WCW: Andrea Riseborough


Andrea Riseborough is an English actress who is very talented, and has that slightly buggy-eyed (very attractive!) look that makes her perfect for 1920s-30s films. I always enjoy watching her for her acting skills and her beauty, so let’s admire her in the hopes she’ll make some more frock flicks!

Margaret Thatcher: The Long Walk to Finchley (2008)

As a far-too-pretty Margaret Thatcher in this TV miniseries about Thatcher’s early years.

2008 Margaret Thatcher- The Long Walk to Finchley

See? Her eyes totally remind me of the Mitford sisters!

2008 Margaret Thatcher- The Long Walk to Finchley

You can never go wrong with dark-color-and-black — here it’s navy.

2008 Margaret Thatcher- The Long Walk to Finchley

Tres chic!

The Devil’s Whore (2008)

As a fictional courtier whose life is upended by the English Civil War.

2008 The Devil's Whore

She’s pivotal to all the boys.

2008 The Devils Whore

She looks great with dark hair, even if she’s potentially grommety.

2008 The Devil's Whore

This show understands cartridge pleats!

2008 The Devil's Whore

I have raved before about this wedding dress.

2008 The Devil's Whore

I just LOVE well-done silk satin!

2008 The Devil's Whore

Even when things don’t go so well, always be well dressed.

2008 The Devils Whore

Just lovely!

Made in Dagenham (2010)

An inspiring film about the 1968 Ford sewing machinists strike.

2010 Made in Dagenham


Resistance (2011)

An alternate reality where the Germans have invaded and occupied Britain during World War II. I feel like I tried to watch this and didn’t care? Maybe? Or was that another alternate-reality take on WWII?

2011 Resistance

It’s bleak being occupied.

2011 Resistance

Not having any fun.

W.E. (2011)

The Madonna-directed film that is half Wallis Simpson and King Edward VIII in JAW DROPPING STUNNING COSTUMES by Arianne Phillips, and half a modern woman who is obsessed with the couple. They should have just stuck with the period stuff, as the modern story just doesn’t work.

W.E. (2011)

Okay, so Riseborough is too beautiful to play Simpson, who was always elegantly and chicly dressed but not “pretty.”

2011 W.E.

Who cares, let’s admire these AMAZING COSTUME DESIGNS.

2011 W.E.

I love the zig-zags paired with the antennae hat!

2011 W.E.

The pattern matching on this IS TO DIE FOR.

2011 W.E.

Just epic.

2011 W.E.

SO elegant!

The Witness for the Prosecution (2016)

As the titular witness, testifying against her husband who has been accused of murder, in this 1930s-set Agatha Christie adaptation.

Witness for the Prosecution (2016)

She’s a beautiful but melancholy showgirl.

Witness for the Prosecution (2016)


Witness for the Prosecution (2016)

Taking the stand.

Battle of the Sexes (2017)

As “Marilyn Barnett” in this film about the real-life 1973 tennis match between Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs.

2017 Battle of the Sexes

Is she a hairstylist?

The Death of Stalin (2017)

I keep hearing rave reviews for this black comedy take on Russian dictator Joseph Stalin — I’m sure I’ll get to it at some point? Riseborough plays Svetlana, Stalin’s daughter.

2017 The Death of Stalin

Keeping it simple yet of-the-period.

2017 The Death of Stalin 2017 The Death of Stalin

What’s your favorite of Andrea Riseborough’s frock flick roles?


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.

12 Responses

  1. Boxermom

    I really liked “Battle of the Sexes”. The strange thing is, in the movie she was Billie Jean King’s hairstylist, when in real life she was BJK’s secretary. Hollywood.

  2. Kristin Cooper Holtz

    I love her in the Agatha Christie. the duplicity of her role in witness for the prosecution is amazingly sympathetic.

  3. florenceandtheai

    Probably still The Devil’s Whore, if only because I really haven’t seen any of the others. Those gown fabrics were STUNNING.

    • florenceandtheai

      Amended to say what I saw of the The Death of Stalin was very funny. I didn’t recognize her. I was on a transcontinental flight so I didn’t catch the entire movie.

  4. Lynne Connolly

    The Death of Stalin is brilliant. Very funny, very black. You’re appalled at yourself while you’re laughing. Superb cast who obviously relished every minute of it.

  5. Lily Lotus Rose

    She is a very talented and beautiful actress. I’ve often wondered why she isn’t more well known. My fave of her Frock Flick roles is Wallis in W.E. If we’re going to nitpick that she was too pretty to play Wallis Simpson, then I’ll add that James D’Arcy was too handsome to play David, and that James Fox and Natalie Dormer were too attractive and totally unsuited to play Bertie and Elizabeth. That said, I really liked the movie, including the gorgeous costuming and musical score, and the non-essential contemporary storyline. It’s been ages since I’ve seen The Devil’s Whore, and I just remember it being weird. Maybe it’s time for a re-watch. The showgirl stills from The Witness for the Prosecution remind me of Cate Blanchett’s showgirl costumes in The Man Who Cried. Great WCW choice! I definitely want to hunt down some of these pics!

  6. kathleenjowitt

    They’ve got the Wallis Simpson hair spot-on.

    Speaking of hair, ‘Barnett’ is an excellent name for a sort-of-fictional hairdresser! (For those not familiar with Cockney rhyming slang, ‘barnet’ = ‘Barnet Fair’ = ‘hair’)

  7. Sophie

    She is a real woman crush of mine, I find her really charismatic and charming in pretty much everything. I watched W.E. on a flight pretty much just because of her. Totally agree that the Wallis & Edward story was the only decent part of the film. But that brings something to mind – it would be great to see James D’Arcy in MCM!

  8. Karen K.

    The casting as Wallis Simpson is spot-on. I had no desire to see WE but now those costumes are making me rethink. Must watch Death of Stalin too.


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