Accuracy of attire worn by 1st class ladies in JC movie


D

david festge

Guest
Hello, does anyone know how accurate the attire worn by some of the 1st class ladies was true to real life as far as personal taste as depicted in James Cameron movie Titanic? For example the dress and jewerly ensemble worn by the Countess of Rothes on Sunday night for dinner April 11 1912, is that something she would have really worn for that occasion, and was it designed after something she really owned?
 

Kyrila Scully

Member
Apr 15, 2001
2,079
8
223
South Florida
David,

While there are no photographs available to document the exact jewels and gowns worn by 1st class women, we do have magazines and fashion postcards and womens' catalogs from that era and before to document the styles year by year. I would have to say that the costume designer in James Cameron's film did an excellent job in capturing the opulence, gilt and grandeur of the Edwardian era. There are also several pieces of jewelry salvaged from the debris field of Titanic's wreckage which I have seen on display and it is amazing to study the delicacy and artistry of the pieces. There is a Titanic museum in Orlando that sells vintage jewelry from that era and I can tell you it's mah-velous!

Hope that answers your question.
All the best,
Kyrila Scully
 
May 12, 2005
3,109
7
163
David,

If you check under the "Guilded Age" heading you'll find various fashion-oriented threads that should help to familiarize you with 1912 clothes. I think there's a specific "Fashions and Titanic" thread.

As to the evening dress worn in the movie's dinner scenes by the actress who portrayed the Countess of Rothes, I think it was very authentic as were almost all the costumes. I believe some were actual vintage pieces.

Randy
 
Dec 7, 2000
1,348
9
223
Good point about the Countess. Her clothes for example may have been easier to research. She basically gave the name and addresses of the places where her clothes were from.

Here's some of the stuff, amongst others that she claimed for:

==============================
IN 1 BIG TRUNK:

Dresses from Loyse,ll,Princes Street,Hanover Sq., London; Underclothing - Woolands, Knightsbridge, London; Furs - Ermine and Seal and Black Fox - old lace inherited ..................... £500 (i think $2500 US 1912)

She also had:

IN 2 SMALL CABIN TRUNKS and 1 HAT BOX:

Hats - Zyrots & Henry, London
Shoes - Hook & Knoweles, Bond Street, London
More underlinen and linen dresses and coats and skirts from Francis, 10 Grafton Street, London, feather boas, motor veils, gloves, etc. and fans - practiacally everything new ...
==============================

Daniel.
 

George Behe

Member
Dec 11, 1999
1,280
4
0
Hi, Daniel!

>Underclothing - Woolands,

I wonder if "Woolands" might not be a misprint for "Wool Land," the big discount supermart devoted to natural fiber underclothing? :)

All my best,

George
 
S

Sandra LaHair

Guest
David-

The costumes worn in the 1997 movie are the styles that were worn during that particular era.
Deborah Lynn Scott, costume designer for Titanic, also designed the costumes for The Patriot (2000) and Wild, Wild West (1999) She had been designing since 1985. Ms Scott won an Oscar & a Golden Globe for Titanic costumes. Ms Scott is quoted on www.titanicmovie.com that "people of wealth changed wardrobes four and five times a day" and needed servants to assist them.

Info about the Broadway musical and the research regarding the costumes for the Broadway hit can be found at www.stagesforlearning.com. The same Edwardian styles can be seen in "The Music Man".

Sandra
 

Kyrila Scully

Member
Apr 15, 2001
2,079
8
223
South Florida
Just to add to what Sandra was saying, there was a protocol for changing clothes so many times in a day. It was required to dress a particular way for a particular time of day, and if there was a special event, that required a particular outfit as well.

Kyrila
 
D

david festge

Guest
Thanks all for responding to my question, you all seem to have so much wealth of knowledge of that particular era. I;ve been trying to research various passengers as far as what they did post titanic sinking, is there any such website I could go to to learn more about their lives after the disaster.
Thanks,
David
 
Nov 27, 2005
78
1
88
When we were on the set Ms. Scott repeatedly asked that the extras be careful of the gowns as they were all vintage pieces. Many were quite fragile and there were a host of seamstresses there with threads to do repairs. Many of the women, including my wife, had a hard time moving around with those corsets, which all the first class women in the dining room scene were wearing.
 

Kyrila Scully

Member
Apr 15, 2001
2,079
8
223
South Florida
Hi, David,

Were the gowns actually era-vintage or Hollywood-vintage, i.e. used in previous films? Just curious. I'm really into movie costuming, and have a few friends from high school in the industry, one of whom won a Tony for costume design.

All the best,
Kyrila
 
Nov 27, 2005
78
1
88
We were infromed they were era vintage - a Cameron request and that shops and suppliers from throughout the country had been searched. The women's gowns were really beautiful complete with lots of embroidery and needlework, mostly silks and that sort. We were also told that some of the gowns were "Lucille's". The trade papers said there was such a shortage of gowns at the time because of Titanic that other movies in need of costumes from that era, including the Zeta-Jones Titanic movie had to make costumes. The costumes for extras were in a huge tent warehouse that you changed in - we were there because we answered a notice through THS. There were a couple of other members there as well.
 
May 12, 2005
3,109
7
163
David,

At least one dress worn by an extra in the film was indeed a "Lucile." I watched one of the pre-premier specials on the "E!" channel, which interviewed the costumers, and Deborah Scott's assistant (forget his name) showed a white chiffon and lace gown with a blue satin sash that he said had a "Lucile" Paris label. I have tried to spot this costume in the movie but haven't been able to.

I suspect the Lucile that was used was not a 1912 gown but from a later date, possibly from the teens or early 20s, and so - since that would mean the skirt would be too short to be authentic - it may have been worn in one of the dinner scenes by an extra seated at a table so that the skirt was hidden.

Randy
 

Similar threads