May 16, 2021

“Little Women”, exciting Victorian fashion lesson

The new version of “Little Women”, in addition to giving this classic a more combative and feminist air, offers an incredible Victorian fashion lesson, a brave and delicate wardrobe created by designer Jacqueline Durran.

“Little Women,” the novel written by Louisa May Alcott in 1868 that revolutionized female characters, has returned to the big screen thanks to the adaptation of Greta Gerwing.

In the new remake, actresses Saoirse Ronan, Emma Watson, Blooming Pugh or Eliza Scanlen put themselves in the shoes of the March, Jo, Meg, Amy and Beth sisters, who once again become a reference for young people around the world, and exhibit a fabulous decline in Victorian fashion alongside Meryl Streep and Laura Dern in the cast.

Jacqueline Durran, one of the most important designers in the sector, has been the architect of dressing the famous sisters in this latest version of “Little Women” that wastes vitality, freshness and new emotional nuances.

“I wanted a strong and authentic design, that looked like everyday clothes, and not disguise, this has helped make the costumes modern,” explains Greta Gerwig in the film’s production notes.

To create the costumes, Jacqueline Durran was inspired by the nineteenth-century photography of Julia Margaret Cameron and the expressionist painting of Winslow Homer, in addition to dividing the film into two distinct parts: one, inside the house with its bohemian atmosphere and freedom; and the second, the outer world, more rigid.

Durran makes a color palette for each of the sisters and, throughout the film, she is intermingling pieces of cloth in the clothes of the sisters with the idea of ​​reflecting how they inherited the clothes.

Together with these two stylistic resources, the designer idea silhouettes that define each of the women. “It was important that the image of each one was a statement of their personality, each one has a different view of the world,” Durran says in the notes.

So Jo appears with deep red highlights. She is a woman who wants to feel free, who moves away from the corsets of the time and who craves the freedom of a man, while Meg, more romantic, wears in lilac and green tones as in a medieval fairy tale, in which the neo-gothic style prevails so in vogue at the end of the 19th century.

Pink is reserved for Beth, the most childish. “He didn’t really have the opportunity to grow and see the outside world,” Durran details in the production notes.

Light blue is Amy’s tone, perhaps because of her artistic vein, she lives fashion with more intensity, her dresses are the most special. She is the one who lives fashion more intensely, even before going to Europe. “He always has a young air, is determined and ready,” adds the costume designer

Dressing Marmee, mother of the sisters, has been one of the biggest challenges, throughout the film she shows all the colors of her daughters, “I wanted to see a small influence of Marmee on all the girls,” explains the designer.

Aunt March, played by Meryl Streep, presents the most historic style, looks Victorian essence fashion. “He has a rigorous wardrobe that lacks the great imagination of young girls,” says Durran.

In the scene of the dance of debutantes the Victorian fashion is seen in its maximum splendor, not in vain the costume director devised different party dresses in pastel tones. The icing, the striking pink model worn by Emma Watson (Meg).

“Each dress comes alive with the interpretation of the character,” Durran concludes, for whom the aesthetics of each woman reflects the personality and free spirit of each of them.

Carmen Martin


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