Tuesday 8 April 2014

Romantic Edwardian's - A Room with a View / Howard's End

Helena Bonham-Carter in Howards End
This weeks collection picks up on the romance of the Merchant Ivory films A Room with a View and Howard's End. Pretty creams and powdered hues, layers and layers of lace, tulle and cotton lawns. This is just a little dip into the films as inspiration and something we will return to in more detail later in the year.

Little snippets of black and beautiful tiers on Vanessa Redgrave's dress in Howards End. 

All that hair and lace and romance in A Room with a View.

A Room with a View and Howard's End are among my favourite films and have a firm place in my top ten*. They are the films that make it look quintessentially lovely to live in the English countryside and with blinkers in place it sometimes really is this chocolate box gorgeous.

The Edwardian based period dramas are wonderfully romantic with layered up laces, fine linens and cascades of thick curls atop of the British darlings Bonham-Carter and Thompson's heads. They visually have a nostalgic feel wrapping you in a warm vintage, feather filled, paisley blanket without being too cuddly. It also captures they way Britain was viewed from afar in a Liberty of London, Laura Ashley way just including all the femininity, freedom and hope.

The costume designers who worked on both films Jenny Beavan and John Bright deservedly won an Oscar for A Room with a View and have such an extensive knowledge of historical dress. John Bright went on to set up Cosprop, the costume stable of Oscar winning design in London. It's the accurate referencing and then re-styling that brings the characters in the film to life, the relaxed everyday feel to those cinched waists in the country.

I love Miss Honeychurch's embroidered sash and those little gloves matching the lace on her cape bodice. 

Watch these films on a lazy Sunday afternoon as a double bill and then take a lingering walk in the countryside to admire all that natural beauty around us.

Take a look at this delightful illustration by Becca Stadtlander of Howards End 

Here is a great article by DTSFT about costume designer Jenny Beavan.

*there may be approx one hundred films in my top ten.