Netflix’s Rebecca: The Perfect Wardrobe Inspiration

After endless months of being stuck indoors shrouded in comfortable layers, we wish to see the world in our chicest attires. Without a mask when possible! A job that pays to travel, and a European backdrop with the James Dean of our dreams. Netflix’s Rebecca is the perfect wardrobe inspiration.

Photo: Kerry Brown/Courtesy of Netflix

It’s safe to say that we are still dumbfounded by Lily James portrayal in last year’s release, Rebecca, who played the timid yet appealing Mrs. De Winters as she adorned 2020’s most celebrated trends. Her wardrobe breathed cottage-core aesthetics from lacey details to soft hues and fabrics. No shortage of Peter pan collars and puffed sleeves. The audience was basking in the beauty of the French Riviera like an Old-Hollywood style diva.

Photo: Kerry Brown/Courtesy of Netflix

Adapted from the novel of the same name, “Rebecca” by Daphne du Maurier is a chilling story with a scenic visual representation. A lexicon of period-authentic styles, inspired by the style icon of the eras and beachwear photography, as the costume designer of the movie Julian Day explains in an interview with Fashionista, “Even though it’s period correct, it was the idea that anyone literally could go out now and buy the outfit of each character” which is literally the case as we spotted Harry Styles favored knitted cardigan and pearl detailing on Mrs. De Winters, and retro bowling shirt on Mr. De Winters.

Photo: Kerry Brown/Courtesy of Netflix

The story unfolds with a clumsy and awkward Lily in an ill-fitted skirt suit making her way through a lavish interior. In cue to attract the most influential man of the crowd Mr. De Winter; soon enough, Lily’s sartorial choices developed. Her blonde bob hair-do is adorned with variations of berets, raffia, and bucket hats, her wardrobe saw a rich amalgamation of fabrics from tweed to delicate silks and cotton to lightweight knits as she indulged in summer silhouettes.

From cascading blouses to pussy-bow collars and balloon waisted tops with blowing palazzo pants, Julian explains in an interview with WWD “her style develops with the blossoming of the love she has with Maxim, she takes on a romantic silhouette”. Another detail that we connected with was the repetition of outfits. Leads rarely repeat outfits, which made her more into a girl next door further appealing to our likes.

Photo: Kerry Brown/Courtesy of Netflix

As her journey shifts from a plain shy girl to a country lady after setting foot in Manderley as Mrs. De Winters wearing a gray collarless wrap-front coat. Soon enough, her closet hints at the transformation too from regular blouses to more twinsets and feminine silhouettes. You see edgy silhouettes washing off the colors from bright and pastel to dark and subdued. One such fit was that of a tweed pantsuit paired with a turtleneck (a reviving and most donned trend) for which Julian got inspired by the silver screen legends of the era like Katharine Hepburn, Greta Garbo, and Marlene Dietrich who historically gave birth to androgynous fashion by wearing pants in the 30s.

Photo: Kerry Brown/Courtesy of Netflix

Julian explains her look further to Vogue UK by adding, “I studied a lot of Wallis Simpson’s looks, and also Coco Chanel’s, particularly during the period when she was having an affair with the Duke of Westminster and would wear a lot of men’s oversized tweed jackets”. One of the more riveting looks was the Chanel inspired custom-made golden boucle suit. Rebecca proved to be a fashion-forward watch and the perfect wardrobe inspiration. At times it is necessary to bring a book alive and give the audience a visual treat. This was one of those times!

Rebecca is now available to stream on Netflix

Works Cited

Hoo, Fawnia Soo. “The Old Hollywood-Inspired, Period-Authentic Costumes in ‘Rebecca’ Feel Exceptionally Modern.” Fashionista, Fashionista, 21 Oct. 2020, fashionista.com/2020/10/netflix-rebecca-movie-costumes-outfits.

Maitland, Hayley. “Every Symbolic Detail Woven Into The Costumes Of Netflix’s ‘Rebecca’ Adaptation.” British Vogue, British Vogue, 20 Oct. 2020, http://www.vogue.co.uk/arts-and-lifestyle/article/rebecca-netflix-costumes.

Tauer, Kristen. “Costume Designer Julian Day Reimagines the Sartorial Landscape of ‘Rebecca’.” WWD, WWD, 19 Oct. 2020, wwd.com/eye/lifestyle/rebecca-costume-designer-julian-day-netflix-1234638583/.

Emily In Paris: An Ode To Carrie Bradshaw

By Nandini Khetan

In today’s time when the fashion fanatics couldn’t get enough from ogling & drooling over Carrie Bradshaw’s wardrobe from Sex and the City, creator Darren Star released yet another a la mode version of the century with Emily in Paris on Netflix, paying homage to the most desired character of the ’00s HBO show. With actress Lily J Collins as Emily, an all American woman who moves to Paris for a job opportunity in a French luxury marketing company as a social media strategist, Emily’s wit and charm mesmerizes men while her inept command over the French language creates cultural differences in her workplace and for us the audience her sartorial elegance led us to worship her. The costume designer for this show was Marylin Fitoussi, and even included a costume consultant, the one and only Patricia Field.

For me, ‘Emily in Paris’ in certain ways was an elongated version of Carrie in ‘Sex and the City,’” said the legendary Costume Designer Patricia Field the face behind the iconic looks from Sex and the City, Oscar-nominated Devil Wears Prada now Emily in Paris which is already making a buzz among the fashion fiends as Field gussied-up Emily in French luxury pieces, Chanel & Dior, to fashion-forward retailers Farfetch & Net-A-Porter.

The first episode unfolds as Emily walks into her Paris office wearing an Eiffel Tower printed button-down paired with a snake-skin leather mini skirt and a Paris inscribed Louboutin heels, much of a street-style look at any fashion show rather than at a marketing company. As her co-workers scrunch up their nose in disapproval and her lady boss Sylvie gives her a lesson or two on ‘French-girl’ sophistication, the viewers get a look at her over-the-top style, bright hues (shades of pink & green in particular), well-executed outfits (pairing letter & animal print together, donning one jacket on top of another, layering tons of different fabrics together) with an overly fancy handbag or cross-body and her bold tinted lips won her the likes and of course the Off-white floral puffer jacket which has our hearts.

As she settles in, Emily’s wardrobe hinted the likes of any French fashion girl from Beret to Plaids & overcoat to pearl handbags & hoops to a knotted scarf at the neck (French style!) with each ensemble nodding to the likes of 2020 fashion runways pieces- Bucket hat & bag! Check, Tabi boots! Check, Houndstooth! Check, Co-ords! Check, Blazer-dress! Check, Turtleneck! Check, Socks and Heels! Check, Statement Jackets! Check, Dr. Martens! Check and a lot of Checks! Check, leaving the audience spellbound and fashion influencers to recreate looks. While we are on this topic, let’s not outlook the most iconic Carrie Bradshaw white tulle skirt ‘tutu’ look emulated in the show’s second episode as Emily dons a black tulle skirt and a tube top paired with effortless makeup and hair pinned back loosely- a classic.

For a night in the opera, Emily wears a stunning off-shoulder chevron-sheer black midi gown paired with evening gloves, a vintage jeweled bag, embellished pumps and a delicate neckpiece as a hair accessory. This was a nod to Audrey Hepburn’s portrayal in the movie Funny Face.

Field made sure to bring back the ’00s trends quite literally by adding few elements of that decade from the choker to asymmetrical hem and navy-inspired jacket to metallic tinted ensembles and wide-belts for our benefit.
Emily’s closet is an extreme explosion of colors, prints, fabrics, trends and classics, each look adorned by her is a runway brought-down and oh-so coveted, turning heads on the go (twice!).

Darren Star, Marylin Fitoussi, and Patricia Field pulled in yet another fashion-charged watch, an enthralling of oohs and aahs with each episode and a lot of Chanel and Eiffel Tower in the background. Finally a breath of fresh and exciting air in 2020.

Gender-Bending Fashion of The Danish Girl

By Nandini Khetan | Sep. 07, 2020

Back in the 1920s, as the world moved forward from WW1 towards a liberated and revolutionary society, artist Lili Elbe’s (transgender women and among the first few known recipients of sex reassignment surgery) portraits by Gerda Wegener and her sartorial elegance attracted serious attention making her an icon of that period and inspiring many artists of today. This inspiration also led to the publication of a book and a film loosely based on her life called The Danish Girl. The film received many accolades while the image of the latter left an imprint on our minds through the costumes which led Costume Designer Paco Delgado to widespread acclaim as he decorated the entire cast in classic ensembles roaring twenties.

Set in Copenhagen, this story begins with the unveiling of Einar Wegener’s (played by Eddie Redmayne) gender identity as a woman while posing for her wife Gerda Wegener (played by Alicia Vikander). This event leaves Einar feeling imprisoned within her own body, thus beginning Einar’s transition into her life as Lili Elbe. Paco Delgado portrays Lili’s frustration through the stiffness of Edwardian suits and slim-fit tailoring in British wool and Gabardine textiles. Paco used mostly shades of blue, gray, and black color palettes. Lili’s initial wardrobe included a waistcoat and tie, or on occasions, a pinstripe shirt (a classic from this era of men’s fashion) and bretelles paired with high-waisted trousers. All of this topped off with the famed fedora hat. Hoping for freedom from the boundaries of masculine attire, Lili’s wardrobe softens as she relocates to Paris and donned suits with a more feminine approach. From cream-colored oxford bag trousers to a pink cravat and fur-lined coat, the audience witnesses the unfurling of Lili’s character. Lili’s outfits witnessed the influence of shapeless silhouettes by celebrated designers of that period such as Lanvin, Poiret, and Chanel who often disagreed with the notion of dressing women in restricted corsets, which defined the waist by hiding it completely in loose chemise dress from the shoulders to knees (the most coveted trend of the 20s). This trend is seen on Lili in throughout the film in different colors and fabrics paired with nude or gray stockings and Cuban-heeled court shoes. The fabrics adorned by her are exclusively expensive from chiffon, sheer, velvet, and silk encrusted with beads and jewelry. There are also instances of flower embroidery and lace trimmings emphasizing her beauty while the figure; no curves and flat chest, emphasized the look of ‘shapelessness’ an ode to the Flappers and resembled Designer’s Callot Soeurs muse.

Actor Eddie Redmayne as Einar
Actor Eddie Redmayne as Lili

Lili’s wardrobe color palette glorified her appeal furthermore from apricot to gemstone hues. Her accessories varied from hats with quills and ribbons to Gatsby-inspired bags and gloves. Her oversize coat with voluminous armholes and her finger waved wig, bold lip color and scarf captivated the on-goers.

Einar posing as Ulla the ballerina for Gerda’s painting

As Lili fancied all things Parisian, Gerda followed suit in a classic Cloche hat and Art Deco-inspired prints. Her core colors comprised the likes of blue and browns, decorating a dropped-waist chemise dress with a scoop neck and a short-hem wrap coat with a straight calf-length skirt. This look was paired with lace-up boots. Her outerwear was a variation of Opera coats (a shared look between Lili and Gerda) and fur coat, her hair short in waves which she accessorized in a long beaded neck-piece, and her entire appearance hinted to the likings of designer’s Jean Patou women of the 20s.

Actress Alicia Vikander as Gerda
R: Actress Alicia Vikander as Gerda L: Actor Eddie Redmayne as Lili

The portrayal of Lili’s freedom from her previous self is vivid as she skims her fingers through the rack of sumptuous seeming clothes and observes the tying of a corset with fascination as the movie unfolds, setting an urge inside Lili to find her true self. Paco Delgado worked his own magic to translate Lili’s acceptance through her clothes.

The Beguiled (2017): Costume Review

By Nandini Khetan | Aug 18, 2020

Set in the American Civil War, The Beguiled (2017) revolves around the life of women in a Southern boarding school as they provide refuge and tend to the wounds of a Union Soldier found in the woods. As captivating as the tale sounds the visual depiction is equally beguiling (as the name goes) from the decaying vintage residence to the ethereal yet effortless costumes which present a contemporary take on the women Civil War outfits from the 1860’s. Costume Designer Stacey Battat refashioned the dark and dull mourning color palette from that era to a fresh and lively off-whites and pastels in the movie giving each character a distinct print and texture. Although fashion was of least concern to the women living on their own learning french, mending clothes, plucking mushrooms and humming to their beats while repeating outfits to portray their meager condition the sudden arrival of a male figure in the mysterious mansion changed the air between the women who started ornamenting for the foreign refugee in lace and ribbon trimmings.

Stacey also worked on redefining silhouettes of the 1860’s, an era when women adorned tight-fitted corsets to hoop skirts. Instead she gave the cast billowy fabrics to move around freely during their chores with a pinner apron over their full-long flowy skirts and a Garibaldi blouse (a shared look among the women) matching each character’s traits to their wardrobes. As the head of the house, Miss Martha’s (played by Nicole Kidman) stern and authoritative persona donned shades of ivory buttoned straight collar Civil War dresses with geometric prints accessorizing in a straw-ribbon hat, granny boots & a brooch while her upper silhouette seemed like a man’s vest (which is symbolic of that time frame) indicating she is in charge and her curls tied up in a loose back-bun.

Actress Nicole Kidman as Miss Martha in the movie

The most transformed style after the soldier’s arrival was that of Edwina (played by Kirsten Dunst). Her character glorified as she fell for him from solid white Garibaldi blouses, to a variation of polka dot mesh blouses. Stacey worked with ultra-fine fabrics to give Edwina’s outfits a romantic touch in lace trim collar with a ribbon, to boning blouses,small floral prints all with light hues her hair in a beauteous braided neat bun complementing her appearance.

Actress Kirsten Dunst as Edwina in the movie

While the young Alicia’s (played by Elle Fanning) flirtatious character defined her closet well from lilac to margarine yellow in a variation of Lolita blouses & ruffles being her second skin. From yoke ruffled blouses to ruffle tiered skirts in candy stripes and small floral prints, Alicia’s long open tresses and flushed cheeks worked like a charm in defining her persona.

Actress Elle Fanning as Alicia in the movie

Even the younger girls seemed to enjoy the new company, moving around in pretty outfits from plaid, gingham, and floral adorning peter-pan collars & soft hues. Each character’s distinct wardrobe choices described them and their shared love for an evening gown that they donned at the dinner table for the soldier (twice) unified them as the neckline dropped off-the-shoulder in a Bertha neckline with a folded band of fabric with small flowers & ribbons or lace trimming and different sleeves, from bell to puff or trumpet, each in their core color palette impressing the refugee.

Young Girls of the boarding school in the movie
A still from the movie

As the movie neared its climax, we are given a glimpse of the Victorian nightgown which is indicative of that period. We witnessed the vivid portrayal of the 1860’s through costumes as the tale took over, leaving us beguiled.