Not too long ago Jane Eyre (or rather, a 2011 version of Jane Eyre) was on TV, and I actually watched it. (Well, ok, I watched most of it, I came in about half an hour late.) I know I’ve seen this 1996 version before, but although the story is easy to remember, it’s not exactly memorable.
In short, I really don’t like the story at all, and I can’t say that I like the costumes much better – though the details are rather nice, even if the overall look is rather bland.
The poster for this wedding dress says that the dress was worn by Charlotte Gainsbourg as Jane Eyre in this 1996 production set in England in the mid 1800s. It goes on to say:
“This is a simple yet appropriate wedding dress for a young woman who must work for a living while searching for equality in an unfair society – and for true love. This one-piece dress of deep cream silk in a matt (matte) finish is partly overlaid with tulle trimmed with fringing (fringe) and blond lace. It not only indicates Charlotte’s (Jane’s) station in life but follows the desire of director and designer to reflect the film’s somber gray atmosphere.
Compared to the other costumes in this exhibition these three examples are masterful in their simplicity and restraint and fully illustrate the subtle messages about class and wealth that costumes can convey.” (corrections mine)
The first shot is a bit of a teaser – the undergarments worn to create the silhouette of the dress (shown in the foreground).
Overall, the dress is pretty plain and ordinary. I like the waist treatment (though what woman would wear that?) and you can get the effect of the tulle over the silk a bit in the skirt – though overall it doesn’t really read as anything special.
It’s in the close-up photos that I think the dress becomes more appealing. The waist treatment is still lovely, (though unwearable) but then you can see how the tulle goes over the bust, leaving an impression of a v-neckline, over the silk. The tulle also adds some softness to what is otherwise a pretty ‘hard’ dress considering. I think the little decorative (non-functional) buttons are rather silly though personally… though it does have the “wedding dress” feel of modern dresses with their hundreds of little silk buttons down the back (which are likewise decorative rather than functional for the most part.)
In this close up you can get a better impression of the tulle over the skirt – though the colours are so similar that it almost seems redundant. The cuff is simple and lovely though with just the little touch of matching lace, and the tiny wisp of lace inside the cuff.
I really do adore the little pleats inside the elbow though, to allow for sleeve shaping and movement…
… and the best part about this outfit is the bonnet in my opinion. It’s rather interesting, draped all in tulle.
So, what do you think of this costume? It definitely suits the mood of the film/story…