Personal style has never been a significant source of self-expression on Succession; rather, it has always been viewed more as a forceful way to display authority, or in some circumstances, to cosplay power. A “ludicrously capacious” Burberry purse from episode 1 gave birth to a flurry of memes, and a meeting between the Pierce and Roy families in episode 2 sparked a discourse about “quiet luxury” and “stealth wealth.” Although the show’s fourth and final season is only halfway done, much ink has already been spilled about the show’s fashion so far and what it communicates about characters’ standing. Gerri Kellman, the long-suffering but lively general counsel and one-time interim CEO of the struggling legacy media conglomerate, is the figure who most exemplifies the relevance of fashion in the universe of Waystar Royco. She was once the CEO of the company.
Gerri who is portrayed by the incredible J. Smith-Cameron, has maintained for a significant amount of time the strictly regulated decorum of a corporate soldier, complete with the outfit to match. Gerri has used a smart but inconspicuous wardrobe consisting of dark Brooks Brothers skirt suits, conservative sheath dresses, and matronly formalwear as her armour in the company trenches for the better part of the last three seasons, while she has navigated scandals, DOJ investigations, cold-blooded schemes, and disturbing late-night calls from Roman Roy. This has served as her armour in the company trenches as she has manoeuvred through these challenges. Aside from her dark-rimmed glasses, which she frequently hides behind in tense situations, her jewellery consists of simple, understated classics such as understated strands of pearls and discreet gold necklaces. These necklaces are frequently partially hidden by high necklines, silk button-downs, and business-like blazers. Her other accessories include her dark-rimmed glasses. Her blond hair is either gathered into a low bun or fashioned in a bob haircut and pushed back behind her ears. Gerri’s attire has been steady and subdued, much like her demeanour in the boardroom or at the right hand of Logan Roy. This sends the idea that she is there to serve, and not to lead, which is appropriate given her role.
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When Gerri attended Connor’s wedding in episode 3 of this season, she wore an austere grey dress with an absurd matching fascinator, which she wore sideways on her head. This was the same event at which Roman fired her in an awkward manner before she found out that Logan had been killed. The precarious nature of Gerri’s relationship to power has never been more apparent than in this episode. In contrast to Shiv, who was calmly dressed in a daring black Tom Ford tuxedo suit and halter top—an attention-grabbing costume oddly appropriate for both the business meeting and funeral that Connor’s wedding became—it was obvious that Gerri was at a low point, unsure about her future. Shiv was wearing an outfit that somehow fit for both the business meeting and funeral that Connor’s wedding became. The fact that she was uncomfortable in her austere and at times absurd dress said it all.
By the fourth episode, however, Gerri’s position within the corporation as well as her style had undergone significant shifts. In the opening scenes of the episode, Kendall ran into the Waystar Royco old guard at his father’s wake. Gerri, who had recently been reinstalled as general counsel and was more vital than ever, had a genuine glow up as a result of her boss’s passing. She ditched the frumpy skirt suit in favour of a sophisticated, form-fitting black midi dress with a v-neckline that revealed more than just a touch of cleavage. She completed her look with an extravagant yet tasteful gold link necklace and matching earrings. Her eyeglasses had become more elongated and had gold rims; they were no longer a mask to hide behind but rather an adornment to draw attention to her beautiful features. And probably most astonishing of all, her hair, which had been worn in a prim little bun during seasons two and three, had been grown out long and was now done in a gorgeous blowout. It was still polished, yes, but also sumptuous, the hair of a lady who was finally getting a taste of freedom.