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!
OMG – how could you forget Claire’s red dress in “Outlander?”
That was my first thought too!
My very first thought!
As much as I am not a fan of “Outlander” that red dress was stunning.
I love seeing how red dresses are deployed on film–I used to have a Pinterest board devoted to them. One small note: Lucille Sharpe, not Edith Cushing, is the wearer of the fabulous red dress in Crimson Peak.
I dare to say I couldn’t forget Sisi’s red dress, worn by Cristiana Capotondi in the 2009 mini-series ( https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1442136/mediaviewer/rm3335850496/ ). I went to an exhibition to see it, quite remarkable !!
That’s a gorgeous one too and it must have weighed a ton with all that velvet. I have a Victorian ball gown with velvet and I rarely wear it because it’s soooooo heavy
Yes, even looking at the dress it was hard to assess the weight but I believe it’s remarkable.
How about Glen Close’s red and gold dress from “Dangerous Liaisons”?
Too much gold to qualify?
And they’re off topic, but tangential and interesting, I like Lydia’s red tulle wedding dress from “Beetlejuice” and Jessica Lang’s red hunting outfit from Julie Taymor’s “Titus”.
I forgot… Michelle Pfeiffer’s red dress in “The Age of Innocence”.
Clearly this needs to be a yearly special–there’s so many amazing red dresses to choose from! :D
Crimson Peak; stunning detail.
Salma Hayek’s in “The tale of tales” and Emilie Dequenne’s in “Brotherhood of the wolf”
Judy Garland’s Christmas dress in Meet me in St Louis was always one of my favorites.
Hail to the costuming staffers who press such intricate and reflective dresses to perfection.
Scarlett O’Hara’s red slut dress, the one that Rhett made her wear to Melanie’s party.
I was going to mention that one – she looks absolutely stunning!
NOTHING will ever top Mina’s dress in Dracula. NOTHING will ever top any costume in Dracula.
Non “FrockFlick” fave red dress: The dresses worn by En Vogue for the video “Giving Him Something He Can Feel” which are in the National Museum of African American Culture and History. Hell yes!!!
I just have to mention Buttercup’s red dress from the Princess Bride, though it’s not very historical… Historically inspired is more like it
Rosalind Russell had an amazing red dress with fur-trimmed sleeves in Auntie Mame.
My grandmother, my mother, my sister, and I all met husbands while wearing red dresses. They are powerful.
Michelle Pfeiffer’s red dress in The Age of Innocence and Judy Garland’s Christmas Ball dress in Meet Me in St. Louis.
I love me a good red dress. To the extent I swear I wore that Jessica McClintock to my grad banquet in gulp 1998, or at least a very close cousin. It was the dress of my dreams at 17. Still is.
(I still have it! Or at least it’s in a closet at my parents’. It might even still fit.)
I’m with you, Edith’s dress is stunning! All those tiers of pleated crimson. I don’t know how she could walk in it but it’s perfect for sitting and being admired! 😄