11 thoughts on “Costume Designer Nic Ede: The Frock Flicks Guide

  1. I think the ‘supposed to be a bourrelet?’ headdress in The White Queen is channelling the Portrait of a Grotesque Old Woman by Quinten Matsys:
    – in which case it’s about 30 years adrift of period.

    Not sure if I’ve said this before on this site, but in that still of Elizabeth Woodville at her coronation, one of her ‘sceptres’ is actually a modern British field-marshal’s baton with the figure of St George slaying the Dragon knocked off. I mean that literally; somebody has just taken a hammer and knocked it off, and not even bothered to file down the broken bit of dragon that was left. This is what it would look like with St George left on: https://www.gettyimages.co.uk/detail/news-photo/prince-charles-prince-of-wales-holds-the-field-marshal-news-photo/500940914?adppopup=true

    And, BTW, the battle action that takes place in Lorna Doone isn’t the English Civil War but the Monmouth Rebellion (in which the Duke of Monmouth, an illegitimate son of the deceased King Charles II, landed in the West Country and stirred up the locals to try to overthrow James II and make him king instead), about a generation later.

  2. Hm. The costumes in White Queen are so … problematic … that it’s making me really wonder about the rest of the oeuvre. Most importantly, the belted houppelande is in NO way equivalent to the 60s-70s era empire waist that Gunny Sax used a lot. That said, it’s not nearly as common, well understood, or well documented as later periods. (And while I’ve done a lot of 15th century northern European costuming, there are really very few surviving examples, so it’s possible (unlikely! but possible) that I’m wrong.)

    1. https://external-content.duckduckgo.com/iu/?u=https%3A%2F%2Fi.pinimg.com%2Foriginals%2F9d%2F8b%2Fbe%2F9d8bbe54ffd014804b50d5c5e94dc0f8.jpg&f=1&nofb=1 does not equal https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Rogier_van_der_Weyden_(workshop_of)_-_Portrait_of_Isabella_of_Portugal.jpg — Dunno if those pictures are visible. Anyway, I’m not worried about sleeves, neckline, etc., but misunderstanding that underbust belt as a decorative panel is just …. well, it seems like a beginner’s mistake.

      1. I’m glad someone else noticed this! This was really bugging me. BTW, can you think of any good movies set in the 15th century that also have good costuming?

        1. Not really. I actually had some hopes for the 1955 Olivier version of Richard III, but when I started watching it I was less impressed — the stills were better than the garments in motion. It’s a period that REALLY depends on correct undergarments for the iconic overgarments to look / move correctly, in my experience. Others may have better ideas, however, as I am not as dedicated a film-watcher as our lovely hostesses.

  3. The costumes look surprisingly good in Flowers in The Attic: The Origin. Especially for a lifetime miniseries!

  4. I expect all-silk velvet exists somewhere, but not at the price points I shop at. Usually what’s available for under $100/yd is part-silk only (and not specified until you find the tiny tiny print.) Alas.

  5. The thumbnail is a Philippa Gregory adaptation. Have you no consideration for my blood pressure?

    You mentioned the armour in the The White Queen (2013) and to my eye: offensive on a visceral level. For a king, or even a noble of any kind: woefully under-armoured. By this point, mirror polished full Gothic plate armour was the fashion for nobles. He wears his family’s emblem on his single pauldron (by shape it’s not a spaulder so it just looks like a failed pauldron) which wasn’t a thing. Visual references show ornate tabards displaying coats of arms worn over the armour. (Tabards seem to be replacing joupons by this period.)

    That aside, I love some this designer’s other work – such as Wilde (1997) – so there’s that.

  6. What a career!!! This post was a treat. I like much of what I see here even in some of the cringeworthy films. And there’s lots more I want to see now. Of course it’s always fun to spot the British actors from this, that, this, that, and on and on, and that was a delight of this post. In answer to your question, I guess I’ll go with Bright Young Things as my fave film here. It’s a fun movie adapted from a fun and wierd book and features so many actors I like. (A young and adorable James McAvoy is in the film, all too briefly I’m afraid.)

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