15 thoughts on “Frock Flicks Guide to Costume Designer Joanna Eatwell

  1. The Victorian era was all about fussy detail. Done well the results are scrumptious. Done badly a woman is eaten alive by her clothes.
    My father is a huge Dickens fan and I have fond memories of A Christmas Carol being read to me but the rest of Dickens is a No Go zone as far as I’m concerned!
    The Mill, gorgeous men getting grubby has it’s aesthetic points!
    The shapes and general style of the Wolf’s Hall costumes are right but the women’s clothes don’t seem lavish enough. Maybe they used up their fabric on the men’s outfits which are indeed very good.
    What heterosexual woman wouldn’t fall for that Ottoman Lieutenant?
    I remember the discussion about Beecham House. The Indian costumes were of course gorgeous but according to those who know not all that accurate.

    1. “The Victorian era was all about fussy detail. Done well the results are scrumptious. Done badly a woman is eaten alive by her clothes.” A perfect description of Victorian costume; the possibility of being overwhelmed/cannibalized by one’s wardrobe–if one is upperish-middle class or above–is why I hate the era’s female fashions. Them and the spaniel curls of the 1840s–yuck. On the other hand, Eatwell’s brown-black-gray palette is neat.

  2. Please watch A Christmas Carol, it’s excellent. A really good take on the original story

    1. Nope. Too grim, and I could have gone without seeing a moving larynx. Had to stop midway through and don’t regret it for an instant.

      Not that I have the best taste: I have a soft spot for satin rosettes. Never enough!

  3. Wolf Hall and Carnival Row. I raised my eyebrows at some of the finer details in Carnival Row (this blog has ruined me!) but I really enjoyed the world building. Each culture was distinct, with a history (squee!). As I watched it, I wondered how the Frockers would analyse it.

    Some of the French hoods in Wolf Hall are a little squidgy, but the overall richness of the fabrics was stunning. Chef’s kiss for Anne Boleyn’s coronation dress. I appreciated that they made an effort to explain just how expensive fabric was with the scene between Cromwell and Jane Seymour when he gave her the sleeve pattern and kingfisher-shot silk. Cost wise, that was an actual royal gift.

    1. Can’t vouch for accuracy, but I am LOVING her coat from the last Christmas Carol image. Dusters, please.

  4. I couldn’t get past 4 episodes of “Taboo” — Tom Hardy skeeves me out. The costumes of “The Miniaturist” were gorgeous (comparable to “Tulip Fever”) but the story sucked. I loved the costumes from “Beecham House” but it bothered me a lot that the main character never wore a cravat and always wore boots, even indoors. The Indian clothing was droolworthy — so sumptuous. Did we ever figure out why the bodices in Wolf Hall were so wrinkled? Other than that, very well done.

  5. Very talented designer… but the wrinkles in WH drive me insane. WHY are they there? Are the costumes ill-fitted? Is there no boning in them? Couldn’t they pull them flat and pin them? WHY?

    1. The actress playing Anne Boleyn was pregnant at the time of filming so I’m sorta giving the Bodice a pass.

  6. Wolf Hall and the Miniaturist are my favourites followed by the Paradise. Wonder if she’s going to do the costumes for Wolf Hall’s sequel, Bringing Up the Bodies.

  7. The Miniaturist. Wolf Hall is lovely, but Anne Boleyn’s poor fitting bodices and the wonky French hoods are a turn off.

  8. By default my answer is Carnival Row because it’s the only one I’ve seen. But looking at the pictures, they’re all great and look “right” to my non-expert eyes. I know Wolf Hall is highly acclaimed but I just can’t get into it. I love the “VERY” goth dress pictured in Taboo.

  9. Just in case anyone here was taken in: that bit about ‘point-scoring’ having its origin in Tudor men gambling for aglets is b*llocks. The first citation of the word in the OED is:

    13 Nov 1897: Trenton (New Jersey) Evening Times “In 1875, when the correct system of point scoring was not in vogue, Harvard defeated Yale..by 4 goals and two touchdowns to nothing.”

    And the phrase “to score a point” only surfaces a couple of years earlier than that. No Tudor person would have used or understood it.

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