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Friday, April 1, 2011

Friday~ Fabulous Film and Fashion

“Jane Eyre” by Charlotte Brontë is one of my all time favorite books. I can honestly say that I attend most film adaptations filled with trepidation as so few live up to my grand expectations. But this new release by Focus Features is superb.

It stars Mia Wasikowska as our heroine Jane. You may know Ms. Wasikowska from her recent  role as “Alice” in Alice in Wonderland. Dame Judi Dench plays the part of housekeeper, Alice Fairfax, beautifully and maintains her status as a true favorite of mine.

Of course there are two mains reasons that I am absolutely besotted with period films. The first is fashion. Sigh. The dresses, the hairdo’s ~ I love it ALL. I must say that Sally Hawkins is brilliant at making you hate her as the wicked Mrs. Reed.

My second and most favorite ingredient in period films are of course the settings ~the architecture ~ the interiors. I scan each shot trying to commit to memory the beauty of the surroundings in which the characters live.

Jane Eyre delivers. Grand old mansions ~ check! Glorious countryside~ check! Beautiful rooms~ check, check and check!!! I am totally coveting the tapestry fireplace screen. Hmmm. I wonder if anyone else noticed it?

While the film does not delve as deeply into the characters as the book does,  I must say that it does a grand job of staying true to the spirit of the novel. My only complaint? That it has been given a limited release. I could only find Jane Eyre playing at one theater in Phoenix. Which means that most of America will have to wait to see it until it is released on DVD.  Other than that, the film truly is a happily ever after.

For local culture I urge you to run, don’t walk to the Phoenix Art Museum. They are celebrating a year of fashion with two extraordinary exhibits. The first is “Fashion Independent ~ The Original Style of Ann Bonfoey Taylor”. Mrs. Taylor was a true trendsetter in all aspects of her life, but it is her fashion sense currently on display.

To be able to view a couture gown by Givenchy so closely that you can see the hand stitching of ostrich feathers onto a dress makes one believe that fashion can indeed be considered an art form.


My favorite.

The other fabulous exhibit is “Théâtre de la mode” which encompasses 166 wire mannequins dressed in complete 1946 era ensembles to include gloves, hats, handbags and shoes. The exhibit offers a lesson that the artistic abilities of a war torn France could not be destroyed by the ravages of WWII.

The tiny mannequins stand just 29” tall and are dressed in the spring/summer collections from 54 of Paris's haute couture houses. Couturiers such as Hermès, Lanvin, Madame Grès, and Nina Ricci, among others, banded together in 1945 and did not allow the Nazi’s  to crush their creative spirits. You will be amazed that even the teeny shoes have such delicate details.  

Since the designers could not stage a full fledged fashion show due to the shortages of materials and money caused by the war, they decided they would show their designs in miniature. The traveling show raised money for war relief, gave much needed publicity to the designers and thrilled audiences in London, New York and San Francisco, who were worn out by the shortages and rationing caused by the long war.

Jeanne Lafaurie (French, active 1925–1958), Théâtre de la Mode Mannequin with Draped Dress and Accessories, 1946. Mixed media, approx. 29” tall.  Gift of Chambre Syndicale de la Couture Parisienne Maryhill Museum of Art, Goldendale, Washington.

It truly is a Barbie for big girls.



Linking to:

Common Ground

The Charm Of Home

French Cupboard

French Country Cottage

My Romantic Home


Susan said...

I love both of these era's I think women dressed so feminine and look so classy!

Cindy said...

Love, Love those grand houses and the beautiful dresses ladies wore in those days! I imagine the weren't too comfortable, but they sure were fancy!

ImagiMeri said...

Hi Laura,

How cool.....I didn't know this was going on. I gotta' take my married daughter to this........she loves fashion! Thanks for the tip!


Shelia said...

Lovely post, Laura! I love this films too! Now I'm glad you liked the Bathroom Fairy snap but just realized I left Liz out! Oh, no! I'll have to fix it later.
Be a sweetie,
Shelia ;)

Sonya@Beyond the Screen Door said...

I have been lookin forward to this movie coming out and just recently realized it had been released. I'm with you, Laura. I love period movies. I can watch them over and over. Probably because of all the details in location and costumes as well as the story. Jane Eyre is one of my favorites as well as Jane Austen's Persuasion. But honestly, I like them all.

Counting Your Blessings said...

Oh how gorgeous! I didn't know about the new Jane Eyre. Now I'm going to be on pins and needles until I can rent it. Thank you for sharing your French Inspiration!

Blessings... Polly
Counting Your Blessings
French Cupboard

Miss Sandy said...


Thank you for the heads up on the movie, I put it on my must see list. Wow, what wonderful exhibits! Thank you for sharing the history behind the mini fashion show, such a wonder. Have a great weekend!

Priscilla said...

I'm looking forward to this new Jane Eyre. It looks aesthetically pleasing. I hope the acting is equal to the lovely scenery. It is virtually impossible to make an entire novel into a theatrical film. That has been proven by the success of the classic British series.

Your favorite dress from the group is indeed the most beautiful.
Isn't it interesting how the shoes are so similar to the style being pushed today. Personally I think they are extremely ugly. They make women's feet look deformed. I've seen models falling off runways and local girls clomping around town looking awkward, graceless, and inelegant. I'll be so glad when this fad has gone the way of the "Dynasty shoulder pads"!
As always, great post.

Language of Color and Texture said...

So interesting, thanks for teaching! Excellent post, very uplifting.

The Quintessential Magpie said...

This is one of my most loved books, and I wore holes in the video version of Jane Eyre which has Timothy Dalton as Mr. Rochester. Do yourself a favor, Laura, and order that DVD if it's available. You will LOVE it. Even my husband likes it! ;-)

Thanks for the heads up on this. Judy Dench is a favorite actress, and I love any British period piece, particularly this story. My other favorite is "Pride and Prejudice," starring Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy. I bought the series. It's by the BBC.


Sheila :-)

Debra@Common Ground said...

Oh, I can't wait to see it!! One of my fave books! Thanks for linking up and sharing these wonderful movie images. Have a great weekend!

Karena said...

Oh Laura I cannot wait to see this film, I agree the fashion and architecture are such a huge part of the film!

Art by Karena

Liz said...

Ohhhh... Ahhhha... Can't wait! We (the book club) will be seeing the movie Sunday night. LOVED!!!! the book. I have to say that there is so much to the story that most of the movie adaptations leave out... I'm anxious to see it. I looks beautiful.

The fashion exhibit looks like it is well worth the trip too. I haven't been since Monet in ....many years ago! :)

Ann-Marie ~ Brambly said...

Jane Eyre is one of my favorite novels. I was very lucky to see it last weekend at the Kabuki in San Franciso. The casting was wonderful! A fantastic adaptation. Have a wonderful weekend!


Ido said...

Ohhh! I definitely want to watch this movie! Thank you!

By the Bluegrass said...

Very nice post! can't wait to see the movie.

Julie Tucker-Wolek said...

Looks like an amazing movie! :):):):):):):):):):):)

that's life! said...

Thanks awfully for the 'heads up' on Jane Eyre. As far as I'm concerned, no one's yet made the 'perfect' adaptation of either this or 'Pride & Prejudice', but this new release looks like it'll come pretty darned close!
Lord only knows if we'll get it in our local cinema (what am I saying? I'm in country Australia; we don't *have* a local cinema!) I'll be watching for the DVD!

*Love* your blog! Love it! I can tell I'm going to be a devoted visitor!

Miss Rhea said...

I have been so on the fence about seeing this. I LOVE Jane Eyre, but the previews look quite scary. I don't do scary, ( I get scared ! lol !!! ) I am hoping it is not as they are advertising it and it is mostly true to form, as the book and previous William Hurt Movie. Thank you for the pictures, I think I might have to braven up and go see it now, just for the beautiful scenery you have shown :) I scrolled down and LOVE your beautiful lilac dress. It looks so pretty and fresh for spring in that color and it is a great color for you :) Thank you SO much for your visit. I will be back and am adding you to my favorites :) :) Happy Day !!!!! :)

My Little World said...

I love Jane Eyre too and I hadn't heard of this film adaptation. I'll look into it, thanks for it.

Danielle said...

Thanks so much for posting this! Unfortunately, my city is not showing this new adaptation. I'm a little sad, and I cannot wait until it comes out on DVD! This version looks like it will quickly become a favorite!

TRay said...


I CANNOT WAIT to see "Jane Eyre!!" It is starting here this week!!

I am obsessed with those tiny, tiny fashions!!! Love them!

--The Royal PEAculiar said...

Hello, found you at FrenchCupboard, your entry is next to my lampshade.
Can't wait to see the movie. Thanks for sharing the photos. I am your newest follower.