Three Coins in the Fountain (1954)

Maggie McNarmara, Dorothy McGuire, and Jean Peters star in this Academy Award nominated film about three American secretaries working abroad in Rome, Italy.

Charade (1963)

Audrey Hepburn and Cary Grant star in this delightful romantic comedy involving spies and missing money. Set in Paris. Walter Matthau also makes an appearance as a CIA agent.

The Best of Everything (1959)

Original tagline: "These are the girls who want the best of everything...but often settle for a lot less!" Mid-century drama following the lives of three young career women living in New York City.

High Society (1956)

Bing Crosby, Grace Kelly and Frank Sinatra star in this delightful musical comedy remake of the beloved classic The Philadelphia Story (1940).

Far From Heaven (2002)

Set against a spectacular autumn palette, Juilanne Moore, Dennis Quaid, and Dennis Haysbert star in this compelling drama which grapples with issues of race and homosexuality in conservative 1950s Connecticut.

Death In Venice (1971)

An aging German music composer sojourns to Venice in hopes of improving his health and finds himself enraptured by the beauty of a young adolescent boy. A visually mesmerizing film.

Cracks (2009)

Based on the novel of the same name, Eva Green stars as a young, charismatic teacher at an all-girls English boarding school.

Mrs. Henderson Presents (2005)

Based on the true story of the Windmill Theatre in London, Judi Dench stars as a wealthy, eccentric widow who purchases a theatre and turns it into a somewhat Moulin Rouge-esque venue that featured nude performers.

Desk Set (1957)

The introduction of computer technology renders the reference jobs of three women potentially useless. Stars Katherine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy.

Sylvia (2003)

A biopic of writer Sylvia Plath set in the 1950s starring Gwyneth Paltrow and Daniel Craig.

Howard's End (1992)

Emma Thompson, Anthony Hopkins and Helena Bonham Carter star in this E.M. Forster classic set in turn-of-the-century England.

September 10, 2016

The Dressmaker (2015)

Sometimes being abroad has its perks, such as getting to see certain movies before they premiere in the US. One such standout was The Dressmaker (2015), a lovely, quirky Australian film starring Kate Winslet as a couturie who returns to her hometown in Australia to settle some questions regarding her dark and hazy past.

Winslet plays “Tilly,” who was sent away to Europe as a young girl after being convicted of a murder she doesn't even remember committing.  Now, even though she has been blessed with an extraordinary talent for dressmaking and a burgeoning fashion career in Paris (she was just hired by Balenciagia!), Tilly still believes that she is "cursed." Cursed for being a bad person, for being a murderer. So she journeys back to the small, backwater town of her birth to get some answers, to learn the truth behind that traumatic event that stained her childhood.

Based on the novel by Rosalie Ham, this film was the perfect blend of comedy and drama. And of course, the costumes were STUNNING. Designed by Margot Wilson and Marion Boyce (Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries), the cast was transformed into walking works of art straight off the runways of Paris. 

Tilly causes quite the stir in her tiny rural town, where everyone seems to be covered in at least two layers of dust and dirt, by dressing like she was attending a glamorous red carpet event.... at the local rugby match.

That neckline, those large buttons!

Love the fanned

Wardrobe change during the half-time break. Love her adorable swirly compact.

You are your own best brand advertisement.

After seeing Tilly proudly strutting around in her own gorgeous creations, the dowdy women of the town soon flock to her for help with their own wardrobes.

BEFORE: dressmaker.gertrude.drab


This just goes to show what a beautiful dress and some red lipstick can do!dressmaker.makeover.dance2

Just look at these three women, completely transformed! The woman on the left with the pleated cape reminds me so much of this photo of Dovima in a similar design by the now mostly forgotten Jacques Fath


Oh, I'm just up here fixing this my gorgeously ethereal gown...

I love the red & cream dotted dress (worn by the woman sitting in the middle). I like the interesting design of the top portion, which looks like it was made from four pieces of fabric gathered together.

I love these pops of red.



The back of the red & white dress (left) is interesting. Many dresses nowadays neglect the back in order to save time and fabric. But I love it when careful attention is paid to the entirety of an ensemble. 

Tilly also managed to turn this monstrosity of a wedding dress...

...into this magnificent

Initially I thought this was the same dress as the one she wore to the dance, but upon closer inspection, it's an entirely different bodice, with a different beading pattern &

But ultimately, I think the final wedding dress was again, a different creation (because I don't see the distinct beading on the previous dress underneath the one-shoulder overlay)

Tilly also made gowns for many of the other wedding guests, including this breathtaking olive green number. dressmaker.olivegreen1

So much

Aside from the strange hat, "the woman in the mid-ground" in the navy gown is particularly lovely. I really like the neckline and how it sort of assemtrically folds over and extends down to the bottom. Unfortunately, we weren't given a better view of its construction.dressmaker.navy1

Flashy fashion jewelry is always so much fun!

Feather/feathery hair decorations seemed really popular.... dressmaker.olivegreen.feathers

I'm not super well-verse in the fashion trends of that particular period (I'm guessing it's supposed to be set in the 1950s?) but I didn't realize feather head pieces were so much a thing...

And this strange cascading one on the left...

ANYWAY, let's get back to our girl Kate!

Leopard print pillbox hat, I need you in my life.

Purple and magenta bust detail, lovely. 

This white & navy outfit is sporty and stylish. That's a golf club in her hand. The dress even has an extra design feature to hold her golf tees!

Love the contrast stitching detail on the collar and cuffs.

**Update: The Dressmaker (2015) is now in select US theatres!

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