Thursday, September 25, 2008
The Duchess costumes
I just finished reading the biography about Georgiana, the Duchess of Devonshire, who died in the early 1800s. The movie doesn't seem to be anything like the book but that's ok because the costumes make up for it. In the book, Georgiana is portrayed is being a major influence on English politics; this was during the time of King Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette so there was a lot of political turmoil, revolution and war. Georgiana was also seen as the most fashionable woman in English society. She set all the trends; when she wore her hair up high with feathers, every woman copied her. The book also talks about her relationship with her husband, the Duke, and their ménage-à-trois with Georgiana's best friend, Bess. The movie producers and promoters are hoping that viewers will relate Georgiana to her great-great-great (a lot more greats) niece, the late Diana, Princess of Wales. Certainly there are a few similarities between the two women such as their love of being in the public eye, their love of fashion and the fact that their husbands weren't faithful. But that's where the similarities end.
I am excited to see the movie mostly because I love period pieces and the costumes. I expect similarities in dress to Marie Antoinette, the movie with Kirsten Dunst, as they are from the same time periods. Georgiana wasn't a royal but she did dress with a lot of flair in magnificent gowns.
Check out photo stills from the movie
I'm not an advocate for fur but I love those fox tails on her hat. I wish women wore fabulous hats like that in Toronto. Nobody wears majestic hats anymore. I'm tired of toques and berets.
This dress does not look comfortable at all. I can't imagine what a pain it was trying to walk around, get in and out of carriages, sit on the toilet, etc. in these restrictive frocks.
Was Georgiana the first woman who embraced androgynous dressing?