Thursday, November 3, 2011


Nobody ever accused me of being a fashion plate, but I'm a sucker for a great costume. Maybe it was all those Barbies I dressed in my misspent childhood, especially in the outfits I made up. (I once dressed up my brunette Midge doll in a blue overcoat, flat black hat, and umbrella, like Mary Poppins, and attached her to the curtain mechanism above my bedroom window so she could "fly" back and forth over the bed.)

A front-runner in next year's Best Costume Oscar race is sure to be Anonymous, with luscious Elizabethan-era costumes by German designer Lisy Christl. Here are a couple of costumes from the movie on display as we speak at the Century Centre 9 Theater in San Francisco (where the film opened last week). Check out the detailing, especially those slashed, beribboned, and embroidered pantaloons in the foreground. Yowza.

Anonymous opens tomorrow here in Santa Cruz, on the big screen at the Del Mar, and I can't wait. I don't expect to be converted to the idea that anyone other than Will Shakespeare wrote the plays historically attributed to him, but the movie is sure to look fabulous.

Here's a costume sketch from Christl, complete with fabric swatches, suggested stitching and notions details, and painterly inspiration. Notice how the sleeves in the sketch are influenced by the voluptuous, bell-shaped gathered sleeves of the blue madonna on the left.

Many thanks to Daniella Taormina-Keenan at Allied Media in SF for sending out these images. Nothing could make me more excited to see this movie!

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