Sunday, January 06, 2008

"Atonement dress" (Part II)

Strangely enough, my "Atonement dress" post continues to attract quite a few visitors to the blog. I really don't know why. I can only assume that people are drawn to this dress, and want to capture a bit of that magic in their own lives. They want to know who made it, if anyone has knocked it off, where can they buy it, perhaps?

I wrote the earlier post because of a lovely article in The New York Post (which I don't normally read) about this dress (above), made for Keira Knightley's character in "Atonement". Make sure you read on to page two of the article, where the costume designer's (Jacqueline Durran) inspiration is explained.

I adored this article, because, unlike so many others, they don't make it seem that anyone just "whipped up" a little number for her. The article really lets you know that specificity, specialness and art take a considerable amount of time, expense, and experimentation.

But what really puzzles me, is the incredible interest in this dress, considering how obviously specific it is to Keira Knightley's body, lighting and set design of the film. Most women of any age are... well, three dimensional, and wouldn't carry off such a design too well. I mean, imagine trying to disguise a tummy bulge, rounded shoulders, a droopy bosom, hips, anything at all, in that gown.

What I see in this dress, is a Vionnet inspiration (the book I'm referring to is on my Amazon slideshow at the right). This lovely work contains patterns for a variety of Vionnet's designs, and one is evocative of the Atonement gown. The main difference, though, is that this dress would work on a more ample and/or rounded figure. Basically, this dress is more doable. And it can always be made in green...

What do you think?


  1. The Atonement dress is spectacular,however i believe it takes someone with a straight figure, no bust, no tummy, no butt and small bust to wear that dress. The Vionnet's gown is beautiful and can be worn by almost all body type

  2. Anonymous8:35 PM

    I think the dress is a top and a skirt...

  3. Anonymous1:05 AM

    Ok, that article is a little ridiculous. when it says that the director said the dress had to be green, and they didn't know why, made me really angry. This movie is a film adaptation of the book Atonement. The author, Ian McEwan, went into great detail about the color of the dress. It wasn't just the inspiration of the director, it was the author's doing. In that one line, the designer showed how ignorant she was about the basis of the film.