We’ve been looking forward to Colette (2018), the biopic about the French author (born Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette, 1873-1954) of works including Gigi and Chéri. Keira Knightley stars, with Dominic West (The Hour, The Devil’s Whore) as her husband Willy and Eleanor Tomlinson (Poldark, Death Comes to Pemberley, The White Queen) as a potential love interest. The film is set during their marriage, which was 1893 to 1906, and focuses on Colette’s initial years as a writer trying to come out from under — quite literally — Willy’s thumb.
The film screened at Sundance in January and has a limited U.S. release on September 21, 2018 (probably to qualify for award season?). Wider release is slated in the U.K. on January 25, 2019, and then watch for more in America and elsewhere.
Keira can (not always! Sometimes I like her!) irritate me as much as the next person, but I’m really digging the costumes, and what I see of her performance in the trailer looks good (I only spot one clompy moment!):
The costumes were designed by Andrea Flesch, a Hungarian costume designer who has a number of films on her credit list; only the Tulse Luper Suitcases series jumps out as being historic.
Colette is depicted as being modern — she’s a woman writer who is going to have some same-sex relationships, so her wardrobe reflects her crossing of gender boundaries. They’ve definitely referenced some photos of the real Colette, which makes me pretty happy! Here’s two practical suit-esque outfits, one earlier than the other:
This predates the next, just based on the hairstyle, which is very turn-of-the-century.
Can’t tell if that’s a bob or just worn more loose, but definitely later.
Now, working through the trailer, skipping costumes that aren’t clearly depicted:
We start off with this adorable, menswear-inspired shirtwaist made from gingham. Check out all those great pleats and seaming in back!
More pleats at the shoulder and a literal tie. Women definitely wore menswear-inspired skirt suits like this in this era.
Uber practical, with just a bit of black on the bodice front and sleeve cuffs.
Here’s the real Colette in a similar skirt suit, probably from about 1909-13 based on the fashions shown.
At an early party, she’s wearing a fuller-sleeved blouse.
Jumping forward in time, Colette has bobbed her hair and is wearing a super plain black dress with white collar.
They are clearly referencing this photo shoot of the real Colette and Willy — AND THEIR FRENCH BULLDOG!!!!
MOAR OF THE REAL PUPPERINO
Ahem. Back to costumes. Beautiful embroidery on this shirtwaist and skirt.
And definitely a style worn by the real Colette (left).
Now we’re back in practically-menswear as Keira gets clompy.
Again, keeping it plain although the black trim and vertical pintucks keep it interesting.
Stripey bathing suit! She’s bobbed her hair.
This vest is very ethnic in an Eastern European sort of way.
I did find this one painting of Colette (by Jacques Humbert, c. 1896) that shows a more feminine look not seen in the film, although this would have been early in her marriage.
Colette supported herself by performing on stage. It looks like this costume…
…was inspired by the real deal! Cool!
Tomlinson plays American socialite Georgie Raoul-Duval. Here she’s wearing a teagown, a relaxed option for at-home socializing.
This suit is GORGEOUS. So much detail!
Dunno. The print is period but it reads Civil War to me, and the cotton fringe…?
I’m impressed by the fact that the extras look good too.
LOVE the fans!
Loving the stripey dress, but why is far left wearing a giant hat at a ball/indoor party?