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10 Times Costume Designers Perfectly Recreated Real Historical Outfits

Creating costumes for biopics seems to be an easy thing to do — all you need is to recreate the existing costumes. However, sometimes creating veracious outfits takes much more time and effort than creating characters’ styles from scratch. It’s necessary to thoroughly analyze the image of the character, study the historical period, and find the right fabrics and jewelry.

However, the movie industry has its masters who fulfill such tasks in the best possible way. We at Bright Side admire their talent and work and offer you to look at the brightest works of costume designers.

Dangerous Liaisons (1988)

Despite the limited budget, the movie costume designers managed to reach impressive results. Everything in this flick is wonderful, from the drapery and fabrics to the overall color palette. Also, many outfits of the characters repeat the ones depicted in the paintings of that epoch.

Thus, in one of the scenes, we see Glenn Close in a richly draped dress made of dark-blue satin, and it’s almost identical to the same outfit that Marquise de Pompadour was donning when she was posing for the painter, François Boucher, in 1756. It’s only the color that is different.

Sissi (1955)

The Austrian drama, Sissi, is the first movie in the trilogy about the life and formation of the Austrian ruler, Elisabeth in Bavaria. And although there were many inaccuracies in many costumes, still, one outfit fully corresponds to that era and even copies the real-life outfit of the empress. It was depicted in the painting of Franz Xaver Winterhalter in 1865.

The Scandalous Lady W (2015)

Looking at the scarlet dress for horse-riding in The Scandalous Lady W drama, it’s hard to believe this outfit is only a replica and not the original historical outfit from Joshua Reynolds’ painting. It is flawless — its creators thought through all the tiniest details, up to the lacing on the back of the vest.

Elizabeth R (1971), Mary Queen of Scots (2018)

There are many screen adaptations dedicated to the life of the English Queen Elizabeth I, but not all of them can boast of historically accurate costumes. The works of the costume designers in the 1971 series, starring Glenda Jackson, and the 2018 movie, starring Margot Robbie, deserve special attention. In both cases, the costume designers managed to recreate one of the most famous outfits of the ruler with the greatest accuracy.

The King’s Speech (2010)

Due to the limited budget, the costume designers of The King’s Speech couldn’t make a real uniform for the king. Instead, they rented a uniform from London’s Angels Costumes and found shoulder straps at a flea market.

Liz: The Elizabeth Taylor Story (1995)

Costume designers of the biographical drama, Liz: The Elizabeth Taylor Story, starring Sherilyn Fenn, recreated many original outfits of the famous diva, including the legendary slip dress from the 1958 movie, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.

Marilyn & Bobby: Her Final Affair (1993)

Marilyn Monroe’s look was tried on by dozens of actresses, and costume designers were trying their best to recreate her outfits. When working over the cult semi-transparent dress that Monroe donned at President Kennedy’s birthday, the costume designers of the 1993 drama made the fabric of the outfit denser and enriched the embroidery.

Diana (2013)

It was designer Jacques Azagury who helped to create outfits about the life of Princess Diana in the biopic. He is the one who cooperated with Lady Di in real life. The team recreated many of the princess’s outfits. The gorgeous turquoise silk dress from Versace that Diana donned at the charity evening in Sydney in 1996 was the main decoration of the flick.

The Crown (2016 — present)

The costume designers of The Crown series showed top-notch excellence throughout all seasons, trying to recreate the costumes of all the members of the British royal family in detail. The flowy dress Princess Margaret was wearing when posing for photographer Cecil Beaton alone deserves a separate round of applause.

The same praise can be given to the blue dress Queen Elizabeth II was wearing when she appeared at a state reception organized for the Kennedy couple.

Do you pay attention to the outfits of characters in biopics? Which costumes from which flick impressed you most?

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