Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Fashion In Film: From Penelope to Alice...

Penelope (2006)
Director: Mark Palansky
Christina Ricci, James McAvoy
Costume Design: Jill Taylor

Between frequent viewings of Mad Men from Netflix, I ordered Penelope to view. I heard about the movie from Anne (in Reno) and the costumes from the fabled needle. It seems that even though the film enlisted at least 6 incredible British actors for the film, only about half used their own accents. In addition, even though the film was filmed in England I'm not sure if it was supposed to "be" England because the family at the center of the film were American. (However, Richard E. Grant, who plays the father is really a Brit.) Even lovely Scotsman James McAvoy was playing an American!

My rule is never make anyone Scottish, Irish, or Welsh fake an American accent! I mean, what a waste! I love "Kevin Walker" played by Matthew Rhys on Brothers and Sisters but once I heard he was Welsh all I wanted to hear was his real voice speaking the lines. Check out U.S. network TV and you will be shocked how many so-called American characters are played by people from the four countries above or Australia.

I had built myself up to see the fashion in Penelope. However, though the clothes were incredible (well, actually, only the ones on Christina Ricci) the movie wouldn't really let you see them. Strange angles, quick shots, and dark lighting were the culprits. Also a lot of the incredible set design was obscured too. Of the film as a whole...well, it had the whiff of a contender. As in, it "coulda been a contendah!" Too many things were shorthanded, glossed over, or really didn't make sense. If you've seen it, don't you think the curse/prophesy was intentionally misquoted at the beginning? And didn't it seem that Penelope's father already loved (or at least accepted and liked) her for who she was. Which, you know, would have...should have...counted for something.

My biggest pet peeve...Christina was TOTALLY TOO CUTE even with that pig nose. Any guy who has a chance to marry an adorable heiress who is supposed to lose the pig nose once she marries and runs away, is just a big idiot. Now if we had really been given a good look at her pig ears (seen only when she's a baby in a flashback) maybe? But as she looked in the film. Puh leese.

So that's my thoughts on Penelope, unfortunately I don't have much to say on the clothes because I found it too hard to find pictures of the outfits that I liked. I even tried to photograph them while I was watching the DVD. But overall, if you like (or LOVE) Anthropologie, then you will like/love the clothes in the movie. If anything, it should inspire you to buy a few basic pieces like your favorite shoes and your winter coat in great bold colors (like purple or green) and then throw on a truly eye-catching scarf.

To see the fabulous sets for the movie check here on Apartment Therapy.

Latest movie costume news!

Alice in Wonderland (2010)
Director: Tim Burton
Mia Wasikowska, Johnny Depp
Costume Design: Colleen Atwood

I just saw a few shots from the next Tim Burton film and I have to say I'm really excited. It's Alice in Wonderland, folks! And Bonus, it has at least one of my favorite sexy Brits in it...Alan Rickman! However, it's not to be done until 2010, so it will be a long wait.

Check out this drool-worthy costume on Alice - the coat, vest, shirt, the skirt made of rows of enormous periwinkle RIC-RAC (!), and precious period boots.

See this detail of the coat's exposed seam detail; the seams are pinked, yes pinked! Also note the shirt's striped cuffs on the otherwise sheer sleeves. Can I have it all, please?!

The Costumer's Guide to Movie Costumes (a great source of info*) doesn't even have official confirmation on the designer but strongly believes that it is frequent Burton collaborator, Colleen Atwood, due to the similarity to costumes from the Lemony Snicket film she worked on.

Images:, INFDaily
, Tim Burton Collective News

* If you ever want to recreate a movie costume, this is THE site to check out!


jen said...

yes, if you find out the designer for Alice, please post! I would love to know even though i have my suspicions. :)

Anne (in Reno) said...

I am still a sucker for those Penelope costumes, and for a decent fairy tale - I agree though, it was a big much to see them all running away screaming from the still-very-cute Christina Ricci.

Fairy-tale wise, have you seen the also beautifully-shot Stardust? Or heard the real accent of Hugh Laurie of House fame?

lsaspacey said...

No, I haven't seen Stardust, is the story good, does it make sense?

Yes, I love Mr. Laurie's real voice. And what about the TWO(!) Australian leads on CBS's Without a Trace?

Anne (in Reno) said...

Yeah, I love that we insular Americans apparently can't tolerate lead characters who aren't American (like us!), it's kind of ridiculous.

Plot-wise, Stardust is a little less holey than Penelope, style-wise it's a little more in the vein of The Princess Bride. It's fun and funny and very much a fairy tale but it's actually written by Neil Gaiman, who I think is a very good writer and the adaptation was well done - basically it is a fairy tale but it doesn't push it quite as much so I don't mind suspending my disbelief for it. Does that make sense?

ghkj said...

You said you will love me wow gold the whole life, but you marry her. You said Cheap WoW Gold you will wow power leveling,come to marry me, but this will not be carried out forever.WoW Gold I am trying my best to forget you and do not love you anymore. wow leveling But I failed and I still love you. Maybe wow leveling she needs you more compared wow leveling with me. So I tell you that world of warcraft power leveling you should love world of warcraft power leveling her and take good world of warcraft leveling care of her. You said I was so of warcraft leveling Yes, because I love you,world of warcraft leveling I hope you will be power leveling happy forever.

Johanna Lu said...

That ric-rac treatment is brilliant! I have not seen that movie yet, but now that you posted about her clothes, I suddenly feel an urge!