says Hannibal’s face. “I am Shiva the God of Death” says that tie matched with that jacket.
A study in contrasts: Jack Crawford, always in black and gray, often shot with straight-line geometric ties. His tie represents Law & Order. Whereas Hannibal’s tie represents Law & Order: SVU FanFic illustrated by Hieronymus Bosch.
Another study in contrast. Look at Hannibal’s overcoat (powerful, passionate, impeccable buttons) and Will’s everything. Concrete gray and puke magenta? Everything that follows between them will be a fashion intervention.
A closer look at that tie grants us an opportunity to Rorschach some deeper meaning therein. What do you see when you look at that necktie? Personally, I see a drop of meteorite sperm cried from the 15th eyeball of Cthulhu.
Sorry, Hannibal, is that a blue-black plaid blazer on top of a blue zip-neck sweater on top of a tie?
Sorry, wait, Hannibal, is that yellow-black plaid blazer on top a red zip-neck sweater on top of a different tie?
Having reinvented the zip-neck sweater into a crime-scene three-piece, Hannibal settles down with a tie that looks like a sonnet about a bloody water lily.
Up to no good in a tie-optional combo of that yellow-black blazer and a zipper-free sweater.
Letting his hair down and his vest breathe with Alana.
Like No. 1, but with more patterns this time, because the madness rises.
Thought bubble over this outfit. “Me? Cook humans? I’m just the humble manager of a successful brokerage concern!”
A gentlemen knows when to wear a suit, and when a set of demure black slacks will do just fine. Note how Hannibal is making the same expression as the pocket square.
Hannibal’s most and least subtle outfit: The devil-red shirt/square combo.
Before dinner time, a gentlemen only removes his jacket if he is planning to put on an apron.
Dinner with friends, back to plaid.
Red patterned tie on a red shirt, symbolizing the nefarious allure of the forbidden.
Red patterned tie on white shirt. Symbolizing the battle between good and evil.
Stare into that tie long enough, and it becomes the “Night on Bald Mountain” scene from Fantasia.
The tale of the lonely yellow pocket square, cast adrift upon the Great Sea of plaid teal.
Return of the Yellow Pocket Square.
Never has a paisley tie looked more like a slumbering mystical serpent of lore.
In episode 6, we meet Frederick Chilton, eternal pretender to the throne. Chilton doltishly pairs an ill-patterned tie with a licorice-candy-cane shirt and a tan blazer. Obviously, this means war. And when Hannibal goes to war…
…he reveals his full power with a casual unbuttoning. GAZE UPON YOUR PAISLEY DOOM, FREDERICK CHILTON.
In the present, Hannibal and his paisley pet listen patiently to Jack Crawford describe his long-lost student, Miriam Lass.
In the past, Hannibal and the tie he carved out of your mother’s garden prepare to give Miriam Lass the long-lost treatment.
Midway through the first season, Hannibal decides to stop fooling around. Thus, tux.
Thus, vest on salmon.
Thus, vest plus rolled-up sleeves.
Thus, a rare moment of de-vested glory. Because sometimes it is merely enough to let your tie breathe. In Hannibal’s world, skinny ties were never invented. Nor digital watches. Nor whatever we wear now instead of pocket squares.
Addendum to the rule about jackets before dinner: It is barely acceptable to remove it if you are rescuing someone from an organ-fetishist EMT serial killer.
Clean white shirt = Normcore Lector.
Black tie over an apron = Food Network Lector.
When hosting a dinner party filled with annoying people eating other annoying people, sometimes a subtle tie is the best tie.
Fun fact: The last ten outfits? All from the same episode.
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NEXT: More pretenders arrive