Mise en Scène – An Education

It’s taken me a while to actually get around to watching all the Oscar-nominated 2010 Best Picture films. I have a few more to go (am I the only one who still hasn’t seen Avatar?), but I had to put the list on hold to blog about the costumes in An Education.

It’s a coming-of-age story set in 1960s London based on a memoir by Lynn Barber (screen adaptation by Nick Hornby). Jenny (Carey Mulligan) falls for the older and charismatic David (Peter Sarsgaard), who shows her a glamorous lifestyle that seems too good to be true.  Okay, so the story is a little predictable, but I loved the film anyway.  The acting was great and the clothes were absolutely gorgeous.
Carey Mulligan’s character goes through a transformation from innocent school girl to posh socialite.  Costume designer Odile Dicks-Mireaux did an excellent job costuming these opposite personas.

Here’s the inspired look:

Brooks Brothers Repp Tie $75. Melamed Dom belt $99. J. Crew three-quarter sleeve stretch shirt $19.99.  Necessary Objects skirt $38.

Inspired look:

Helene Berman Sheath Dress $198.  Gap Classic Sunglasses $25.36. Tommy Hilfiger Red Leather Strap Watch $133.58. Stuart Weitzman Women’s Platswoon Platform Pump $238.40.
The dress above has a great watercolor floral pattern in purple hues that are great for this summer. The waist bow is a subtle and adorable addition to the already feminine dress. The vintage cut brings the eyes to all the best girlish figures – the bust, the waist, and the hips.
With dresses like these, you really want to pay close attention to the fit in the bust and the waist. They should be fairly fitted.  Dresses from this era have a great wide empire waist that is absolutely flattering. Make sure the darts (seams that taper to help shape the garment) are filled and line well with your body. Darts generally draw attention to that particular area, so keep that in mind when trying it on. If you’re shorter or if you have bigger thighs, find a similar dress, but with a bottom seam that flares slightly out, instead of in.
Be sure to also check your local vintage clothing shops for similar pieces.  Or try Dear Golden Vintage on Etsy. They have some great finds at fair prices.
Have fun shopping!



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