A Little Chaos (2015) Trailer Commentary


A Little Chaos (2015) trailer has been posted! We’ve talked before about this movie, starring Kate Winslet as a gardener at Louis XIV’s (Alan Rickman) Versailles (Rickman is directing), with costumes by Joan Bergin (The Tudors, The Prestige, My Left Foot).

The film is set in 1682, during the third building campaign of the Versailles gardens, led by Andre Le Notre.

I’m super excited to see this one, because I LOVE Kate Winslet — she is such a talented actress, and she does so well in historical roles. And, while I don’t get swoony about Alan Rickman the way the rest of you do, I do think he’s a very talented actor. And, the trailer looks good! Interesting story, lots of shiny, and Stanley Tucci is HILARIOUS in his one scene.

Now, let’s talk costumes more in-depth:

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Winslet hanging with the court. LOVE the parasol, that’s right out of period images. And the looped-up skirt on the purple velvet mantua (far right) is great, as is the pink back-laced child’s dress. But, why is there a woman in a sack/robe volante (front left) — that didn’t come in until the 1720s.

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FABULOUS, dahling. Love all the gold lace.

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Winslet’s character apparently doesn’t own a comb or more than 2 hairpins. From the trailer it’s clear she’s supposed to be a down-to-earth commoner, but she sports this look through the whole trailer.

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I’m guessing these are Winslet’s undies — stomacher-fronted stays and a corded petticoat — with a work apron on top? Because otherwise, WTH?

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Shiny! Great sleeves on the left (pale yellow and maroon brocade). What’s with the watermelon-colored 18th c. dress?

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Love this cross-over, Turkish inspired robe that Winslet wears — except for the random open skirt, which doesn’t mesh.

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At first glance: shiny! Upon closer inspection: WHAT is the elderly lady on the couch wearing? Is she Winslet’s hair inspiration? (Also, younger lady next to her in just a chemise? Are we interrupting some kind of orgy here?)

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LOVE: “I speak from the opposite end of the fashion scale. I like it about myself. Answer, madame. Stop me talking.”

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Helen McCrory is clearly playing the decadent court lady, a la her role as Barbara Villiers in The Last King. I’m not too sure about her dress, but I’m reserving judgement.

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Lady in exposed stays (to the left of Winslet)?! She’s in the orgy scene too. I could deal if the tabs of her stays weren’t exposed.

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More Barbara Villiers Madame Le Notre.

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Stays. Are we liking the bust curvature? I’m not sure.

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That bust curvature gives her a weird line in this (otherwise lovely) mantua.

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A final shot of shiny. Full-bottomed wigs on men = HAWT.




About the author



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.

4 Responses

  1. Trystan

    Seriously, Kate Winslet’s hair! Geebuz, what is up? And who’s the one guy with scraggly locks? Is he some big name I’m not recognizing? This is like the opposite of the 1930s-1960s trend of using perfect modern coifs on the stars in costume drams — instead, let’s give the stars ugly but kinda modern bed-head while all the extras were fabulous period hair.

  2. L'Oiseau de la Vermilion

    They always say that if you have an excellent costume designer, then look at the extras to see the really authentic pieces- but the Tudor’s costumes were such fantasy that I don’t know if we could apply that rule.

    Kate Winslet’s silhouette is all wrong. I have no idea what they were doing with that corset, but it’s completely unauthentic and it makes all her dresses look wonky. And all the comments about her hair… OMG! That’s just a scandal. WHY do that?

    But the men do look good!