I will be rooting for Olivia Colman, Emma Stone, Rachel Weisz and Sandy Powell on Sunday evening during the Oscars. Not only is the story portrayed in The Favourite captivating, with a razor sharp and witty script and stellar performances from the female leads, but the costumes are also extraordinary too. In this charming period romp, Sandy Powell (Selvedge issue 56) defies convention by opting for a twist on tradition with her stunning costumes. Usually a stickler for accuracy and detail I was blown away by the artistry of her vision which perfectly complemented the narrative.
Working within an impossibly tight schedule, juggling the costumes for Mary Poppins Returns simultaneously and a ludicrously tight budget, Powell chose to adhere to the silhouette of the period but to employ artistic licence with the fabric choices. Dressing kitchen maids in denim and couriers in black and white laser-cut vinyl, Powell admits her outfits “weren’t intricate, they were cleverly made to look like they were intricate.” The modern fabrics, natural hair and unadorned faces of the women contrast starkly with the flamboyance of the hilariously ridiculous men.
Many of the historical events that inspired the film took place at Kensington Palace. A stunning new display explores the creative process behind the costumes, Queen Anne's (Olivia Colman) legacy as a stateswoman and her relationships with two of her closest female attendants: Lady Sarah Churchill (Rachel Weisz) and Abigail Hill (Emma Stone).
The costumes are on display at Kensington Palace until 10 March 2019.