Pride and Prejudice

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2 years ago
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2 years ago
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“It was made by Mrs Triaud of Bolton Street, from ‘cloth-of-silver’, silk bobbinet embroidered with heavy silver lamé, embellished with Brussels lace, and with embroidered flowers and shells festooning the hem.” -Telegraph.co.uk
“The manteau was of silver tissue lined with white satin, with a border of embroidery to answer that on the dress, and fastened in front with a splendid diamond ornament. Such was the bridal dress” La Belle Assemblee
It is undisputable that any Princess/Queens wedding dress would be glorious in its own right; I assume my interest in costume compels me to such garments. I for one adore the refinement and elegance that is Grace Kelly’s and Kate Middleton’s wedding dress. But there’s just something about Princess Charlottes wedding dress that draws me in; whether it’s the glistening embroidery or the magnificent train I do not know. Yet for me this epitomizes regency refinement as Mr. Darcy does in the graduator of Pemberly. I envision Elizabeth gliding down the aisle in this dress; shimmering in candle light. Although the beauty of the cloth and the embellishments scream out wealth, the line and style alternatively are very simple- it’s not too fussy which in my mind portrays the perfect balance between the world of Darcy and his Miss Bennett.
Likewise, I understand that many women of the period would have simply got married in their best clothes however, Mr. Darcy was considerably wealthy. Therefore I imagine Elizabeth’s dress to be made for the occasion, rather than her hording through her wardrobe for her finest dress. In addition to this, Austen disappointingly glazes over the wedding in “Pride and Prejudice”, I feel as though the event should be the panicle of the book. After all isn’t this what the audience has been craving to happen? It’s a fact universally recognized and accepted that Austen never gives much description on her characters physical appearance. Whether this is deliberate and Austen’s allowing the reader to become Elizabeth, I’m unsure. Yet this lack of description leaves me feeling disappointed. It’s as though she rushed the ending of the book and when instead she really should have savored the moment.
Thereby in my interpretation, the wedding will be a celebration of both Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy and Jane and Mr. Bingley’s romance; therefore both girls will be costumed for the occasion. Elizabeth’s dress will be heavy inspired by Princess Charlotte wedding dress, as it depicts everything I envision for her wedding day. Conversely, Jane although sensible and level headed, is very feminine and affable; therefore it is my intention to costume her in a flirty “girly” style as with the following costume plate.

2 years ago
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2 years ago
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I’ve discussed Princess Charlotte’s wedding dress, and my Pinterest boards but not my research for the rest of the production. So... My initial research was bliss; I began by watching both the film and BBC adaptation of the novel. Although both were covering the same narrative, each production in terms of aesthetic approached the costume and over all styling very differently. The BBC series took the period very literally, and thereby it was acutely historically accurate. In comparison, the film focused more on portraying character rather than historical accuracy.
The film been my first experience of Pride and Prejudice (and one of my favourite films), meant I had already made a preconception of the characters before I began to study both, alternative interpretations and other pieces of Austen’s work. Because of this, initially I was reluctant to cast another light over the personalities I had held so dearly. I enjoyed the fact that in the film the costuming wasn’t too historically accurate; as this meant the clothing didn’t distract the audience from the narrative.
I found all the actors were pitch perfect in their titled roles, becoming a real regency family before my eyes, perhaps this came most acutely with Keira Knightly who played Elizabeth Bennet; she was feisty and handsome, becoming the only actress in my opinion to play her. Therefore, when I first watched the BBC adaption I thought they’d got the whole thing very wrong, especially after the first episode. Yet as the series developed I came to love the characters, and the costumes became a part of the characters ethos. Although the Bennett’s were inferior in terms of wealth to both Darcy and Bingley, they were in fact a privileged family, and the BBC interpretation captures this much more accurately than the film. The film makes the family look dirty and scruffy which isn’t a true portrayal of the Bennets affluence or social standing. Yet it could be argued the clear variance in fashion, makes the hayrack easily distinguishable to an audience without much knowledge of historical dress. This is particularly important in film as they’ve a short space of time to create character and an overall feel for the picture.
Therefore, once I was converted to adore the BBC adaption, I began to see the floors in the film. Especially once I’d finished Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, knowing the characters in their original form gave a new light to them. I realised that the BBC had captured Austen’s world a lot better than the film especially in terms of aesthetic and historical mannerisms. This could be because my knowledge of regency fashion has improved throughout this project, making the films character focused costumes frustrate and standout as they never had before. It is important in terms of my audience to remember that most of my viewers won’t have much knowledge on historical costume, and therefore as the BBC adaption did with me, I can’t let my costumes distract from the characters personalities.

2 years ago
0


I’ve discussed Princess Charlotte’s wedding dress, and my Pinterest boards but not my research for the rest of the production. So... My initial research was bliss; I began by watching both the film and BBC adaptation of the novel. Although both were covering the same narrative, each production in terms of aesthetic approached the costume and over all styling very differently. The BBC series took the period very literally, and thereby it was acutely historically accurate. In comparison, the film focused more on portraying character rather than historical accuracy.
The film been my first experience of Pride and Prejudice (and one of my favourite films), meant I had already made a preconception of the characters before I began to study both, alternative interpretations and other pieces of Austen’s work. Because of this, initially I was reluctant to cast another light over the personalities I had held so dearly. I enjoyed the fact that in the film the costuming wasn’t too historically accurate; as this meant the clothing didn’t distract the audience from the narrative.
I found all the actors were pitch perfect in their titled roles, becoming a real regency family before my eyes, perhaps this came most acutely with Keira Knightly who played Elizabeth Bennet; she was feisty and handsome, becoming the only actress in my opinion to play her. Therefore, when I first watched the BBC adaption I thought they’d got the whole thing very wrong, especially after the first episode. Yet as the series developed I came to love the characters, and the costumes became a part of the characters ethos. Although the Bennett’s were inferior in terms of wealth to both Darcy and Bingley, they were in fact a privileged family, and the BBC interpretation captures this much more accurately than the film. The film makes the family look dirty and scruffy which isn’t a true portrayal of the Bennets affluence or social standing. Yet it could be argued the clear variance in fashion, makes the hayrack easily distinguishable to an audience without much knowledge of historical dress. This is particularly important in film as they’ve a short space of time to create character and an overall feel for the picture.
Therefore, once I was converted to adore the BBC adaption, I began to see the floors in the film. Especially once I’d finished Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, knowing the characters in their original form gave a new light to them. I realised that the BBC had captured Austen’s world a lot better than the film especially in terms of aesthetic and historical mannerisms. This could be because my knowledge of regency fashion has improved throughout this project, making the films character focused costumes frustrate and standout as they never had before. It is important in terms of my audience to remember that most of my viewers won’t have much knowledge on historical costume, and therefore as the BBC adaption did with me, I can’t let my costumes distract from the characters personalities.

2 years ago
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Oops posted that last tack twice!

2 years ago
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Yesterday, I had a discussion with my tutor about this project, during this session I presented everything I’d gathered so far. Once I began to separate the research into different piles, (one for each character) everything seemed rather thin. I’m so glad we had this discussion at this stage of the year before id gone further down the line with my design.
So far my research has been rather woolly, in hindsight my projects is more of a general overview of the period, taking references from images and fashions I like, rather than character pacific ideas. I understand, that the design process is about forming a character, and I realise my direction and character development might not have been very clear. Especially seeing an outsider’s perception of what I’ve been producing. This is my historical project, yet my drawing style makes my ideas look as though there for a pantomime production, rather than for a cutting edge film or a BBC historical drama. There lacking well informed sources and have become more like a personal perception of a period and characters rather than a factual and informative piece of art.
My line drawings draw far too strongly on regency high fashion, rather than looking at character pacific’s, for example I’ve not considered whether my characters would truly wear what I’d gathered for them. I recognise I need to find a focus for each of my characters, this way I can express their personalities much clearer within their attire.
For instance, I’ve envisioned (both within my own designs and images gathered) Lydia wearing hugely oversized bonnets. Although, the Bennett’s weren’t a poor family they equality didn’t have the luxury of indulging in new fashions. Instead they’d up cycle the clothing and accessories they already had. Throughout all interpretations of Pride and Prejudice, Lydia’s obsession with decorating her bonnets is prominent, and demonstrates her enthusiasm to stand out from the crowd. I imagine her been a little too enthused with this idea, and her over working her clothing in desperate need to out shine her siblings. I really enjoy this idea, therefore in terms of her costume I’d begin with a very simple regency dress and bonnet (similar to what Lydia’s sisters would be wearing), I would later add a mix match of ribbons and frills to really emphasised the idea of “trying too hard”.
On the contrary, I envision Elizabeth and Jane fashioned quite differently, their styles will be minimalistic and classic. Jane with her sweet disposition and gentle heart would look naturally beautiful, shown through the use of soft lines and spring colours, such as lemon yellow and pale pink. Elizabeth been an intelligent and witty character could be expressed through well tailored clothing, and would be dressed in earthy colours to communicate her love of nature and walking.
I understand I need to convey my characters much clearer and I intend to do so from here on out! This isn’t a fashion parade like what I’d been producing, I’m designing for “real women”, and it’s a chance to build characters not regency high fashion! I most consider what these women could afford, their taste and temperament. The plan is to organise my research, making what I’ve gathered clear and concise. I will review my work and set aside plans and timelines to make sure I meet deadlines, and hopefully I’ll do these wonderful characters justice!... Fingers crossed!

2 years ago
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With all this considered I thought now would be the perfect time to sort through my visits. I’ve mentioned some of them in my Duchess Tackk, but I will discuss them again from a Pride and Prejudice angle, alongside with additional visits pacifically for this project.
The Victoria and Albert museum- Wedding dress exhibition
So my first trip was to London, during which I went to the wedding dress exhibition showcased at the Victoria and Albert museum. I was disappointed to learn that the exhibition finished on the 15th of this month, it really was a wonderful exhibition with something for everyone to enjoy! Notwithstanding, the book is still available and I’d encourage anyone with an interest to buy it, or at very least view images of the exhibition online. The book nonetheless is really well informed and covers such a great scope of information and interests.
Despite loving the exhibition as a whole it didn’t really cover too much of the period I’m pacifically looking at, there was however, some wonderful costumes either side of my period which were deliciously embroidered and decorated. The regency costumes however, were delicate and simplistic; it’s interesting to compare regency costume plates and ideals to the dresses real women were wearing. I must remember that my characters are “real people” and so their dress would be reflective of what I saw at the exhibition rather than some of the portraiture and fashion plates I’ve been reviewing. Because of this, the costumes presented were well informed and instructive in terms of the Bennett sisters however, the exhibition did lack inspiration for higher society, or in terms of Pride and Prejudice, Miss Bingley.
It has to be said that the timid regency costumes were outshone by other dramatic and oversized eras. However, the delicacy and simplicity of the period is what draws me to it. Regency fashion and its empire line in my opinion, doesn’t seem to fit alongside any other modern history dress, this could be because it’s considered the closest historical costume got to today’s fashion. Regardless, it’s polar opposite aesthetic (to other eras), floridity and minimalistic qualities makes this period appear whimsical and full of romance. Rather fitting considering the genre of Pride and Prejudice. The neoclassic period drew inspiration on the elegance and simplicity of ancient Greek and Roman dress. Know more bustles or panniers, great wigs or obscure powdering; everything was stripped back to both smooth lines and delicate materials. Ultimately, I must remember not to over work my designs, the beauty it in its simplicity.
Referring back to the show, my opinion on the quality of regency dress available by no means takes away from the magnificence of the exhibition. Been so varying and easy on the eye I’d have recommended it to everyone, had it still been running!
Around the wedding dress exhibition is a permanent exhibit which covers the evolution of fashion. This costume display is absolutely brilliant, clear and concise it describes visually and analytically how fashion has changed over the course of almost three hundred years. This showcase doesn’t cost to view and is well worth the visit. In the regency section there’s a beautiful violet dress with matching jacket, couched leaves have been embroidered onto the matching set for decoration, giving the garment a feminine but tailored look. Both have been so beautifully preserved and perfectly demonstrate how I envision Elizabeth to dress. It’s encouraging to see historical costumes reflecting my ideas, and nice to know I’m heading in the right direction for a historically accurate costume.
Here's the link to exhibition:http://www.vam.ac.uk/content/exhibitions/wedding-dress-1775-2014/

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2 years ago
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Chatsworth
Since Pride and Prejudice is a fictional book there are no direct or historical links to Chatsworth, unlike the Duchess, where Chatsworth has been the home of the Cavendish family for 16 generations. Now the 2005 adaption of the film was partially shot here using Chatsworth as Mr Darcy’s fictional home Pemberly. But what drew the director to this particular stately home? I thought it was well worth a visit to find out.
As I walked up the sweeping pathway towards the enchanting building situated at the end of the walkway, I was in awe of the idyllic landscaping and sumptuous golden palace that was Chatsworth. I found myself feeling how I imagine Elizabeth felt upon arriving at Pemberly, I was mesmerised by the building, its grounds and the sheer grandeur of the place as a whole. How is it possible that anyone could call this place home? There’s a lovely scene in the film were Elizabeth’s carriage stops in front of Pemberly, dazzled but sniggering, Elizabeth can only laugh at the sheer size of the house and grounds. To think this could have been her home? Giving the same situation I’d probably do the same myself.
I was so excited when I entered the last room, which was a hall full of roman statues; I remember this most particularly, as this was where Keira Knightly first scene inside Chatsworth was. It’s very exciting to see which rooms the director felt conveyed Pemberly at its best. Whilst touring the grounds saw the beautiful lake and fountain Elizabeth/Keira was so enthralled with and i can understand why. Even in the winter the grounds were glorious!
As a whole Chatsworth is an excellent display of upper class living, and gave me a sense of the elegance and finery I must try and convey within Miss Bingley’s dress. I’ll also take reference to the rich colours used throughout the house, most predominantly reds and gold’s. These bold colours in my opinion demonstrate wealth and class. I will keep this palate in mind when sourcing and designing for Miss Bingley.

2 years ago
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