Vintage Glam in The Age of Adaline (2015)

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The Age of Adaline (2015) stars Blake Lively, current lifestyle brand guru, previous sister of the Travelling Pants, and Michiel Huisman, everybody’s favorite hipster hottie (Game of ThronesOrphan BlackNashville), in a movie about a woman who stops aging. The story is primarily set in the present day, as Adaline (Lively) meets Ellis (Huisman) and has to decide whether to protect herself/run away the way she always has or take a chance on love. In flashbacks, we learn her story: she was born in 1906, got married in 1931, has a daughter, then in a freak accident when she is 29, stops aging. (And somewhere along the way, her husband dies — maybe in WWII? I forget!)

The Age of Adaline (2015)

On her wedding day, in 1931.

The story tries to be a sadder version of Amelie, complete with helpful narrator explaining what’s going on. Blake Lively gives a pretty good performance — she tries to project both wisdom and resignation, although she can sometimes come off a little too precious. Huisman is, as always, hot in that modern hipster beardie way (although thank god, there’s no man buns!).

The Age of Adaline (2015)

Convenient post-shower scene.

And she has a PUPPY, who is elderly and super sweet, and I want to love him.

The Age of Adaline (2015)

GIVES ME THE PUPPY KISSES. NOW.

But let’s talk costumes, eh?

Costumes in The Age of Adaline

The costumes were designed by Angus Strathie, although apparently Blake Lively was “instrumental” in their design.

Like I said, most of the film is set in the contemporary era. What’s nice is that Adaline’s wardrobe (and hair) are very vintage-inspired. You can see that all of her style references are from the past, and it makes for a lovely wardrobe for those of us who like vintage styles. According to the costume designer, they frequently mixed vintage pieces — for example, a jacket from the 1920s worn with a 1960s skirt and sweater, plus a 1940s handbag (Blake Lively’s Age of Adaline Wardrobe: Those Turtlenecks Were Her Idea).

The Age of Adaline (2015)

THIS COAT, for example. I WANTS THE PRECIOUS.

That being said, she is AWFULLY GLAMOROUS for someone who is trying to fade into the woodwork. And, who lives in modern-day San Francisco, but whose job is as a volunteer at the historical society. There are some scenes showing her taking charge of her investments, so maybe she’s got a nice nest egg. But still. Your average 29-year-old doesn’t own evening gowns like these:

The Age of Adaline (2015)

Lovely, elly-gant, and 1930s-inspired … but really?

The Age of Adaline (2015)

It IS New Year’s Eve, but.

The Age of Adaline (2015)

Another NYE gown.

What’s funny is that Lively was quoted as saying,

“The honesty in it, the history in it was really important because we could’ve actually had even more fabulous costumes if we were just purely making a movie from a wardrobe perspective … But we really wanted to be honest and true, and what would this woman be able to actually afford?” Blake Lively Was Instrumental in Designing the Stunning ‘Age of Adaline’ Costumes

The flashback outfits are all great, however:

The Age of Adaline (2015)

1920s

The Age of Adaline (2015)

During World War II.

The Age of Adaline (2015)

Supposedly 1943, although it’s more 1953 to me. Whatever, I want that dress and her hair is great.

The Age of Adaline (2015)

Another 1950s (?) ensemble.

The Age of Adaline (2015)

With her daughter in the 1950s. LOVE that use of the plaid on the skirt and then as an applique on the sweater.

The Age of Adaline (2015)

1950s.

The Age of Adaline (2015)

1960s.

The Age of Adaline (2015)

1970s. Ah, cowl-neck sweaters. I remember them (on my mother) well.

According to Strathie, “It was Blake’s idea to include a number of classic turtlenecks in Adaline’s wardrobe … And it was a good idea! It aged her in a good way by making her look a little conservative and covered up.” Blake Lively’s Age of Adaline Wardrobe: Those Turtlenecks Were Her Idea

The Age of Adaline (2015)

1984. Already showing her vintage-y-ness, because nobody I knew looked like that in the 1980s.

There’s a nice video interview with costume designer Angus Strathie that you should also check out, if you’re interested.

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About the author

Kendra

Website

Kendra has been a fixture in the online costuming world since the late 1990s. Her website, Démodé Couture, is one of the most well-known online resources for historical costumers. In the summer of 2014, she published a book on 18th-century wig and hair styling. Kendra is a librarian at a university, specializing in history and fashion. She’s also an academic, with several articles on fashion history published in research journals.

2 Responses

  1. Susan Pola

    I enjoyed the movie. There’s a scene in it where she tells her investment person about new stock/he tells her. Xerox. She’s very well off. But you can have the coat, I want a younger version of the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. Also her stock portfolio. *smiley face*

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