Tag Archives: Queen Elizabeth

Lisy Christl Not Anonymous Now

Since the Academy Awards Ceremony is taking place this Sunday, we’re featuring the films nominated for Best Costume Design in 2011 this week.  The first movie we’re discussing is Anonymous.  If you don’t remember this film, it’s probably because it came and went after facing mixed reviews.  It tells the tale of the most famous writer in the world, William Shakespeare, during Elizabeth I’s rule over the United Kingdom, but this film plays on the paranoia that the Bard of Avon was actually Edward De Vere, the Earl of Oxford (played by Rhys Ifans, pictured top right).  We here at theSkinnyStiletto aren’t exactly conspiracy theorists, and find it wildly insulting to history and commoners everywhere to assume that a middle-class Englishman couldn’t pen the most famous plays on Earth.  Since we’re huge Shakespearean fans here, and even spent part of our vacation to England two and a half years ago watching William’s famous words come to life in both his home in Stratford-upon-Avon, and the Globe Theatre in London, you won’t catching us renting this paranoid flick.  But that doesn’t mean we can’t discuss the fashion!  German costume designer Lisy Christl did a beautiful job outfitting the cast in various Elizabethan gowns.  British acting legend Vanessa Redgrave (pictured, above and top left) portrays an older Queen Elizabeth, while her own real-life daughter, Joely Richardson (pictured, below), portrays Elizabeth in her younger days.  This genre is certainly a popular time in history that Hollywood continuously tells.  (Fun Fact: Shakespeare in Love and Elizabeth: The Golden Age both won Academy Awards for costume design.)  Christl used Janet Arnold’s 2001 book Queen Elizabeth’s Wardrobe Unlock’d as a proper guideline for AnonymousShe told The Hollywood Reporter, “For every dress in the film, there’s the original portrait in the background.”  Even though the movie sounds preposterous, at least the clothing is accurate!



Today Kate Middleton went from college girlfriend to Princess Catherine the Duchess of Cambridge.  This philanthropic, down-to-earth, educated, true British beauty deserves any royal title she’s given.  She has graced the world with the most regal and elegant gown in the history of royal weddings.  When Catherine descended her chariot (a Rolls Royce), the female newscasters all said the same thing, “Her dress looks very much like Grace Kelly’s.” Although the dresses have the same theme with the high collar and long sleeves done in lace, there was something about the people’s Kate that stood out amongst all the former brides.  The mystery behind the dress’s designer was one of the best-kept secrets in British history!  Sarah Burton, the creative director for the late Alexander McQueen, earned an art foundation diploma at Manchester Polytechnic before interning for McQueen during her third year at Central St. Martins (where McQueen also attended school) studying print fashion in London.  Burton graduated in ’97 and became McQueen’s protégé after school.  Catherine’s dress was fitted at the waistline and accompanied by a nine-foot train in a striking yet subtle floral embroidered pattern that continued to the front.  The bodice was a sweetheart bustier shape kept under long lace sleeves and extending collar.  The little peek-a-boo of skin at the neck was the perfect accent to looking modern and tasteful.  Catherine was definitely a “veil bride” versus a “hair bride” by keeping her chocolate tresses down in soft curls as she normally does, and put the attention on a soft, mantilla-styled headdress with lace piping and of course the Cartier platinum tiara.  The tiara was made in 1936 and bought by Prince William’s great-grandfather, King George VI, for William’s great-grandmother.  Queen Elizabeth was then given the tiara on her 18th birthday by her mother and lent it to the new Princess for her special day.  Catherine’s maid of honor, her sister Pippa, also donned a custom Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen ivory gown.  Both the bride and the maid of honor wore earrings made by Robinson Pelham.  Catherine’s earrings were a wedding gift from her parents and were made to look like her family’s new coat of arms.  They had pave-set diamond acorns in the center of pear-shaped diamond drops.  Pippa wore floral diamond earrings with a coordinating headpiece.  Hopefully future brides take cues from the Duchess of Cambridge, instead of the horrible Bridezillas we see so much of.  Catherine’s equation to being a stunning bride: softness, sophistication, subtly, and all smiles!