costume drama

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Just watched this gorgeous trailer for an interesting new film called Belle that promises both 18th century period eye candy, and wrestling with racial prejudices in society. The cast looks very solid as well. Do take a look!

Here’s the summary from the link:
The illegitimate, mixed-race daughter of a Captain in the Royal Navy finds her unique social standing become instrumental in the campaign to end slavery in England after meeting an idealistic young vicar’s son.

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The 1970s saw a slew of excellent BBC costume dramas, including the 1974 mini-series The Pallisers, based on several novels by Anthony Trollope.  Raymond Hughes, who worked on projects such as Doctor Who and Return to Oz, helped to design the hundreds of costumes required for The Pallisers, which spanned many years and the ever changing silhouette of the Victorian era.  The costumes for The Pallisers have since gone on to be used in numerous productions over the years, including The Paradise, The Buccaneers and the Onedin Line.

This beautiful embroidered gown, which appeared in The Pallisers on Susan Hampshire as Glencora Palliser, Duchess of Omnium was used again in 2006 in The Prestige, where it was worn on Scarlett Johansson as Olivia. The gown was eventually put on display several years ago as a part of Cosprop’s Cinematic Couture exhibit.  Photos of the exhibit allow one to better see the incredible amount of detail that went into every aspect of the costume.

Costume Credit: James

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Sometimes costumes are reused as part of the story line in the show in which they appear. Downton Abbey costume designer Anna Mary Scott Robbins was tasked with creating costumes for a fashion show in fifth season. The gown was first worn on an extra as a model, and then again in the next episode on Michelle Dockery as Lady Mary after she purchases the dress.

Robbins says of the dress: “We bought a beautifully embellished tea dress, that was nigh on a hundred years old, that was very delicate, and we spent a couple of weeks restoring it, re-beading where it had fallen apart and re-backing it to make it more robust. It was black and white, entirely beaded with flowers on it, with sort of scallops on the bottom. And it’s quite   cutting-edge because it was just below the knee.”

You can read more about Downton Abbey costumes at the Slideshow: Secrets of the Catwalk article.

Costume Credit: Shrewsbury Lasses

E-mail Submissions: submissions@recycledmoviecostumes.com

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