Costume Designer Dinah Collin: The Frock Flicks Guide

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Probably best known as the costume designer for everyone’s favorite Pride and Prejudice (the 1995 one, don’t fight me!), Dinah Collin has a few other frock flicks on her resume.

In an interview with The Argus, Dinah Collin talked about how she wants her work to blend into the background:

“The costume should be completely secondary so that you just become involved in the characters, particularly on television where it’s so important one believes in them. You know when you’ve cracked it because the actors are so appreciative.”

Well, maybe it’s hard to find decent costume because they’re so ‘secondary,’ but let’s see what I can dig up!

 

 

Edward II (1970)

DinahCollin, Edward II (1970)

Ian McKellen, Timothy West, & one hell of a codpiece in this BBC production.

 

 

A Tale of Two Cities (1980)

Dinah Collin, A Tale of Two Cities (1980)

Why were there so many TToTC versions produced in the early ’80s? This BBC one with Sally Osborne & Paul Shelley has better costumes, at least than the one I recently watched.

 

 

Fanny by Gaslight (1981)

Dinah Collin, Fanny by Gaslight (1981)

This BBC miniseries about a young woman who is orphaned in Victorian England is currently on my Amazon Prime watch list :)

 

 

Cymbeline (1982)

Dinah Collin, Cymbeline (1982)

Another BBC production. I think that’s Claire Bloom in the ruff.

 

 

Campion (1989)

Dinah Collin, Campion (1989)

1930s mystery series starring Peter Davison (of Doctor Who, All Creatures Great & Small, Gentleman Jack).

 

 

Portrait of a Marriage (1990)

Dinah Collin, Portrait of a Marriage (1990)

A BBC miniseries about the affair between writers Vita Sackville-West & Violet Keppel.

Dinah Collin, Portrait of a Marriage (1990)

Dinah Collin won the BAFTA for costume design for this production.

 

Pride and Prejudice (1995)

In the Sydney Morning Herald, Dinah Collin said of her work on this show:

“I don’t think it’s essential to be slavishly historically correct to the letter. I like to find that step between them and us, translating between the two flavours. It has to appeal to people in the modern day.”

Make sure to click the title for our detailed article about Pride and Prejudice costuming with tons of quotes from Collin and the director and other behind-the-scenes info, as well as our historical analysis!

Pride and Prejudice (1995) Pride and Prejudice (1995) Pride and Prejudice (1995) Pride and Prejudice (1995) Pride and Prejudice (1995) Pride and Prejudice (1995), Bingley sisters
Dinah Collin, Pride and Prejudice (1995)

She won the Emmy for costume design for this work.

 

Gladiatress (2004)

Dinah Collin, Gladiatress (2004)

A sword-and-sandals comedy set in Celtic Britain. Hey, not everything’s award quality.

 

 

Hyde Park on Hudson (2012)

Dinah Collin used and reproduced many period garments for this production. She told The Argus:

“With those sort of period films, it’s about taking original clothes and copying them. I wasn’t aware how many amazing late-1930s dresses there are sitting in New York costume houses.”

She also worked with Swarovski to make stunning copies of jewels owned by the British royal family, which were worn by Olivia Colman as Queen Elizabeth (the current queen’s mum).

Dinah Collin, Hyde Park on Hudson (2012)

Olivia Williams is Eleanor Roosevelt, Laura Linney is a distant cousin, & Bill Murray is FDR.

Dinah Collin, Hyde Park on Hudson (2012) Dinah Collin, Hyde Park on Hudson (2012)

 

 

Dad’s Army (2016)

Dinah Collin, Dad's Army (2016)

A WWII movie based on a British TV comedy.

Dinah Collin, Dad's Army (2016)

Catherine Zeta-Jones in a smart ’40s suit.

 

 

My Cousin Rachel (2017)

In The Telegraph, Dinah Collin said of her designs for Rachel Weisz in this remake of the ’50s classic, “We wanted her to look really elegant but also classic so we set her in the 1840s.” Click on the title for our full review with more details about the costumes and historical analysis!

Dinah Collin, My Cousin Rachel (2017) 2017 My Cousin Rachel 2017 My Cousin Rachel 2017 My Cousin Rachel

 

 

Gwen (2018)

Dinah Collin, Gwen (2018)

A Welsh folk tale set during the Industrial Revolution.

 

 

What’s your favorite Dinah Collin frock flick — and is the 1995 Pride and Prejudice the best of all P&Ps?

7 Responses

  1. Alexander Sanderson

    I luv, luv, luv Dinah Collin’s work and I especially like her designs for Edward II. She created wonderfully stylistic, yet stark and sexy, ‘medieval’ costumes, which worked incredibly well with the theatricality of Ian McKellen and Timothy West’s performances especially. I also really appreciate her work on My Cousin Rachel, which is a period I normally dislike when it comes to clothing – but so much detail and the fit of each gown was superb!

    Reply
  2. Nzie

    Yay! Lots of good work here. I’d like to watch Hyde Park on Hudson. :-) P&P is great in my opinion. :-)

    Reply
  3. Kaite Fink

    Huh, FDR played by Bill Murray. I thought I read that wrong first! I think I’ll have to find and watch this. I’m intrigued. Collins appears to have an amazing set of work. I obviously adore this P&P version. My Cousin Rachel is on my TBW list.

    Reply
  4. MrsC (Maryanne)

    GLADIATRESS is one of my favourite movies – it’s so silly and it’s so good to see British comedy entirely driven by funny women. In our family, if we see a symbol of a fish, someone is bound to say, “the Fush the fush, the TEERRIBLE Fush” in a teerrible scots accent….well I guess you had to be there…

    Reply

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