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  • Luciana Vieira

THE BOMBSHELL COSTUMES OF "THE DRESSMAKER"



The Dressmaker, an Amazon production, is an adaptation of Rosalie Ham's bestselling novel. Kate Winslet stars as Myrtle' Tilley' Dunnage, the Dressmaker's main character who returns to her home town of Dungatar after having been run out when she was a child. With her sewing machine and haute couture style, she transforms women and demands the sweet revenge of those who kicked her out of the town. With newfound confidence and allure, Tilly transforms the women of her hometown with her couture fashions. Tilly has studied with the best of the best in Europe, so naturally, her clothes reflect the influences of mentors like Balenciaga and Dior.


The Dressmaker had two costume designers, with Margot Wilson handling all of Winslet's dresses. In contrast, Marion Boyce dressed the rest of the cast. I absolutely loved the outfits. Let's take a closer look:


A success in haute-couture Paris. Tilly returns on her 1950's inspired costume arriving by late-night train to Dungatar. She is decked out in a dress inspired by a classic Dior gown. Detail: The sewing machine.

Myrtle “Tilly” Dunnage wearing her red Italian silk dress. Tilly wears this outfit to the football match to distract the football players and spectators. Tilly proves a point to the local women that a dress can have a huge impact by distracting the players. Margot Wilson mentioned that she bought this silk moiré taffeta in Milan 25 years ago and has been waiting for a film to come along to use it.


Gertrude (Sarah Snook) before Tilly’s transformation.

Having spoken to Tilly at the football match, Gertrude Pratt, the daughter of the general store owner, becomes her first client after seeing her creations' power in capturing the town’s men's attention. Utterly transformed by her dress, Gertrude enters the Footballers’ Dance and approaches William with a new sheen of glamour and confidence. The dress features lamé with crystal and diamante detailing with intricate drapery.


Gertrude wears the most stunning dresses. The cape is eggshell silk organza. Underneath, she’s is wearing a black duchess satin wiggle dress. This look recalls Paris's elegance in the 20s and the large winged birds of the outback.


Trudy continues to use Tilly’s creation to support her social position. Beginning with the Red Poppy headpiece, costume designer Marion Boyce then found a stunning 1950 Sonia Rykiel silk chiffon halter neck top to complete this whimsical and colorful number.



Gertrude and several other women are going about their day-to-day business in head-to-toe haute couture. The light blue blazer and matching fedora hat in this look is a must! The Cateye sunglasses add a touch of elegance to the outfit.

The film juxtaposes the height of 1950s European fashion trends.


Although the women’s couture disguises may give them an air of sophistication, their attempts to reach high society's upper echelons are, like their outfits, superficial.

Keeping with Trudy’s acolytes' supporting cast, Nancy Pickett (Amanda Woodhams) and her midnight blue silk fishtail cocktail dress certainly deserve mention. Matched with a hat that features some stunning blue cornflower decorations.


Trudy forms her own squad of not so demure couture enthusiasts, of which Prudence Harridiene (Hayley Magnus) is one. Outfitted here in silvery grey silk taffeta with a dusty pink and aquamarine bird design, matching donut shawl all topped off with a Wedgewood blue cocktail hat with pink and crimson flower embellishments.


While Tilly’s designs are alluring and attractive, they can’t hide the inner ugliness of the women of Dungatar.

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