Thursday, June 10, 2010

Madame La Style is proud to present our very first intrepid fashionista: Fanny Brawne. Yes, dear readers, I am still under the influence of the very spell-binding Bright Star. In all honesty though, a well-done period drama merits an entire post on its costumes. Actually, any period drama merits a post on its costumes.

What makes the Bright Star costumes even more interesting is that Fanny is a self-proclaimed fashion-lover of the first stare, and spends hours over outreagously pretty creations. Bright Star is practically an orgy to sewing; I had to quell the urge to run for my needle whenever a scene of Fanny sewing seriously flashed across my scene.

Here are a few of the simply lovely dresses and hats I had to share. I was going to do them chronologically, but realised that this would be rather spoilery, so I'm just hopping alone whichever path I choose.

The white dance dress: I really love the dress, but the Elizabethan ruff puts me off completely. Fanny actually adds the ruff to stand out from the rest, and it's part of her own sense of smile, but personally, I was never a fan of Elizabethan ruffs, or as I call them " lace dog collars." Still, her hair is done really nicely and I love the butterflies in her hair.

This dress actually looks very similar to a fashion plate from La Belle Assemblee for the year 1818. Considering the fact that this movie is set primarily during the years 1818-20, I was amused to see how they practically lifted Fanny's dress design from this fashion plate. At least we can't condemn them for historical inaccuracy on this one.

Fanny also has some gorgeous spencers (short jackets), ranging from adorable to fantastic.


Throughout the film, Fanny's costumes alternate between beautiful to outrageous to some which strike me as scholarly:

I'm not sure if these two pictures are one and the same dress; Fanny has a lot of dresses that look similar, and I don't have the DVD on hand to verify. However, my eye was caught by the intricate detail on the back of her dress; I love those ribbons worked in a sort of reverse corset style, and the delicate sleeves. Such details make what seems like a simple dress into a subtle work of art.

What I call Fanny's "home" dresses:

One dress which I absolutely loved, and which I wouldn't mind seeing on myself someday:

  I'm afraid I couldn't get a very good picture of this dress, but I love the deep wood-brown colour and the almost Arabian air surrounding it.

And Fanny's hats! They are to DIE for I tell you! My eyes were as wide as cartwheels as I went from gorgeous hat to even more gorgeous hat.

This is my very favourite hat. I love the conical brim and the ribbons tied in cheeky bows at the back. I wouldn't mind prancing around poetic geniuses in this.

The sombre, yet haunting hat below looks a lot like a poke bonnet, though I'm not entirely sure. Poke bonnets were fashionable throughout the 1820s I believe.

I adore all the hats in this picture, even Thomas' comical top hat. The hats actually all appear to share a similar basic design, but are embellished with ribbons and feathers in such artful ways that they look totally different. This reflects Fanny's personal style; though many of her dresses and hats have basic designs, there are always little feminine tweaks that manage to look both pretty and distinct.
Such personal style is admirable. You don't need to be decked out with bling or lug along bronze and brown Louis Vuitton bags to draw attention. Take a basic dress or top, and work something special into it; sew ribbons or bright trimmings, or collect antique buttons and fasten them in interesting ways and places on your clothes. Fanny's dresses and hats might seem simple and sweet at first glance, but closer inspection reveals the detail and care taken over the clothes. Such small, delightful touches bring a feminine and graceful air to clothes that is more attractive than all the gaudy diamante in the world. ( Yes I couldn't resist giving a sermon ).

Well, Madame La Style bids you farewell. Au revoir dearies!

1 comment:

  1. What movie or show is this? I would love to watch it because I am also a big fan of period costumes.


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