Current Gallery: Victorian & Edwardian / victorianedwardian021

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Current Gallery: Victorian & Edwardian / victorianedwardian021



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Use the scrollbar to explore costumes in this gallery or select a time period above to visit a different gallery.

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  • Francesca Annis as Lillie Langtry wearing a white and black Victorian gown in the 1978 mini-series "Lillie."
    • ITV

    Lillie

    1978

    Costume seen on Francesca Annis as Lillie Langtry

  • Jeananne Crowley as Rossanna McGee wearing a white and black Victorian gown in the episode "Invitation to a Dramatic Party" of the 1981 series "Cribb."
    • ITV
    • Public Broadcasting Service (PBS)

    Cribb: Invitation to a Dynamite Party

    1981

    Costume seen on Jeananne Crowley as Rossanna McGee

  • Gina Mckee as Irene wearing white and black Victorian gown in the 2002 series "The Forsyte Saga."
    • ITV

    The Forsyte Saga

    2002

    Costume seen on Gina Mckee as Irene Forsyte

Additional Images

About the Costume

This beautiful Victorian gown is an excellent example of the importance of both good alterations and the use of appropriate undergarments for a period gown. It’s a true testament to the quality of the costumes that are reused and recycled over the years that they can still hold up well enough and look beautiful after two, three – sometimes even twelve uses. However, even a gown that is still in excellent condition after a long period will suffer and lose its proper shape if it is not worn with the proper undergarments around which it was originally designed.

This Victorian gown was created for Francesca Annis in the 1978 mini-series Lillie, in which she played the title character of Lillie Langtry. Her dress is not only stunning – it fits her like a glove and is supported underneath by the proper corset that gives it a very distinctive shape. The gown was used again in 1981 on Jeananne Crowley as Rossanna McGee in Cribb: Invitation to a Dynamite Party. This time it appears that the proper undergarments are there, but it is just a bit too large for Crowley. The gown was seen a third time by Gina Mckee as Irene Forsyte in the 2002 production of The Forsyte Saga. McKee may be wearing some kind of corset, though if she is, the gown is far too large for her and has not been taken in appropriately at all. The gown on McKee is still in relatively good condition, but without being properly supported and fitted is frankly unremarkable. It is fascinating to see the vast differences between its appearance in 2002 and 1978.

 

About the Costume

Have you seen this gown somewhere else? Do you need to be given credit for this sighting? Do you have corrections, additions or changes you would like to make?

Have you ever watched a film and noticed a character walk by in a gown that you just know you’ve seen before? Recycled Movie Costumes is dedicated to documenting the life of a costume through its various appearances on film and television.

Additional Images

About the Costume

This beautiful Victorian gown is an excellent example of the importance of both good alterations and the use of appropriate undergarments for a period gown. It’s a true testament to the quality of the costumes that are reused and recycled over the years that they can still hold up well enough and look beautiful after two, three – sometimes even twelve uses. However, even a gown that is still in excellent condition after a long period will suffer and lose its proper shape if it is not worn with the proper undergarments around which it was originally designed.

This Victorian gown was created for Francesca Annis in the 1978 mini-series Lillie, in which she played the title character of Lillie Langtry. Her dress is not only stunning – it fits her like a glove and is supported underneath by the proper corset that gives it a very distinctive shape. The gown was used again in 1981 on Jeananne Crowley as Rossanna McGee in Cribb: Invitation to a Dynamite Party. This time it appears that the proper undergarments are there, but it is just a bit too large for Crowley. The gown was seen a third time by Gina Mckee as Irene Forsyte in the 2002 production of The Forsyte Saga. McKee may be wearing some kind of corset, though if she is, the gown is far too large for her and has not been taken in appropriately at all. The gown on McKee is still in relatively good condition, but without being properly supported and fitted is frankly unremarkable. It is fascinating to see the vast differences between its appearance in 2002 and 1978.

 

This beautiful Victorian gown is an excellent example of the importance of both good alterations and the use of appropriate undergarments for a period gown. It’s a true testament to the quality of the costumes that are reused and recycled over the years that they can still hold up well enough and look beautiful after two, three – sometimes even twelve uses. However, even a gown that is still in excellent condition after a long period will suffer and lose its proper shape if it is not worn with the proper undergarments around which it was originally designed.

This Victorian gown was created for Francesca Annis in the 1978 mini-series Lillie, in which she played the title character of Lillie Langtry. Her dress is not only stunning – it fits her like a glove and is supported underneath by the proper corset that gives it a very distinctive shape. The gown was used again in 1981 on Jeananne Crowley as Rossanna McGee in Cribb: Invitation to a Dynamite Party. This time it appears that the proper undergarments are there, but it is just a bit too large for Crowley. The gown was seen a third time by Gina Mckee as Irene Forsyte in the 2002 production of The Forsyte Saga. McKee may be wearing some kind of corset, though if she is, the gown is far too large for her and has not been taken in appropriately at all. The gown on McKee is still in relatively good condition, but without being properly supported and fitted is frankly unremarkable. It is fascinating to see the vast differences between its appearance in 2002 and 1978.

 

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Credits

Sighting Credit:
Photos provided by:
Costume Designer:
  • Linda Mattock
  • Frances Tempest

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Costume Commentary

  1. I agree about the necessity of proper support, and that the 2002 version is woefully unsupported in a period fashion. However, I am unconvinced that they are the same costume. The fabric of the one worn in 2002 appears to be a subtle tone-on-tone damask whereas the original from ’78 is clearly a very shiny and smooth (likely a weighty bridal satin) sans pattern of any kind like brocade or damask to the weave. It is just as likely that the pattern for the garment was replicated and made again as that it is the *same* gown, because the weave of the fabric itself is so different. That being said, it is *possible* (if it is actually the same costume) that the fabric was purposefully, uniformly, crinkle-finished and might even have been given a very pale tea bath to achieve a textured result vs the crisp appearance it had originally. It just appears to me to be the same costume pattern design but reproduced in an entirely different fabric, and that is not attributable to just lacking proper foundation/fit.

    • It’s the quality of the photos. James, who sent this contribution, has a career in this field and has access to these costumes through his work.

  2. I’ve found this costume in another title. Here it is in Cribb: Invitation to a Dynamite Party (1981), worn by Jeananne Crowley as Rossanna McGee.

Comment

Costume Commentary

  1. I agree about the necessity of proper support, and that the 2002 version is woefully unsupported in a period fashion. However, I am unconvinced that they are the same costume. The fabric of the one worn in 2002 appears to be a subtle tone-on-tone damask whereas the original from ’78 is clearly a very shiny and smooth (likely a weighty bridal satin) sans pattern of any kind like brocade or damask to the weave. It is just as likely that the pattern for the garment was replicated and made again as that it is the *same* gown, because the weave of the fabric itself is so different. That being said, it is *possible* (if it is actually the same costume) that the fabric was purposefully, uniformly, crinkle-finished and might even have been given a very pale tea bath to achieve a textured result vs the crisp appearance it had originally. It just appears to me to be the same costume pattern design but reproduced in an entirely different fabric, and that is not attributable to just lacking proper foundation/fit.

    • It’s the quality of the photos. James, who sent this contribution, has a career in this field and has access to these costumes through his work.

  2. I’ve found this costume in another title. Here it is in Cribb: Invitation to a Dynamite Party (1981), worn by Jeananne Crowley as Rossanna McGee.

Comment

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Costume Commentary

  1. I agree about the necessity of proper support, and that the 2002 version is woefully unsupported in a period fashion. However, I am unconvinced that they are the same costume. The fabric of the one worn in 2002 appears to be a subtle tone-on-tone damask whereas the original from ’78 is clearly a very shiny and smooth (likely a weighty bridal satin) sans pattern of any kind like brocade or damask to the weave. It is just as likely that the pattern for the garment was replicated and made again as that it is the *same* gown, because the weave of the fabric itself is so different. That being said, it is *possible* (if it is actually the same costume) that the fabric was purposefully, uniformly, crinkle-finished and might even have been given a very pale tea bath to achieve a textured result vs the crisp appearance it had originally. It just appears to me to be the same costume pattern design but reproduced in an entirely different fabric, and that is not attributable to just lacking proper foundation/fit.

    • It’s the quality of the photos. James, who sent this contribution, has a career in this field and has access to these costumes through his work.

  2. I’ve found this costume in another title. Here it is in Cribb: Invitation to a Dynamite Party (1981), worn by Jeananne Crowley as Rossanna McGee.

Comment