TBT: Jefferson in Paris (1995)

There are some definite problems with the Merchant/Ivory film Jefferson in Paris (1995). The story doesn’t quite come together, the filmmakers don’t seem to know which story they’re telling, and the depiction of slavery tries so hard but doesn’t quite get there. However, it’s a well-made, interesting film with some great performances… and it’s HANDS DOWN the best depiction of 1780s French costume I’ve ever seen on screen. I’ve been trying to get to reviewing some of The Frock Flicks Classics that we’ve put off because they’re so good that they require a really in-depth review. I finally tackled A Room With a View, now let’s really Do This on Jefferson in Paris.

Because I have LITERALLY a million screencaps to discuss, I’m not even going to get into a review of the film — for that, check out my short review. Know that the film has great performances by Greta Scacchi, Simon Callow as the foppiest of fops, and Thandie Newton.

Instead, let’s get right to the costumes, which were designed by Merchant/Ivory stalwarts Jenny Beavan and John Bright. Strap in, this is going to be LONG, because when you’re screencapping the COOK, you know things are going well…

Do you want to read all of this review (with almost 4,000 words and over 200 images) about the movie Jefferson in Paris (1995)?  The full post is available on Patreon for our subscribers! Check it out here. We’ll make this post available to everyone one year from today. Until then, only Patreon subscribers can view it!

1995 Jefferson in Paris


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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.

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