So, at the moment I'm watching the movie, "Secret Garden". I have seen this movie a million times since I was a child but I simply can't get over how wonderful this movie is. The costumes are suberb to the time. The dresses are so intricate and accurate.... I WANT SOME!
The story was created by Frances Hodgens Burnett in 1909. The movie is therefore set in the early 1900's in the movie. You can find the synopsis of the story on Wikipedia or another website, or you could just watch it. :D I will therefore focus on the accuracy of the costumes......
There are no pictures of the costumes on the Web. So i cannot post them and describe them further. We will start with the basic sillouette of the time; This era is considered the "Early Edwardian". Women of this era were to have very full busts and hips. Yet they strove to achieve rediculously small waists (of course with the help of corsets). Sleeves were getting much less poofy by the Edwardian Era. 'Short sleeves' as we know them were unheard of in everyday dresses. Their version was a 3/4 sleeve. Skirts were to be somewhat full but only really at the bottom. The hair was worn wide and poofy with a chignon (or bun) on the top of the head. Hats were not huge as in the Titanic Era, but the same "mushroom" top was the shape of the hat.
Maggie Smith (Minerva McGonagall in the Harry Potter films) is very well portrayed in this time period. She wears lots of black taffetta dresses with intricate pleatings and laces. Her hair is SUBERB. It's perfectly formed and pairs well with her face and neck (this is very important to the early women's fashion). She has a great shape for this time, very hourglass-y.
Another character for the film has very impressive dresses. The actress's name is Irene Jacob and she portays very rich twins that die early on in the story. One dress in particular is the very first seen in the film. It's an empire waisted ball gown that is very "modern" (19-teens-ish). It's a very Indian theme (as they are in india), rich reds, creams and gold embroidery. The dress almost resembles a no sleeved kimono with a victorian twist. It has a sheer red overlay for the top portion of the dress with very intricate gold embroidery. The red overlay comes past the knees and opens up at the skirt in and upside-down V, revealing the cream underdress. The cream underdress is very simple but provides a nice base for the overlay. The dress is gathered at the waist. It's very typical of an "oriental inspired" dress of the 19-teens, but not neccessarily of early edwardian gowns. Gorgeous dress though....other dresses she wears in the movie are normal edwardian lawn dresses. These are very thin white dresses pieced together with lace. These are more easy to come by, as they were quite common.
The costumes for the children are very nice and accurate but not at all as impressive as Maggie Smith's and Irene Jacob's wardrobes.
Don't be surprised on the number of costume critiques i shall provide in the future. there shall be more!