Now that our American fall holiday has passed, it is time to put out the festive decorations for the next big winter holiday. And what is more festive than a giant red dress?
Mina Harker’s Red Dress in Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992)
I would be remiss if I did not include THE red dress to end ALL red dresses.
Satine’s Red Dress in Moulin Rouge (2001)
Fun fact, I really didn’t care for Moulin Rouge, but I did think the costumes were fantastic. The whole palette of the film is a riot of bold blues and bright reds, encapsulated by Satine’s incredible red satin gown. It’s 1890s evening wear which can come off as looking a lot more modern than something from over 100 years ago, which is likely why the same look was super popular in prom and formal wear in the early-2000s.
Mercy Hartigan’s Red Dress in Doctor Who: The Next Doctor (2008)
Never have I ever gone from “Oh, hey a new Doctor Who episode just dropped” to “I WANT THAT RED DRESS OMGWTFGIVEITTOME” faster than when I first watched the Doctor Who Christmas Special, “The Next Doctor.” Yes, she’s bad. VERY bad. But goddamn, she looks SO GOOD. I even have a bazillion yards of heavy crimson red silk satin set aside for this eventual bucket item dress. Maybe someday I will get around to it…
Edith Cushing’s Red Dress in Crimson Peak (2015)
This thing is AMAZING and I want it, despite not really caring for this era of costume in general.
Emily’s Red Dress in Dickinson (2019)
I can’t get enough of Hailee Steinfeld (which is good, because she’s about to be EVERYWHERE as Kate Bishop in the latest Marvel Cinematic Universe offering, Hawkeye, and you know how I love me some MCU), starting with her turn as Mattie Ross in the 2010 remake of True Grit. And yet, somehow I managed not to watch Dickinson, which is a shame because the costumes don’t look half bad. And, well, Hailee Steinfeld, who I would watch act her way out of a paper bag, thank you very much.
Special Mention: Mary Queen of Scots’ Red Kirtle in Elizabeth R (1971)
One of my favorite examples of an under kirtle on film is Mary’s execution dress in Elizabeth R. While it’s not exactly festive, it sure is striking!
Do you have a favorite historical red dress in film or TV? Share it with us in the comments!