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Posts Tagged ‘18th century’

The costumes for the movie “The Duchess” were gorgeous and detailed. The subject of the movie, Georgiana the Duchess of Devonshire, nee Lady Georgiana Spencer, was known for being a fashion plate, and for using fashion in the service of politics. So, it is only appropriate. At the movie web-site, you can see the costumes, created by Michael O’Connor, in unique windows with the ability to zoom in and turn the costume around. If you want to see some pretty 18th century style dresses, you should click on: here. There is also an interesting dress, with a military flavor, which shows how Georgiana would dress up in the colors of her party, the Whig Party.

So, now, The Duchess has received the Oscar for “Best Costume.” Very nice. Hope it brings attention to the story of Georgiana. She was a fascinating woman.

Do you wonder what Georgiana would say about the fact that the movie portraying her life, and her character as “The Empress of Fashion”, won an Academy Award for Best Costume? With Georgiana, the answer is easy.

As noted similarly at several sources, including Wikipedia, Georgiana had the same response to all compliments. The story goes that when Georgiana was stepping out of her carriage one day, an Irish dustman exclaimed, “Love and bless you, my lady, let me light my pipe in your eyes!”, a compliment which she often recalled whenever others complimented her by retorting, “After the dustman’s compliment, all others are insipid.”

Hope you will browse the Georgiana Circle web-site, and leave any of your thoughts about Georgiana, the movie, the Academy Awards, or 18th century fashion.

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I stumbled across this piece when doing on-line searches for Georgiana. The auction site is: here.

It is a beautiful painting of Georgiana, done after her death, but based on the 1787 original from Thomas Gainsborough.

“Ferdinand van Stoopendaal (Swedish, b. 1850), “Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire”, oil on canvas, after the 1787 original by Thomas Gainsborough (English, 1727-1788), 16 in. x 20 in., framed”

A wonderful tribute to Lady Georgiana Spencer, ancestor to Princess Diana. Lady Georgiana Spencer later became the Duchess of Devonshire.

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Ralph Fiennes, out of costume

Ralph Fiennes, out of costume

Painting of the 5th Duke of Devonshire

Painting of the 5th Duke of Devonshire

As a devoted fan of the real Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire, and as someone who enjoyed the movie “The Duchess” very much, I have definite opinions on all of the characters, and on the portrayals in the movie.

I decided that I am still a little frustrated that Ralph Fiennes portrayed William, the fifth Duke of Devonshire, in such a sympathetic light. Though, in thinking about it, at least Fiennes showed the flaws in the Duke’s character, and did not do what would have been tragic – make the Duke seem charming or especially sexually appealing, after all the Duke’s womanizing and emotional abuse of his wife.

It is also disappointing that the portrayal of the Duke is up for so many awards, when it is Georgiana who should have been (and was in some measure)¬† “a light burning at the center of the film”, as commentary on the DVD edition notes. Perhaps because I had read the book by Amanda Foreman, I still saw Georgiana’s light as the center of the film. Indeed, the story would probably have not been told if it were not for her flair, her fame and her fashion sense. And, contrary to some critics, I believe that Keira Knightley’s portrayal of Georgiana was wonderful. Knightley was able to portray the character and emotions in the range of an innocent young bride of 17-years-old, to an aristocratic woman having a passionate affair, to a mother and wife who has come to terms with her place in life. (more…)

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Found this wonderful drawing of over a dozen different 18th century hairstyles. It includes many that might have been warn by Georgina, Duchess of Devonshire. You must click to see the up-do with the sailing ship on top:

Post at The Duchess of Devonshire’s Gossip Guide to the 18th century

Here is the picture. (DofD Gossip Guide is a fun site to visit, though!)

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