I’ve seen Jane Eyer (2011), and for a costume junky like me, I’ve fallen in love.  Costume designer Michael O’Conner did such a wonderful job (name sound familiar, he also designed the costumes for the Duchess staring Keira Knightly) These are the kind of costume drama’s I live for, one’s that not only complement the time frame of the movie, but complement the characters as well.  Many Jane Eyer adaptations have up been based in the 1830’s; the Romanic period were women’s sleeves looked like cream puffs (Even an old 1940’s Pride and Prejudice) The book is based in the 1830’s but was written during the 1840’s, ten years later.  Both costume designer Michael O’Conner and director Cary Fukunaga liked the idea of the movie taking place during the 1840’s.  If your still looking for any hint of ‘romanic’ costumes though, pay close attention at the beginning of the movie where Jane’s Aunt has on the most beautiful blue and brown dresses.  As for the rest of the movie, the 1840’s has taken over.

If you’ve seen the movie you might have noticed that Jane Eyer’s clothing gets lighter in color as the movie goes on.  Costume designer Michael O’Conner mentioned that he wanted the colors of the designs to reflect Jane’s emotions.  Michael O’Conner also designed and created most, if not all, of the costumes, instead of hiring from a costume house.  All of the school girl uniforms were designed and created for Jane and her school mates, giving the costumes an added detail. He also designed Jane’s wedding dress, one of two mayor designs he had in mind.  Her beautiful white ensemble fits her character, plan and simple, yet still keeping an air of magic that all wedding dresses need. (If this movie doesn’t win best costume at the Oscars I will boy-cot the Oscars, although in the past this hasn’t worked out as well as I planned:P )

If I was staring designer Michael O’Conner in the face right now, I’d give him a huge hug and thank him a thousand times over for getting Jane’s undergarments right.  Weird right.  Normally people sigh, cry, or hug during touching, sad, or romantic moments.  But me, I sighed long and deep when Jane stared at her white clothed form in the mirror after her attempted wedding.  The corset, the petticoats, everything oozed historical accuracy so much it made me cringe with delight.  So no, I did not cry when everyone got there happy ending, I teared up when I saw Jane’s undergarments and Mr. Rodchest’s jacket (True story, I could feel the tears starting to form)

During one of the fire scenes Mr. Rodchester turns around and you get to see a full view of one of the many jackets he wares.  The small puffs at the shoulders, the cut of the collar and the way it lays around his silk cravat are perfect.  Little fact about cravats, there are theoretically 85 ways to knot a cravat (try memorizing that).  On a more practical side the creation of his clothing was spot on.  The seams fall in just the right place, and Mr. Rodchest looked ever the part of a tortured rich man.  But that’s me I guess, someone who cry’s when they see well taylor men’s jackets’, gotta love those quirky moments.  Jane Eyre has officially stolen my heart away from Marie Antoinette with Kirsten Dunst.  Maybe if were lucky Marie Antoinette will never know my’s hearts missing.  I can then keep my liaison going without ever having to give her up for Jane Eyer.

Jane Eyer costume review The link has very good images of the Jane Eyer costume exhibit.  There is also a review of the movie compared to the TV mini series.  Although I don’t agree with the writers stand point, mainly the proposal scene, I will let you judge for yourself.  Besides, that’s another story.

P:S I will be posting images of all the costumes I talked about under my Photo Page

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