Friday, July 5, 2019

Costuming THE CROWN at Winterthur

Last month I went to Winterthur (for the first time no less, can you believe it?) and while Winterthur is of course worth many trips of its own, the reason for the visit was to see "Costuming THE CROWN"(open until January 5, 2020).
I'm a huge fan of the Netflix series so was really excited to see the costumes from this ground breaking 'tv' show.  I must have watched the first 2 seasons at least 3 times through.
I have to comment on the magic of tv.  The show looks so lush and luxe on the small screen (literally, as I often watch on my phone!) but in person everything looked fake and flat! However the details and thought put into the costumes were really incredible.
The exhibit walks one through the process of creating costumes for such well -known real life characters (some of whom are still living), where they documented exact costumes and where they had more freedom to create in the vein of the time period (50s-60s London).
I especially loved seeing the concept sketches with the actual final costumes, such as this one created for the Duchess of Windsor.
The notes on the side of the sketches give real incite into the characters- "NOT pearls" for Princess Margaret - costume design is so fascinating!
Emmy award winning Season 2, episode 2, of when the Kennedys visit London was probably the most fun for the costume designer. The elegant Parisian dress designed for Jackie vs. the rather dumpy gown of the queen says so much about their characters.
 No detail was overlooked, medals, orders, they're all there!
I don't have a picture but the padded bodysuit made for John Lithgow's amazing transformation into Winston Churchill was the highlight of the exhibit!
Queen Mary loved her jewels and her costumes were bedecked with paste which glitters so convincingly on screen yet is so flat and dull in person.
The wedding dresses of both Queen Elizabeth and Princess Margaret were mostly faithful reproductions (adjustments to fit the actresses proportions as well as to make them more palatable to modern audiences) and the stark contrast just echoed the differences in character of the sisters.  Below the embellished gown of the Queen.
The 'embroidered' dress Princess Margaret wears when she plays queen for the day is actually painted onto the fabric, which I think is even more interesting and beautiful up close (although the creepy mannequin gives me nightmares). Read this fascinating interview about the costumes Princess Margaret wears with actress Vanessa Kirby HERE at Harpers Bazaar.
 The recreation of the famous red box was so fun to see too - wish they sold these in the gift shop!
Season 3 of The Crown will come out later this year and anticipation is building; Hurry up Netflix! The new cast who will play the older characters just proves how popular this series has become: gorgeous Helena Bonham Carter as Princess Margaret (I CANNOT WAIT FOR THIS). 
And the equally fabulous Olivia Colman will play the queen. She's not a natural choice to me but she's so fantastic I'm sure she will pull it off. I CANNOT WAIT! Sidenote: have you seen "The Favourite" for which Colman won an Oscar? While the movie is historically flawed it's an amazing performance and fascinating film.
As always images are my own with the exception of the last 2 stills from Netflix. 


The Swan said...

Alas, Paste in the light of day isn’t a true diamond...the dull sparkle is the giveaway. That hand painted dress resembles one of Balenciaga for Mrs. Mellon...thanks for the tour.

The Swan said...

Although diamanté or paste isn’t glittering in the light of still does the job, and thank you for the The Crown and can hardly wait too see Helena as QE2