I think portraits should be, if nothing else, interesting.  I’m not sure whether I prefer raging color or a timeless, alluring black-and-white image. I also love the dramatic and stylish film noir / old Hollywood style portrait photographs, so that gets incorporated quite often as well. Period attire might help set the mood, but you can definitely get the same mood with contemporary dress. It’s not the props or clothing – it’s the attitude!  It’s drama, it’s mystery, it’s fun!