Patreon Post Unlocked: Lillie (1978)


Shout-out to my homies who love the ’70s British costume dramas! I hadn’t watched Lillie (1978) the first time around, but dayum, I sure did get sucked into it last year, watching on Amazon Prime. Usually, I would balk at 13 one-hour episodes, but I was totally engrossed because Francesca Annis as the main character, Lillie Langtry, is so freakin’ good, you can’t look away.

It doesn’t hurt that the costumes by Frances Tempest and Linda Mattock are gorgeous. The story spans Langtry’s entire adult life from age 16 in 1869 to her death in 1929, and yes, the costumes do match all the decades in between. OK, the first episode with Annis portraying Lillie as a 16-year-old (Annis was in her 30s) stretches credulity, but the costumes are appropriate to the period, at least. These are skin-out, head-to-toe historically accurate as they could be in 1978 Victorian ensembles in every scene on every actor, even the random extras, and the styles and fit are exquisite.

Read all of this review where I catalog most every outfit worn by Langtry in Lillie (1978) here!

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Patreon post unlocked - Lillie (1978)

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About the author

Trystan L. Bass

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A self-described ElderGoth, Trystan has been haunting the internet since the early 1990s. Always passionate about costume, from everyday office wear to outrageous twisted historical creations, she has maintained some of the earliest online costuming-focused resources on the web. Her costuming adventures are chronicled on her website, TrystanCraft. She also ran a popular fashion blog, This Is CorpGoth, dedicated to her “office drag.”

5 Responses

  1. Susan Pola Staples

    Thanks for the unlocking of the Patreon post, see my comment on original review

  2. Frannie Germeshausen

    I remember watching it lo those many years ago, and thinking it was wonderful.

  3. M.E. Lawrence

    Oh, fond memories–watching this with my (late) best friend, when we were both 27 and striving to build careers, etc.

  4. Aleko

    Where did Americans get the wacky notion that a tiara is a symbol of rank, that ‘commoners’* may not wear?

    A tiara is a piece of jewellery, nothing more. It is not, and never has been, a symbol of rank. In Britain it may be worn by any married woman (or woman who has been married, i.e. a divorcee or widow), whatever her social status, at a formal (i.e. white-tie-and-tails) evening occasion, or by a bride in her wedding dress, whatever time of day her wedding is. It is a crashing social solecism to wear one on any other occasion, or for an unmarried woman to wear one at all. So, a rag-picker’s daughter may wear a tiara to a ball, provided she is or has been married, but an unmarried princess may not.

    (This is the British etiquette. In continental Europe the rules are different: just as the French sometimes wear black tie and dinner jacket (= ‘tuxedo’) in the daytime – unthinkable in the UK – one sometimes sees continental royal ladies wearing tiaras in the daytime. But you’ll never see HM or any British princess doing so.)

    Pedantry fact of the day: the word ‘commoner’ means ‘anyone who is neither the monarch or the peer of the realm’ – literally, anyone qualified to be a member of the House of Commons. That means that the only women in Britain who are not commoners are the Queen herself and the handful who are peeresses in their own right – the wives of peers use their husbands’ titles but are not peers themselves. If commoners really couldn’t wear tiaras, tiaras would be very rare items!