March 22, 2015

Have Courage and Be Kind: Cinderella 2015

You guys have gone to see Cinderella by now haven't you? The costumes! Oh goodness, the glorious costumes! Its a historically inspired fairy-tale dream seen through a twisted 40's glamour and glitz lens!

First of all: a very mini review. I was excited for this film for many reasons, including the fact that I am a big Disney princess film fan to begin with. I love Lilly James in Downton Abbey (and Sophie McShera from Downton too!), I adored Holiday Grainger in the Borgias, Cate Blanchett is alwyas amazing, Richard Madden from Game of Thrones plays the prince, and there is even a bit of Hayley Atwell in the beginning of the film! It was like the cast was made up of actors I am already a fan of, so I felt confident going in I would like the film. The message was worthy, have courage and be kind, you can't fault that. I liked the subtle updates like having Cinderella and the prince meet before the ball, a tiny bit different from the classic "I met you once and then we got married" Disney trope. I really liked that the ugly step-sisters weren't physically ugly, I think it's time to retire the ugly=mean/bad stereotype anyways. Overall, though I'll admit I was really pre-disposed to like this movie, I ended up really liking this movie!

On to the important bit, the design! I really enjoyed the production design in this film. Cinderella's family has the most lovely house full of color, floral patterns, and brick-a-brack, just how I like houses to be! Then there were the costumes, which frankly, I am going to show you because they were all just so divine!

Look at the use of color! I like how Sandy Powell seemed to be creating a 1940's idea of a period piece. The colors are a bit too bright and fun to come off as 19th century, even if the shapes were often inspired by different sections of the early half of the Victorian era.

These two costumes of Cinderella's seem very Chemise la Reine inspired. As a merchant's daughter and country girl, the airy chemise inspired dresses fit her early lifestyle and humble personality well. The aqua blue dress that Cinderlla wears for most of the film is almost a 1950's take on a 1850's dress, the front of the bodice looks very 1840's/50's to me. 

Which ties her to her mother, played by the lovely Hayley Atwell. Here she wears a floral dress with similar bodice pleating/shearing. This dress is gorgeous, I would love one to wear all summer long. 

Here are some of the ball gowns from the ball. The first is the gown of an African princess, and that is one beautiful fabric! I was glad to see princesses from around the world included in the ball scene (if only we could convince someone to make those princess stories into films too! sigh). The second dress looks like a party supply store threw up on it, and that is because it belongs to vulgar step-sister Anastasia. 

Here are the trio of "villains", if you will. I liked how the sisters were catty and grew more and more mean as the film went on. It seemed realistic as sad as that sounds, but hey, girls can be real mean when they want to be! Lady Tremaine has some fabulous costumes despite her unfortunate personality, though her daughters seem to have much less natural style than she does. Cate Blanchett's costumes are the most 40's/50's inspired in the film and are very Charles James looking. The stepsisters gowns above look very 1830's in silhouette, but are obviously also influenced by the late forties lens as well.

I mean just look at that glorious hat you guys!

In their party-store-tornado ball gowns, I like that Powell found the craziest rainbow floral polyester lamé organza I have ever seen to show just how over-the-top nope these ladies are.

Lady Tremaine wearing a pretty literal 40's look, which of course I loved! The use of vintage jewelry in the film was also something I quickly took note of, being such a jewelry hound myself!

I quite liked these two step-sisters gowns, they really veer close to the early Victorian theme. I like the yellow version in particular. Lady Tremaine is rocking another of her Charles James looking gowns in acidic green and black, it's the kind of gown one would wear to their worst enemy's funeral right?

More jewel tones for Lady Tremaine, also the magenta gloves look awesome with the navy blue. I remember noting how bright the electric blue edge of her hat was while watching the film and liking the sharp color framing her face.

Here are the late Victorian corsets that the step-sisters apparently are wearing under their clothes. These are some delicious sorbet Victorian undies and I love them, I'd like a set in bright seafoam please!

Some very little bo-peep looking costumes for the step-sisters. Ella looks even prettier in her simple chemise dress standing next to these monstrosities! It must have been so much fun for these actresses to wear such over the top crazy ensembles. The 1950's fuzzy cardigans are almost too much even for them.

I couldn't find any other photos of my favorite of lady Tremaine's gowns. The top is this multi-colored embroidery over black and I think the bottom was a black taffeta-ish skirt. It was an amazing ode to the 1940's glam look I assure you.

All in all, if you like costuming, see this film. I also happen to like princess movies, so I was really pleased with the film as a whole. I wish Sandy Powell would hire me to work on her team, I'd be there in a heartbeat!

Photos from: Here, HereHere, and Here.


  1. Though I haven't seen it yet, from the plethora of photos/movie stills popping up online and in posts like this lovely one, this is a serious contender for one of my top five favourite movies from a costuming standpoint ever. I usually only get to one or two movies a year in theater, if I'm lucky, so chances are this will be another I have to wait for on Netflix, and goodness am eager for that (ways off it may be).

    ♥ Jessica

    1. It really is an amazing feat of costume design! Definitely catch it when it trickles down to amazon instant-watch or netflix!

  2. I don't think it is out in the UK yet but I have seen a few pictures of the costumes already and after reading this post I definitely want to see it. Cate Blanchett's outfits are glorious.

    1. They truly are! You will not be disappointed I assure you!

  3. Your descriptions of the ball gowns are cracking me up! I would love an excuse to make something purposefully hideous, it would be such fun. I have some awful fabrics too...

    On the other hand, the good outfits here are just droolworthy! Thanks for sharing the photos. I don't think I'll be seeing many movies with bub in tow, but I'll catch it on DVD one day!

    1. Well those stepsisters gowns do look pretty absurd, it had to be pretty funny when they got to the first fitting and were like "woah!"


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