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ROYAL COUTURE.....Duke and Duchess of Windsor "W.E" Costumes & The Real Thing

A Style Story... For their September 2011 issue, Vanity Fair just published photos by Tom Munro from Madonna's (Happy Belated Birthday!) feature-length directorial debut "W.E".
Madonna, the Director
"W.E." is a film on the lives of Wallis Simpson and Britain's Kind Edward VIII, who abdicated the throne to marry the twice-divorced Simpson. She became Duchess of Windsor when they married in 1937. Academy Award-nominated Costume Designer--and longtime Madonna style collaborator Arianne Phillips (above) designed the costumes (GORGEOUS!!!). According to Phillips, she worked with design houses such as Cartier, Dior and Dunhill for the 60+ costume changes for the actors playing the Duke and Duchess of Windsor.
Costume Encounter: (Left to Right) Nick Verreos, Costume Designer Monique Prudhomme, Costume Designer Arianne Phillips, and fellow Project Runway Season 2 Designer Andrae Gonzalo
In the film, British-born actors Andrea Riseborough and James D’Arcy play the Duchess and Duke respectively. I thought it would be fun to "Compare & Contrast" between the Vanity Fair photos from the film--and the actual COUTURE the Duke and Duchess of Windsor wore (as seen through available photographs, of course). Let's take a look at some of the photos from the film with actors:
Striped Daywear: Actors D'Arcy and Riseborough--Notice the impeccable mitering (stripes matching) in her dress--that is COUTURE darling!!!
Zig-Zag Diva: Actors Riseborough and D'Arcy lounging for cocktail hour
Home Sweet (Couture) Home: Actress Andrea Riseborough, wearing Dior and Cartier jewels
Hosting Pair: Actors Riseborough and D'Arcy playing the Duchess and Duke of Windsor
The Schiaparelli Jacket, ordered by Wallis Simpson: Wallis purchased 18 items from the Elsa Schiaparelli Summer 1937 Collection for her Marriage Trousseau to the Duke of Windsor, including a gown and jacket combination of carbon blue jersey (above). The Baroque scrolls on the jacket were white leather.
Wallis Simpson--in her Schiaparelli ensemble--photographed by Cecil Beaton
Wedding Day: The Duke and Duchess of Windsor at Chateau De Conde France 1937; The simple crepe gown was designed and created by Mainbocher, a Chicago-born Paris Couturier and Paris Vogue Fashion Illustrator (his actual name was Main Rousseau Bocher). The Duke wore a Morning Suit. Her Trousseau consisted of almost 70 garments, including the above Schiaparelli suit-gown, many Chanel's and others. Diva. Garden Chic: In 1937, Wallis Simpson posed for Vogue in a Schiaparelli evening gown that had a lobster printed on its skirt. Salvador Dalí designed the print, which also featured sprigs of parsley. The Vogue spread was intended to introduce readers to Mrs. Simpson, who in July of that year would marry Edward VIII, Duke of Windsor and abdicated King of England.
Lobster Couture: The Schiaparelli-designed Salvador Dalí-printed gown
Color Blocking: The Duke and Duchess of Windsor--and their dog--Miami, circa 1941--Between his ascot, her Cartier pin and turban, and their colored ensembles...well, I think this may be one of the fiercest "Holiday" photos ever!
Nipped In: The Duke and Duchess of Windsor, circa 1946
Resort Wear: The Duke and Duchess of Windsor vacationing in Italy, 1953--in HIGH STYLE!!! PS: Where can I get a robe like that??
High-Low: The Duke and Duchess of Windsor, early 1960's
I cannot wait to see the film and more importantly, the fashions!!! Kudos Madonna and Arianne!!!

1 Response to "ROYAL COUTURE.....Duke and Duchess of Windsor "W.E" Costumes & The Real Thing"

Unknown said...

Great article, Nick. Love the Photos! What style! (Hello, Andrae).