The Collection: Tom Riley cuts a dashing figure in leather and tweed as brother Claude

The Collection began its weekly broadcast today on BBC First Australia, and from 9pm Sunday 19th March will be seen in Canada on OUTtv. To promote the show, a few great preview articles have appeared online, one revealing Tom's fondness for his motorcycle trousers! Read them in full via the links below. 

I've already fallen for BBC First's The Collection, premiering tonight. Set in Paris just two years after the end of World War II, it takes a peek behind the seams at a fashion house modernising with the post-war mood and using fashion a tool of self-expression, luxury, sex and propaganda. Following a tightknit family tasked with restoring a storied French couturier to former glory, it's extravagant, sensual and bursting with some of the most gorgeous costuming and production design I've seen on the small screen in recent years. I devoured it...

...Even though the series contains yards and yards of suitable soap operetta drama - secret gay brothers, stolen intellectual property, clandestine affairs and wartime errors of judgement - the clothes are never outshadowed as the true star of the show. Like this Dior-esque scarlet New Look gown, or a Queen Elizabeth-esque ivory satin wedding dress, full-skirted and regal. Or the enigmatic, super sexy black velvet gown worn by the show's lead Mamie Gummer (Meryl's daughter) to a masquerade party.

The cast of the show do put up a good fight, attempting to out-act their costumes. There's Mamie Gummer as Helen Sabine, the wife of the head of the fashion house. Her wardrobe is fantastic, the perfect blend of homely twinsets and va-va-voom corsetry. Her mother-in-law Yvette is played with relish by a near-permanently fur-clad Frances de la Tour. Tom Riley cuts a dashing figure in leather and tweed as brother Claude. They try their hardest, but they just can't compete. A show like this is all about the clothes. Whimm.com.au

Do you want to look at pretty clothes to take a break from tracking the collapse of civilization? Pretty couture clothes? In Paris? Set within a big, soapy drama? Yes, of course you do. Enter The Collection, a BBC and Amazon co-production that peeks into the world of Parisian fashion after World War II — specifically at Paul Sabine, a fictional fashion house with the potential to change how the world sees Paris, but that isn't so clean under the hem. For starters, business-minded Paul (played by Richard Coyle, whom fans of early 2000s PBS might recognize as Jeff from Coupling) serves as the public face of the fashion house, but it's really his brother Claude (Tom Riley) — who’s kept behind the scenes thanks to his explosive temper and homosexuality — behind the brand’s genius designs...

...Chattoune made the seamstresses’ uniforms, as well as the costumes for both Sabine brothers. She designed for Paul 1940s power suits, since he serves as the studio’s money man (and face). She gave Claude a more casual look, with costumes that would set his character apart from the rest of the cast — and that he could wear while riding his motorcycle. As a result, Claude’s style hints at the James Dean/rockabilly look to come in the 1950s — a perfect fit for a rebellious, creative type who’s on the bleeding edge of fashion. “[Riley was] happy with his look and tried to keep the motorcycle trousers most of the time,” she jokes. Racked.com

Pay no attention to the British accents – everyone here is French. Well, apart from the Americans, obviously. It's Paris in 1947, and France is in a spot of turmoil, trying to regain its international prestige while convulsed by trials that will send send collaborators to the firing squad. All of which seems pertinent to mysterious fashion designer Paul Sabine (Richard Coyle). Some rich bloke wants him to create a collection that will "dress the whole of Paris" and recover the nation's fashion cred. But to succeed Sabine will have to lean on his unreliable bohemian genius of brother (Tom Riley) in more ways than one. And whatever skeletons Sabine might have he won't want his American wife (Mamie Gummer) or nosy American journalists finding them. It's a sumptuous production – even the grit looks handsome in a Gallic kind of way... SMH.com.au