Thread By Thread: Costumes on Screen

Glitz and Glamour

The newly minted Princess Catherine arrives at Westminster wearing Queen Elizabeth (the Queen Mother) Halo tiara and diamond earrings which were a gift from her parents.

The newly minted Princess Catherine arrives at Westminster wearing Queen Elizabeth (the Queen Mother) Halo tiara and diamond earrings which were a gift from her parents.

Today’s the day, my Royal Wedding Fever breaks and I’m making the most of it and taking a look at bejeweled movie accessories that (almost) rival the Crown Jewels.  When it comes to accessories such as shoes and jewelry it’s usually a collaboration of the Costume Designer with the props department, or even outside designers. It’s difficult to ever know just which department or even person is responsible for the final design (See the multiple credit issues surrounding Black Swan). Either way accessories that the characters don can become representations of the movie themselves and are often replicated for fans to wear.  So let’s get started in looking at some of film’s best baubles and bits! 

The Heart of the Ocean from Titanic

Rose wearing the Heart of the Ocean, a engagement gift from the rich Cal, in the famous nude sketch scene

A replica of the Heart of The Ocean.

The Hope Diamond in it’s old setting, which served as inspiration for the Heart of The Ocean

Kate Florence Phillips’ sapphire diamond necklace that she wore aboard the Titanic

Evenstar from The Lord of The Rings

Arwen wears Evenstar, in the Fellowship of The Ring, it is subsequently worn by her true love Aragorn.

The art deco design of the necklace actually cause it to appear both feminine and masculine for both Arwen & Aaragorn wear it in the films.

The necklace Arwen wears in the Lord of The Rings trilogy, known as the Evenstar is actually a creation for the movie.  It was created to represent the love between Aragorn and Arwen as well as serve a symbol of Arwen’s immortality. In giving the necklace to Aragorn it represent her decision to give up immortality for his love.  While the necklace plays an important role in the film, it is actually something absent from the book. Arwen does wear a necklace in the books though, described as “…a white gem like a star that lay upon her breast hanging upon a silver chain,” which she gave to Frodo before his departure. The filmmakers used this necklace as the basis for Evenstar, along with art nouveau jewelry designs. Costume designer Ngila Dickinson described the process of designing the necklace “…it needed to have a star like quality, yet being of elven design and make it needed to have a handmade organic feel, and be extremely well crafted, complex and almost magical.” In the end the necklace captures the beauty of ethereal Arwen and came to represent the film’s love story for the fans.

Satine’s Necklace from Moulin Rouge

The elaborate necklace given to Satine represents the power and dominance the Duke has over her

A close up of the elaborate garland style necklace created for the film

When Satine first appears on screen she sings of how Diamonds Are A Girl’s Best Friend and the film’s evil Duck of Monroth takes note and later presents her with an dazzling diamond garland necklace.  The necklace is the most expensive piece of jewelry created for film. Designed and made by Stefano Canturi and was made with 1,308 diamonds, weighing a total of 134 carats, and was worth an estimated $1 million.  The necklace is modern interpretation of garland necklaces which were popular among the elite in 1890s Paris.  The necklace represents the cold cruel world of money in which Satine is forced to stay in order to save her true loves life. Her ultimate rejection of the beautiful necklace represents her embrace of the bohemian ideal that love conquers all.

Queen Mary of Britain wearing a garland style necklace in the Victorian era

Bella’s Engagement Ring from Twilight

The large egg shaped ring was a family heirloom Edward kept to present to Bella

A close up of the Victorian style ring

Before the third installment in the Twilight series even came out filmmakers had meet a tough set of standards from fans of the books. Described in the books as “The face was a long oval, set with slanting rows of glittering round stones. The band was gold — delicate and narrow. The gold made a fragile web around the diamonds.”  The ring was a heirloom from vampire Edward Cullen’s mother, who had received the ring at the turn of the century as an engagement ring . For the film version author Stephanie Myer teamed with Infinite Jewelry Co. to come up with a design that was based on Victorian ring designs.  During the late Victorian era large rings that were large grape like ovals were popular for showing off large gems and elaborate yet delicate settings of smaller gems too.  The film version may be streamlined version of what would actually been a Victorian engagement ring but fans and Bella loved it none the less.

Danielle’s Glass Slipper from Ever After

The beautiful slipper was not designed entirely out of glass as the film’s story is supposed to be the basis for Cinderella

The beautiful beaded slipper was had bead and crystals attached by hand

The slipper Prince Henry presents to Danielle in the film Ever After is a slipper design typical of the early 16th century.  The pale blue satin used along with 200 silver pearls, 1000 tiny glass beads  and silver thread along with crystals  and hand-molded plexiglass with a “crystal” effect and is decorated with refined silver beading lends to the glass slipper look necessary for the fairytale it’s based on. The shoes were designed by Italian shoe company Ferrgamo and made in Florence.  The shoes Italian heritage and design fits the slippers history in the film, as they are found and presented to the prince by Leonardo di Vinci.

Carrie’s Blue Shoes from Sex and The City

When paired with her classic vintage white suit, Carrie’s shoes serve as her ‘Something Blue’ on her wedding day

A close up of the shoes

For Carries splash on the big screen what better way to give shoe crazed Carrie her happy ending than a modern pair of Cinderella’s slippers.  The shoes were designed by Carrie’s favorite shoe designer Manolo Blahnik for the film in a beautiful royal blue to allude to Cinderella’s glass slipper.  The color blue was also present in several of Carrie’s outfits. The shoes royal blue color represent Carrie fulfilling her  fairytale fantasy as well as coming into her own and accepting Big’s love. For the film the shoes ‘buckle’ was composed of crystals. While in the film Carrie states that the shoes cost her some $500 in reality the limited edition pairs of shoes sold for around $1,000.

The Ruby Slippers from Wizard of Oz

There’s no shoe like those, except for the seven pairs made for the film, of which only four remain

A portrait of the slippers in their display at the Smithsonian

No film accessories list would be complete without film’s most iconic pair of shoes, the Ruby Slippers! The iconic shoes were designed especially for the new film medium of Technicolor, in the books Dorothy’s shoes were silver boots.  The shoes were designed by the film’s costume designer Gilbert Adrien and used over 2,300 red sequins for each shoe.  The shoes went though quite the process to achieve their brilliant red seen on film. First the shoes were dyed red then covered in burgundy sequins (burgundy was used because of the three strip Technicolor process which would’ve made bright red sequins appear orange.)  The bows were added at the last minute to allude to Dorothy’s farmgirl past and were inspired by Art Deco designs. The bows themselves are made of red leather which three large rectangular red glass jewels with dark-red bugle beads were attached, then outlined in orange-red glass rhinestones in silver settings.  The hard work put into the shoes paid off and the shoes dazzled audiences for generations, enough that any sparkly red heels are related to the Ruby Slippers.

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This entry was published on April 29, 2011 at 9:06 am. It’s filed under April 2011, Entertainment and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

One thought on “Glitz and Glamour

  1. What a fun treat this was to read! Riley, your attention to detail and knowledge of the cinema astound me. Thanks for sharing!

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