WCW: Clémence Poesy


You may know French actress/model Clémence Poesy as Fleur Delacour in the Harry Potter series, but she’s done a number of historical films and TV shows. She’ll soon be joining Claire Danes and Tom Hiddleston for a spooky late Victorian mini-series (The Essex Serpent), so let’s look at her frock flick resume!


Gunpowder, Treason & Plot (2004)

In her first English-language role, Poesy played an actually French-accented Mary Queen of Scots, but sadly that was the only positive in this awful, awful miniseries.

2004 Gunpowder, Treason & Plot

Her hair is up, even if it’s not a terribly 16th century style!

Gunpowder, Treason & Plot (2004)

Which Simplicity pattern was this?

Gunpowder, Treason & Plot (2004)

My favorite! The Backpack Dress!


Le grand Meaulnes (2006)

A literary adaptation about doomed love set just before the First World War. Poesy plays the love interest, Yvonne.

2006 Le grand Meaulnes

Okay, this looks pretty and nicely costumed!

2006 Le grand Meaulnes

I believe she’s a teenager, so I’m okay with the hair half-down.


Les amants du Flore (2006)

A TV biopic about French writers Simone de Beauvoir and Jean-Paul Sartre. Poesy plays “Lumi.”

2006 Les amants du Flore


War and Peace (2007)

Irritating me as the original historic manic pixie dream girl, Natasha, in this TV miniseries adaptation of the Russian Napoleonic Wars-set novel.

2007 War & Peace

She’s a dreamer!

2007 War & Peace

Who makes bad decisions, like the fabric for that dress (although I do like all the angled pleats)!

2007 War and Peace

I like the sheer.

2007 War and Peace



The Silence of Joan (2011)

As Joan of Arc, baby! This film focuses on her capture and execution.

2011 The Silence of Joan

Looks like the kind of padded garment worn under armor? (I know nothing about armor!)


Birdsong (2012)

A soldier in World War I flashes back to his affair with a young, married woman (Poesy). I was super bored by this, but I still like Poesy in general!

2012 Birdsong

It’s a pretty show, just, stupid characters make stupid decisions.

2012 Birdsong

This is very nicely done! Love all the applique.

2012 Birdsong

She’s always elegant.


The Hollow Crown: Richard II (2012)

As Isabella of Valois, Queen of England, in this Shakespeare adaptation.

2012 The Hollow Crown - Richard II

Okay, now THIS I love, but I don’t know enough about medieval to know if it’s correct. I think this is supposed to be a houppelande?

Maria d'Harcourt et d'Aumale, wife of Reinald IV, Duke of Guelders and Jülich, in a houppelande, fol 19 of the Breviary of Marie de Gueldres by Master of Mary of Guelders, working in Nijmegen, c. 1415, Berlin State Library

Wikipedia tells me this is what a houppelande should look like | Maria d’Harcourt et d’Aumale, wife of Reinald IV, Duke of Guelders and Jülich, in a houppelande, fol 19 of the Breviary of Marie de Gueldres by Master of Mary of Guelders, working in Nijmegen, c. 1415, Berlin State Library

2012 The Hollow Crown - Richard II

I think that’s a chaperone headdress? And another houppelande?

2012 The Hollow Crown - Richard II

Assuming they are putting the rest of her hair up, I LOVE the Princess Leia buns!

2012 The Hollow Crown - Richard II

More of that gown.


Final Portrait (2017)

A biopic about Swiss painter/sculptor Alberto Giacometti. Poesy plays “Caroline.”

2017 Final Portrait 2017 Final Portrait 2017 Final Portrait


Genius (2018)

This season focused on artist Pablo Picasso. Poesy played French painter Françoise Gilot, who had a long romantic relationship (and children) with Picasso.

2018 Genius

This seems to be the 1940s (National Geographic/Dusan Martincek)

2018 Genius

Antonio Banderas plays Picasso.

2018 Genius


Resistance (2020)

A biopic about famed French mime Marcel Marceau’s World War II experiences. Poesy plays “Emma.”

2020 Resistance

Okay, those are cute trousers!


The Essex Serpent (coming soon)

A TV miniseries based on a novel. Per Wikipedia: “Set in the Victorian era, in the year 1893, it tells the tale of Cora Seaborne, a woman relishing her recent freedom from an abusive husband, who moves from London to a small village in Essex and becomes intrigued by the idea that it might be haunted by a mythological sea serpent.” Poesy plays Stella, whom the main character befriends.

The Essex Serpent

Looks like she’s into aesthetic dress?

What’s your favorite Clémence Poesy frock flick role?


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.

20 Responses

  1. florenceandtheai

    I think the padded armor undergarment is called a gambeson or pourpoint. She looks great as Isabella de Valois!

      • Nutcracker

        I don’t understand why War and Peace-2007 irritates you.
        All the costumes here are absolutely gorgeous. These dresses in the second photo are day dresses, made of cotton, pleasant green-swampy color, with long sleeves and hidden tits, with fashionable cut. The plot is trashy of course, but Clemence did a good job of playing the fool manic pixie dream girl, Natasha.

    • M.E. Lawrence

      I must find that episode–feels funny to refer to an episode of Shakespeare–of “The Hollow Crown.” Wonderful shot of Isabella with the skull. Mind you, the historical Isabella was not quite 7 when she was married off to Richard, and let a rather sad life: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isabella_of_Valois

      • Scoots2

        Yes, although it was Shakespeare who changed it. If he hadn’t, he couldn’t have had a tragic farewell scene in which Richard blames the deposers for bringing a double divorce between him and his queen and him and his country. Not to mention that he gets to tell her to treat him as a story: “tell thou the lamentable tale of me.”

        My God, I love that play.

  2. susan l eiffert

    So glad you mentioned Poesy. Although not FF’s, I fell for her in In Bruges and The Tunnel. A wonderful actor.

  3. Aleko

    Fun fact: in the 14th century those Princess Leia buns would have been covered and held in place by an ornamental net of silk or gold thread, known as ‘crespines’. In modern French, ‘crépine’ means the fatty membrane surrounding animal intestines, which is used to wrap around minced pork to make a traditional type of patties which are called ‘crépinettes’. We use this membrane to make a very similar dish in Britain, except we call them ‘faggots’!

  4. Constance

    She is my Keira K. Or whoever most irritates you on screen…I can’t handle her and War & Peace was the worst of her…

      • Lily Rose

        I guess? Casual wear for Queenie while she’s just hanging out on the throne, wearing her crown? I’ve only ever seen one image of a houppelande without a belt, and it’s a man who’s obviously crazed with grief…. And having worn them, they’re completely unmanageable without the belt, as well!

  5. Roxana

    The loose, rather shapeless gowns with their round necks are definitely not fifteenth century, though they do make her look frail and rather overwhelmed by her clothes which I’m assuming was what they were after. BTW Isabella was about ten years old when Richard II was dethroned. The marriage was unconsummated but Isabella was very much attached to Richard and took his fate extremely badly.

  6. Ermanno

    Having in mind (and in the heart) W&P as Tolstoj’s novel and Vidor’s movie as the top movie rendition, I’m rather indulgent about all later versions as well as this one.

  7. Scoots2

    Clemence Poesy is yet another actor who has suffered from being in Harry Potter, much as I love those movies. Every time I see Maggie Smith referred to as “Harry Potter’s Maggie Smith,” I want to spit tacks. It’s as though the woman had no career until she was sixty.