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Girl Crushin’: The Duchess [Georgiana Spencer]

by Ashley on June 22, 2009

A couple of weekends ago I finally got around to watching The Duchess. The fellow has been stubborn about watching it, and so with his trip abroad, I decided it was time to catch up on the films *I* wanted to watch.  And am I ever so glad I did!

The Duchess = Knightley’s “Pride & Prejudice” + “Marie Antoinette” + What “The Other Boleyn Girl” Should have been.

How’s that sound for a movie? The beautiful visual styling and cinematography of the new “P&P”, the delicious costuming and femininity of “Marie Antoinette,” and the sex, scandal, history, & intrigue that “Other Boleyn” should have had.

the duchess costumes kiera knightley

Here’s a little secret: I have many friends who participate in SCA: Society for Creative Anachronism. While they often try to get me to join, there’s nothing appealing to me about re-enacting life during the Medieval Era.

However, if they were to want me to dress up in Napoleonic/Georgian Era Artistocratic garments, flirt, eat pretty cakes, and be a spoiled pampered Duchess, why, that I could quite get accustomed to.

With the lush, luxurious costumes of “The Duchess,” I’m not at all surprised that the film won Best Costume Design at the Oscars, or at all surprised that Georgiana Spencer is regarded as quite the fashionable, influential woman of her era.

If I wanted to add elements of her style to my own wardrobe, I’d use:
♥ Feathered hair pieces for evening.
♥ soft, solid chiffon scarves during day, pined by a cameo.
♥ plunging necklines.
♥ bold, showgirl-esque necklaces or velvet collars
♥ I’d curl my hair up, and then tease half of it in to a bouffant (or at least my bangs in to a pompadour). Or, if you’re like me, and your teasing/bouf skills aren’t up to bar, we can use a Bump It! Then I’d adorn it with feathers, fake flowers, or pearl accessories.

I wonder how Wendy Brandes would created a piece inspired Georgiana Spencer? My vote is for there to be plumes involved…



Ashe Mischief June 24, 2009 at 5:13 pm

@Michelle@apricot tea. – I think the film DEFINITELY makes you think about the liberties you have as a woman, moreso than the others referenced above (except perhaps Pride & Prejudice). While I’m sure dramatic liberties were taken, everything in the film happened in her life, so far as I can tell, and that breaks my heart…

@birdie@Princess Poochie – The costumes in this film KILL me. Dear gods.

@Jennine – I have no need for a reason in my life! And give it a chance…. I definitely think there’s more interest & intrigue in it than Marie Antionette….

Michelle June 22, 2009 at 3:53 pm

The costuming was indeed GORGEOUS! And her hair…*drool*

I am a huge sap and I can admit it; I like my movies with a little bit more of a happy ending. Ev’Yan is right, it definitely makes you appreciate modern times, where you can wear a big poofy dress if you want AND vote!
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Alicia June 22, 2009 at 4:09 pm

Ooh, a WendyB take would be lovely.

Great styling in this film. =D
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apricot tea. June 22, 2009 at 12:17 pm

I LOVED this movie. I didn’t think I was going to, but I loved it. Not just because of the costumes, but the story is so thought-provoking. I can’t imagine being a woman in those times; being stripped of certain rights & privileges. Watching that movie made me very glad that I live in modern times.
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birdie June 22, 2009 at 10:50 am

OH! Reminds me I wanted to ask you about creating tiny tricorn hats (see also Napoleonic/Fr. Revolution head-wear for burlesque costumes)!

Also, I’m currently *so* enamored of this time period and it’s costume.

Princess Poochie June 22, 2009 at 9:41 am

I really need to see this… for the costumes alone!

Jennine June 22, 2009 at 7:28 am

oh my goodness… that’s awesome! i have been debating on this movie as i got so bored during marie antoinette i fell asleep half way through the movie, which is sad because how can someone make such an interesting story, with such beautiful imagery a dull story? can you tell i’m still upset about this?

i would totally get dolled up in this kind of getup… just because, heck, do we really need a reason?
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