Glorious 39

There are many things I enjoyed the film Glorious 39 (and I do recommend watching it). To keep this post somewhat concise on focus on the not only gorgeous, but clever costume design.

Romola Garai stars in the film as Anne Keyes (also nicknamed Glorious by her brother, Ralph). The. While the rest of the characters dress in a largely muted palette of browns and mauve, with the occasional crisp black or white, Anne dresses almost entirely in primary colors: vivid yellow, striking red, and bright blue. The costuming draws our eye to Anne, making her distinct and noticeable in every scene. She stands out from the scenery and from the family; in many ways she physically does not appear to belong. The other characters harmonize sartorially and in other ways; Anne is a dissonant chord. Her clothes only serve to illustrate how her thoughts and heart are also out of sync with her family. Even her friend Gilbert is dressed to be a better fit for her family. Another nice detail is how Ralph's wardrobe echoes his father's so precisely. Ralph is literally dressed as a younger version of his father and one could conclude that Ralph is mirroring his father in other ways as well.
The wardrobe is just one detail of the film I enjoyed and beyond the symbolic implications of it, I really enjoy Romola's costumes from a style inspiration standpoint; it's definitely an era I'd love to channel some this fall. The entire film is rather ominous and gets downright dark at certain points, but so supremely well done that it escapes melodrama.

Glorious 39, screenshots by me


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