Thursday, September 24, 2009

bright threads

Australian costume designer Janet Patterson has collaborated with Jane Campion on The Piano and Portrait of a Lady both earning her Academy Award nominations (she also received one for Gillian Armstrong's Oscar & Lucinda).

In Bright Star, the costume design becomes an intricate part of character as Fanny creates and sews her own clothing. Keats wears a signature blue jacket for much of the film.

Jane Campion noted in an interview for Tribeca Film that Fanny's outfits change from bold and ruffly to more muted and understated to finally black, in the somber closing scene, because "she's under his influence .... We imagined that as he got more ill, it was probably toned down. As a fact, she used to dress up for him. (Campion gets up and imitates what Fanny would've done at the window.) 'Oh, I've got a new dress sewn. Come to the window and I'll show it to you.' I do imagine it became a little more sober."

Producer Jan Chapman noted, "Janet Patterson ... works a lot from character and story, rather than thinking, 'That's a great costume, and I'll put it on that person.' She tries to work out their world and what they might've had and also she works with fabrics and textures, also knowing she would have control of the colors and look of the sets. What I love about Janet as a designer is that she works for story, not just for the look. And yet she's a deeply stylish person."


  1. i have never seen this movie. i love older century movies because of the intricate costumes. this will defintly be on my list of a must see movie for costume inspiration.

  2. Jane Campion is one of my FAVORITE. An Angel at my Table was one of my favorite films.

  3. Thanks for your comments. You will both love this film.

  4. I just saw the movie last night, and completely fell for the design of Fanny's clothing. They were inspiring!

  5. Have you come across any frontal pictures of the pink and white striped empire jacket she wears for a moment? They have a released a side view still, but I'm trying to copy it and I can't get a good view of the collar.