Friday, November 2, 2012

Costume Drama

Hi all, happy Friday. How was your Halloween? Hope you sailed through the sugar and spookiness without too much costume drama. Friends on the East Coast, are you doing okay? I hope that the lights and heat reach full power soon.

I think we could all use a little bit of an escape after the events of the week. How about a night at the movies?

One film I'm excited to see is the new adaptation of one of my all-time favorite novels, Anna Karenina. While I didn't love director Joe Wright's take on another most-treasured book, Pride and Prejudice (give me the BBC version any day), Jacqueline Durran's costumes look to be worth the price of the ticket. She dressed Keira Knightley in both P&P and Atonement - remember that amazing green dress?

In a recent interview with New York Magazine's The Cut blog, Jacqueline described her process for creating the look for Anna Karenina, a mash up of the 1950s and the 1870s (the era in which the film is set), influenced by the archives from Balenciaga and Dior.

"I'm not trying to do accurate period costumes, but some kind of hybrid, something new," she told The Cut. "It was really about getting the shape of the 1870s and taking away all of the trimmings and laying really recognizable fifties details on top, which I hope made it clear that I'm not trying to do accurate period costumes."


Dripping with diamonds and pearls - all real and almost exclusively Chanel, estimated at $2 million a piece - Anna's story is told in part by her jewels.

"It was about finding the most flattering and interesting ways of always adding diamonds to her costume, because it was part of the idea of Anna that she would always have diamonds around her," Jacqueline explains. "If she wasn't wearing diamonds, she'd be wearing ropes and ropes of real pearls. There was always an air of opulence and extravagance, and that was one of the things we did to emphasize those traits of character."

Click here for more of The Cut's interview with Jacqueline Durrand. The film opens November 16.

What do you think? Can a movie ever be as good as the book? What's your favorite costume drama?   


  1. I really can't wait to see this!! It has been many years since I read the book so it will be interesting to see what remains but KK certainly is perfect for the role. I am curious if the idea of filming it largely on a stage set will work or not...
    Bon Weekend!!

    1. I know, Heather, I didn't have a very positive reaction when I heard about the theatrical staging of the film, but have heard that it allows more of the book to make it into the story - the Levin/Kitty storyline, which has been edited out in other film versions. It will be interesting to see regardless! Bon Weekend to you!

  2. I can't wait to see the movie! I really need to reread the book before I see the movie, then again, maybe not.
    Have a great weekend.

    1. It's such a great book, Teresa! Every time I read it I take something different away! Happy weekend! XO

  3. Lovely post, Jeanne, and we needed it this week! Jacques Durrand is talented (who does not remember the green dress in Atonement and that library scene?!)and she could not have dressed a better model than the extraordinaire Mademoiselle Knightley! Throw in Chanel jewelry, and you get an irresistible combination. Do you remember the costumes in "Gone with the Wind?" Scarlett O'Hara. Ah, Scarlett O'Hara. My 10-year old self never fully recovered from watching so much beauty - and personality!- on a movie screen. Have a wonderful weekend, Jeanne! Veronique (French Girl in Seattle)

    1. Veronique, I do indeed remember the costumes in Gone With The Wind - I think they are partially responsible for my life long love of velvet and a little bit of girly frill.
      Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

  4. Dear Jeanne,
    What a delightful post with so many gorgeous pics! Keira Knightley is stunning and Anna Karenine movie is very promising. Can't wait to see it (with girl friends as my husband keeps saying this is a chick flick movie!!!). I am not surprised Chanel is in the loop as Keira Knightley is the emblematic ambassador of the brand.
    Funny... You asked which costume drama were our favorite. I too thought right away about "Gone with the wind"! Who wouldn't remember Scarlet's green velvet dress made with curtains or the fluffy white and green dress she wears at the picnic (when I was ten-twelve, I would dress with a crinoline thinking about Vivian Leigh...)?
    More recently I have been also impressed with Marion Cotillard's dresses in the movie "Midnight in Paris". I keep thinking that this movie, along with "The artist", has influenced a lot the current fashion trend. Lots of dresses inspired by the 20's in the haute-couture fashion shows (see Vuitton). When the past and the present combine....
    Have a great weekend :-)))
    Anne (Playing With Scarves)

  5. loving the hybrid costuming concept--so much more interesting and creative. i think i read this in high school and now you've got me excited to see it on the screen!

    i am also looking forward to seeing Lincoln and The Perks of Being a Wallflower (which in my opinion is a MUST read for all high school freshman and blew me away).


  6. Very few movies live up to their book origins. I did enjoy the BBC miniseries The Buccaneers from years ago...although I've never read the book.

    The costumes in Anna Karenina alone will be worth the ticket! Gorgeous...but makes me thankful for my spandex

  7. Those costumes are absolutely dreamy! I have a hard time even choosing my favorite. No matter, I can't wait to watch this. Thank you for sharing. Carolina E.

  8. Wow, it looks amazing. I hate to say it but I am loving the quintessentially Russian and acceptable at that time, so it really works! Gorgeous.



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...