The private school setting of Shoujo Kakumei Utena does not permit the majority of the cast to decide what they wear. The students keep to their regulation uniforms, and even the student council, who have their own unique ones, appear to be working within limitations. Utena is the major exception, and her alternative style is harped on repeatedly in the series, though she’s also joined in part by Nanami, whose student council uniform is truly her own. What a person chooses to wear is always significant, but it’s even more so here, where most of the characters aren’t given the option.
Feminine Wiles for Older Women
Dressing to Kill
The classic black dress is called classic for a reason, it’s reliably dignified and can be sexy without looking out of place on an older woman. Black is also, however, a color of mourning, and it’s not unheard of for women in her position, with an ill husband, to wear the color to display their unhappiness. Certainly it would be disturbingly fitting for her to wear a garment of mourning to her sexual rendezvous; Akio would have gotten a kick out of it. One can’t say for sure either way that that’s her intent, and even if it is, the dress she chose is deliberately low cut. There’s a lot of cleavage on display here, framed by a sheer blue sleeves that instead of concealing her shoulders, draw attention to them. In the first scene, over her shoulders she wears a yellow shawl, but she's taken it off between there and sitting with Akio in the planetarium, discarding the demure accessory once she's in private with her lover.
Her accessories, a pearl necklace, pearly cameo earrings (which when zoomed out become red...nod and smile), and a red jewel at her chest, are staples of the wealthy older woman’s wardrobe. Her hair is also conservatively short, with tendrils falling ‘messily’ around her face, framing it.
The dark bluish-green is as yet untouched by grey, and a fitting shade for Kanae’s mother; though quite far from her light green, it’s still not out of place on the genetic line.
An unusually pale complexion (even for SKU) is complemented by wine-colored lipstick, but again we see a boldly sexual display carefully being swept into the mix with things you’d ordinarily expect to see: she knows attention is drawn to her lips by wearing such a dark color. Mrs.Ohtori is dressing for a sexual encounter, but in a way you’d only really recognize if you were involved in it. Sneaky, and something born from experience.