Monday, November 13, 2017

Monday Morning Inspiration/Murder On The Orient Express, the Costumes

It's a cold, sunny morning in Chicago, 28 degrees. Fog has rolled in over the city like a blanket that promises warmth. The fog is a sign of warmer temperatures that will fool many into thinking that winter is still far, far into the future. But...winter has a wicked sense of humor, snow, and lots of it is predicted for the weekend!

I love a movie with gorgeous costumes. The new movie, Murder On The Orient Express will be one that I will see primarily for the costumes. 

A few weeks ago, I saw an interview with the director, as well as the grandson of Agatha Christie. The movie looked interesting, but it wasn't until I saw a post by Jill of The Denver Sewing Collective that I became determined to see the movie. 

The costume designer, Alexandra Byrne won an Oscar for her work in Elizabeth: The Golden Age, so is quite accustomed to working on period pieces. 

A tremendous amount of research went into creating the clothing for the movie. She said that as she thought about the characters, she actually had to look back and think about the lives that each lived prior to boarding the train.

Judi Densch plays Princess Dragomiroff, a woman who would dress many times throughout the day, and a woman who always wore a corset. Of course her clothing would be rather rich and opulent, like the piece below.  

Love the closeup detail of the sleeve.

In order for the clothing to be believable, great care was taken to recreate the types of fabrics used during the 1930s, and fabrics in particular that would be worn by an Englishman versus an American. The fabrics of the period had a spongy quality. The fabric for the coat below was woven in Scotland using old methods of weaving.

Look closely at the plaid coat below. Love the sleeve detail!

Michelle Pfeiffer plays Caroline Hubbard, a self-proclaimed husband hunter. Ms. Byrne uses the costumes to speak about who the character is.

With this piece, she portrays that Caroline Hubbard is a woman who will wear a snow suit and yet never ski. Take note of how the fur wraps around the sleeve. Such a gorgeous detail.

Another detail that I find intriguing is the use of patterns, and how they play with and against each other.

Another piece worn by Michelle Pfeiffer. Hanging on the dressform, I didn't think that much of it.

But I found this trailer from the movie. The dress is simply breathtaking and moves with a fluid grace.

Johnny Depp plays Ratchett, a wealthy American criminal who has been traveling as a bogus art dealer for 2 years. It was important that he look the part of an American, but with some wear to his clothing. I love how the leather coat has been distressed to convey his time of being on the road.

The movie was shot in 70mm. Ms. Byrne said that this made her work all the more challenging as you can see every wrinkle, crease and seam.

There's something special about a movie that can capture our imagination and at the same time make us dream of another time. I think Murder On The Orient Express will fit that bill. If nothing more, I want to see the costumes on a big screen!

If you would like to read more about the costume designer, and the costumes, there are 3 great articles, HERE, HERE, and HERE.

Wishing you a wonderful week full of delight!

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  1. Thank you so much for this post and the links. I did go see the movie on the weekend, and it was the clothing that really captured me (The story's not half bad either, lol!). I especially loved the plaid coat. When you see the details in the movement of it, it's spectacular! Thank you again for your blog. I have really been enjoying broadening my horizons through it.

  2. Thank you Rhonda I want to see this film too now!

  3. Great post, can't wait to see the movie !! I hope you feel better soon. Hava a happy week.

  4. Thanks for this, Rhonda! I think I must see the movie twice: the first time to devour the story, the second time to savor the costumes.

  5. This looks absolutely wonderful. The costumes and the set are amazing. Thank you for sharing this. I will make a point of going to see it in the cinema now. Xx

  6. The movie is definitely on my must see list. The costumes look amazing.

  7. Burr! sounds cold there! I had to change out of my morning sweats while sewing as they got too hot! LOL. I remember the 1974 version of this movie. Don't know that this version will win my heart as much as Bacall, Finney, Connery, Widmark....... ;) but the costumes of this one do look gorgeous!

  8. Wonder post! This movie is on my watch list this week!

  9. Beautiful clothing! Thanks for sharing. I can't wait to see the movie now!

  10. The clothing is gorgeous. Thanks for sharing.

  11. Great post! Our timing is so in synch. I sent you an Instagram comment on Friday saying I've been inspired lately by your fur posts. I had sent that comment in the lobby of the movie theater after watching this film and wanting to use some of the techniques you've been writing about to make a snow suit like Michelle Pfeiffer's character. You won't be disappointed by the costumes in this film. They are amazing!