Monday, 17 November 2014

Atonement Swimsuit

The designer Jacqueline Durran on designing the swimsuit for Keira Knightly in Atonement: It was even tougher to design

" a period-appropriate (read: modest) swimsuit that wouldn't appear ''stuffy and old-fashioned to the modern eye,'' says Durran. She found inspiration in French photographer Jacques-Henri Lartigue's ''decadent, rich, and lush'' shots of 1920s and '30s south-of-France bathing beauties. But unlike the stodgy wool swimsuits from the era, Knightley's was made of a far more practical stretchy synthetic. And the white rubber cap? ''You'd have to be as beautiful as Keira to look that great in it. Lots of people can pull off swimsuits, but pulling off that hat is amazing.''.."
 from the Costumer's Guide to Movie Costumes

There are no notes on the internet besides the above quote about the swimsuit itself or how it was made. The actual pattern and subsequent suit had to be draped and drafted based on the above photos. Several things became clear looking at the source materials, the back is one piece with no centre seam. The front consists of two identical pieces to form the bodice with a front bottom piece, the seams at the front form the holes. Below are my notes on the pattern pieces.

                                         A) Hat                      B)Bathing-Cap

A) "A great white straw hat is trimmed with leafy sprays of foliage that end in yellow flowers under the brim"

B) " It's an amusing idea- this of having a tight little black bathing-cap embroidered with fishes and then covered with a net of green silk cord, so that the fish have every appearance of being caught in a decorative net.."
-Erte's Fashion Designs  218 Illustrations from "Harper's Bazar" 1918-1932: Dover Publications (1981)

I adore Erte's whimsical designs. He was also a costume designer but designed haute couture illustrations for Harper's Bazar. The above images where also inspirations for future accessories. 

Below photos of the finished swimsuit. 
Modelled by Chloe Cornell 
Photography: John Cornell 
Location: Deer Isle, Stonington, MI
August 2014

Jacques-Henri Lartigue- ,Bibi avec une ombrelle sur la plage à Cannes, 1927
I was really inspired by Jacques-Henri Lartigue's beautiful images from Cannes in the 20s. An inspiration for the Atonement film as mentioned above. Here are some more of his images,

Jacques-Henri Lartigue photos at Photography Board 

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