Cut! – Jane Eyre – Jane’s wedding gown

Costume Poster

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)

From Jane Eyre

The first shot is a bit of a teaser – the undergarments worn to create the silhouette of the dress (shown in the foreground).

Jane's wedding dress

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.

Jane's wedding dress

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.)

Jane's wedding dress

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.

Jane's wedding dress

I really do adore the little pleats inside the elbow though, to allow for sleeve shaping and movement…

Jane's wedding dress bonnet

… 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…

2 comments on “Cut! – Jane Eyre – Jane’s wedding gown

  1. It’s a lovely dress, though rather simple – I adore the way it emphasises Jane’s character. The lace and tull add some light elegance and everything blends together beautifully.
    I did a little research on one of my ancestors who was 20 when the book was published. She must have worn something similar when she married 5 years later, for her position in society was not unlike Jane’s. If you’re interested (mhh, some very discreet advertising..), the post: I’m still not sure what to make of this tiny picture.

  2. Dawn says:

    That is very cool that you’ve been able to base some costume research off an actual photo of an ancestor! I like some of the styles from this era, but haven’t ever spent much time researching it myself… or made anything for that matter either. I suspect that the style, while nice to look at, doesn’t really suit my figure. You should check out though – lots of pretty things there too 🙂

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