Anno 1790: Dressing a Swedish crime series | Intellect Skip to content
Volume 4, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 2044-2823
  • E-ISSN: 2044-2831



Anno 1790 (2011) is Sweden’s first attempt at a post-heritage, hybridized TV drama production. It is set during the increasingly troubled and gloomy last years of Gustav III’s reign, in the aftermath of the glorious heyday of the 1770s. The series has an obvious noir character that is displayed on all levels of image and narrative, bringing to mind the mood reflected in recent, internationally successful contemporary Swedish and Danish crime series such as Forbrydelsen/The Killing (2009) and Bron/The Bridge (2011), commonly known as ‘Nordic noir’ productions. The ready availability of an impressive eighteenth-century material culture, in combination with its historically exciting but altogether under-exploited final decade, provide a perfect setting for a Swedish noir, post-heritage quality production. The article revolves around the significance of the costumes worn by the main characters in Anno 1790, which seem to suggest that the costume design for such a series needs additional inspiration from other sources than dress history to properly remediate the narrative and its characters, compared to a traditional heritage production. The author shows that both contemporary fashion and haute couture are natural sources of inspiration for this type of ‘post-heritage costume’.


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