Archive for the ‘Alan Rickman’ Category

There’s a few days left to catch a fantastic exhibition at the Fashion Museum in Bath. It’s called ‘Dressing the Stars’ and features the talents of costume designers who work in film. This has to be one of my favourite museums, not least because it is housed in the Assembly Rooms which feature in Jane Austen’s novels, so it’s always a treat to visit.

Over forty costumes are on display in total in the exhibition, worn by stars including Johnny Depp in Pirates of the Carribean, Colin Firth and Helena Bonham Carter in The King’s Speech, and Keira Knightley in The Duchess, some of which was shot at the Assembly Rooms in Bath. Other costumes include those worn by Cate Blanchett in  Elizabeth,  Gwyneth Paltrow in Shakespeare in Love, and Meryl Streep in The French Lieutenant’s Woman.
My favourite, and the ones I couldn’t wait to see in detail were the costumes worn by Kate Winslet and Alan Rickman for the wedding at the end of Sense and Sensibility. The wedding scene is over so quickly, and Kate’s dress only flashes onto the screen for a few moments, but I’ve always thought it was beautiful. Designed by Jenny Beavan and John Bright, the costumes lived up to my expectations, and Kate’s dress, in particular, is divine. I’m always amazed at the detail that goes into these costumes even when they’re seen from a distance. One of Emma Thompson’s dresses is also featured – the other striking feature I noted was that these film stars are all so tiny!

 You can also see an exhibition of over 30 of the Fashion Museum’s most exquisite cream, ivory and white wedding dresses at the ‘What will she wear? The enduring romance of the wedding dress’ exhibition. Many of the exhibits are over 100 years old, delicate silks with gossamer fine lace and embroidery, all  carefully hand-picked for the new display.
 ‘WHAT WILL SHE WEAR?’ includes wedding dresses made of silks brocaded with metal thread, lustrous silk satins, even crisp white nylons; some of the dresses are decorated with ribbons and bows, some with antique lace.
White has been the colour most associated with wedding dress in western cultures for well over 200 years and ‘What will she wear?’ includes historical examples from the early 19th century. The most up to date wedding dress in the exhibition is a white lace dress, with an asymmetric hem by designer Alexander McQueen worn in Summer 2010, and especially lent to the Fashion Museum for the display.

Finally, there are some beautiful examples of Regency muslin dresses and accessories in the main gallery, which provide wonderful inspiration!

Jane Odiwe

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I’m trying to keep the gloom of January at bay! For those of you that couldn’t watch yesterday, I’m hoping this might work for you instead and that it will make you laugh! Lots of familiar faces – gorgeous Alan Rickman and fabulous Imelda Staunton to name only two of the great cast who performed in this tongue in cheek Regency comedy.

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Two Colonel Brandons for your delight! The top photo shows David Morrissey playing the part in the recent BBC adaptation – the bottom photo is Alan Rickman starring in the Emma Thompson/Ang Lee version. With these lovely examples of Colonels how did it take Marianne so long to realise where her heart lay?
In Sense and Sensibility Marianne first meets Colonel Brandon at Barton Park – home to the Middletons on whose estate the Dashwoods have kindly been given a cottage. Mrs Jennings, Lady Middleton’s mother takes no time in asserting that the Colonel has fallen in love with Marianne and sets about teasing them both mercilessly. Marianne is less than impressed!

“…Colonel Brandon is certainly younger than Mrs. Jennings, but he is old enough to be my father; and if he were ever animated enough to be in love, must have long outlived every sensation of the kind. It is too ridiculous! When is a man to be safe from such wit, if age and infirmity will not protect him?”

“Infirmity!” said Elinor, “do you call Colonel Brandon infirm? I can easily suppose that his age may appear much greater to you than to my mother; but you can hardly deceive yourself as to his having the use of his limbs?”

“Did not you hear him complain of the rheumatism? and is not that the commonest infirmity of declining life?”

“My dearest child,” said her mother laughing, “at this rate, you must be in continual terror of my decay; and it must seem to you a miracle that my life has been extended to the advanced age of forty.”

“Mama, you are not doing me justice. I know very well that Colonel Brandon is not old enough to make his friends yet apprehensive of losing him in the course of nature. He may live twenty years longer. But thirty-five has nothing to do with matrimony.”

“Perhaps,” said Elinor, “thirty-five and seventeen had better not have anything to do with matrimony together. But if there should by any chance happen to be a woman who is single at seven-and-twenty, I should not think Colonel Brandon’s being thirty-five any objection to his marrying her .”

“A woman of seven-and-twenty,” said Marianne, after pausing a moment, “can never hope to feel or inspire affection again; and if her home be uncomfortable, or her fortune small, I can suppose that she might bring herself to submit to the offices of a nurse, for the sake of the provision and security of a wife. In his marrying such a woman, therefore, there would be nothing unsuitable. It would be a compact of convenience, and the world would be satisfied. In my eyes it would be no marriage at all, but that would be nothing. To me it would seem only a commercial exchange, in which each wished to be benefited at the expense of the other.”

“It would be impossible, I know,” replied Elinor, “to convince you that a woman of seven-and-twenty could feel for a man of thirty-five anything near enough to love to make him a desirable companion to her. But I must object to your dooming Colonel Brandon and his wife to the constant confinement of a sick chamber, merely because he chanced to complain yesterday (a very cold damp day) of a slight rheumatic feel in one of his shoulders.”

“But he talked of flannel waistcoats,” said Marianne; “and with me a flannel waistcoat is invariably connected with the aches, cramps, rheumatisms, and every species of ailment that can afflict the old and the feeble.”

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