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Leila's 5 best 'Tyrant' looks

The second season of Tyrant had tons of great moments, from the appearance of Rami, Bassam leading a revolution, and the moment Ahmed realized his father was a monster. But some of the best moments come from Leila’s closet.

Just like last season, Leila’s characterization was defined and influenced by her clothes. This season found Leila even more imprisoned by the glamorous jackets, skirts, and dresses she inhabited, which makes it a little ironic for viewers like me, who salivated over the type of closet Leila must have. But the fantasy of a presidential lifestyle, the power that lifestyle creates, is exactly what Leila is trying to exhibit for the masses. To celebrate Leila and further examine the juxtaposition of the roles Leila’s attire play in her life, let’s take a look at five of Leila’s best looks.

1. The First Lady coat (appears in “The Other Brother”)

Tyrant Leila Look 1, Image Courtesy Kata Vermes/FX

The suit Leila wears to meet Rami is one that is one that is pure First Lady, if not president. Here is Leila at her best in terms of her role in politics; she’s being kind, gracious, and warm, but in a calculating, cold way. The suit and her hairstyle embellish that side of Leila well; she’s classy and appropriately dressed for the occasion of meeting a decorated general instead of wearing her usual cutting-edge fashion. She’s also dressed in what could be considered a practical, if not drab color—a grayish beige. The shock of black is what injects some of Leila’s usual high-fashion sensibilities, but even then, the black draping is still in the wheelhouse of being stately and First Lady–appropriate.

2. The bloodred ensemble (appears in “The Other Brother”)

Tyrant Leila Look 2, Image Courtesy Kata Vermes/FX

Image courtesy Kata Vermes/FX

This is the episode in which Jamal massacres Uncle Tariq for gassing Ma’an against Jamal’s wishes. Leila doesn’t witness the murder itself (Ahmed does, which is his first taste of his father’s madness), but Leila’s outfit seems to support Jamal’s horrifying ways through the severe colors of red and black. The red, in particular, could be seen as a way to reference Jamal’s blood lust. Leila has supported Jamal through his murderous reign in an effort to keep the little power she has intact, and even though her hands aren’t bloody per se, she shares in Jamal’s guilt by being an accomplice of sorts. In that case, why not wear red?

Bloodred as a fashion statement could also be a study of the entire Al-Fayeed dynasty; it’s one built entirely on the blood of those slain, including political prisoners, civilians who are killed in retaliation for standing for their rights, and members of the Al-Fayeed family themselves. To be an Al-Fayeed, you have to kill people—or, in Leila’s case, allow people to die, to be able to wear the expensive clothes and jewelry that will incite jealousy and awe in those you rule.

3. The bad-day suit (appears in “The Awful Grace of God”)

Tyrant Leila Look 3, Image Courtesy Kata Vermes/FX

Image courtesy Kata Vermes/FX

On an ordinary day in the palace, this seems like what Leila wears when she’s working in the office, as it were. This is for when she’s just taking care of standard business, like taking phone calls and setting agendas at her desk. Unfortunately, tons of stuff that could go wrong on this particular day went wrong. But it also shows how workmanlike Leila really is as a character. Even though everything seems to be crumbling around her and her husband is acting less than presidential, Leila is the one who takes up the leadership reins and makes sure the country is still run in a way that will support her husband’s fragile mind.

Demanding Rami to get Abuddin a victory, even it if means blowing up something meaningless, is textbook Leila. Seeing her in glamorous work sleeves shows how efficient she is and how used she is to being the de facto president in times of need. But her skirt shows the role she’s supposed to have in Abuddinian society; she’s still looked at as a highly curated, fashion-forward object, a symbol of the country’s feminine ideals.

4. Leila’s “in charge” look (appeared in “Desert Storm”)

Tyrant Leila Look 4, Image Courtesy Kata Vermes/FX

Image courtesy Kata Vermes/FX

This look feels like the first time in years that Leila is dressed like herself. For the most part, her couture looks are just costumes. She’s the First Lady, so as such, she’s got to dress in a way that befits the title, which includes tickling the masses’ imagination at the supposedly comfortable, regal life she must live. However, as stated above, many of her costumes are fabric prisons. She doesn’t want to be the First Lady of Abuddin. Or, to be more specific, she doesn’t want to be Jamal’s First Lady.

She wanted to marry Bassam, but Bassam’s flight to America ruined that prospect, and every other hope Leila had for her life. As Jamal’s First Lady, she’s been living as a victim in many ways. But once Molly tells her that Bassam is still alive and they can still fight Jamal, and especially after Ahmed blames her for supporting Jamal’s killing sprees, Leila finally wakes up and comes into her own. She finally recognizes her power and how to use it on her own terms.

That power seems to be shown in this outfit, which is black, suggesting death (the death of her former self and/or the impending death of Jamal), but black is also being used as a power color here. In this situation, Leila is in control of her own schemes for her life. The decorative detail and her jewelry also seem to suggest that Leila is going back to a more casual, comfortable sensibility, as if she’s bringing back the teenage version of herself that she probably hid for so long. It’s like she’s been stripped of her chains, and now Leila is the approachable, more emotionally rounded woman she must have been before getting married to Jamal.

5. Royal purple (appeared in “Pax Abuddin”)

Tyrant Leila Look 5, screencap


To me, this look is Leila’s best look ever. It culminates a lot of the disparate elements we’ve seen in Leila this past season. We have the headscarf, which Leila had been wearing sporadically . We’ve seen it mostly when Leila is in situations where she must portray a sense of reverence, honor, and respect. Such moments include the premiere, when she’s showcasing the artistic links between Abuddin and China, when she’s at Bassam’s execution, when she’s in the palace’s mosque, trying to council Jamal as he’s pleading to God for relief from his misery, and here, when she’s appealing to the Council of the Arab League to imprison her husband and back her son for the presidency.

She’s worn headscarves in various fabrics, but I don’t think we’ve seen her wear one in satin before—and deep violet satin at that. Combined with the form-fitting dress of a matching color, she commands the room and the Council’s attention. She’s dressed in the color of royalty while appealing to them as a demure yet strong mother, who is appealing for help without being blubbery about it. If I were a council member, I’d be able to tell in an instant that I was dealing with someone special. I think if Ahmed becomes president, Leila will be wearing more clothes like this—clothes that depict her as a strong political leader, but also as the Abuddinian equivalent to the Queen Mother.

What do you think about Leila’s costuming this season? Which outfit was your favorite? Write about it below!

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

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