Costuming in W.E.

wallis simpson

Did you ever see W.E.? It came out a couple of years ago and would make an interesting companion piece to The King’s Speech if it weren’t so terrible. Yeah. It’s kind of not very good, but the reasons why I think so are for another post.

wallis simpson

The film tells two parallel stories, one of a fictional character living in modern day New York City, and other of the life of Wallis Simpson and King Edward in the 1930s. These flashback scenes, which take up a fair amount of screen time, (almost half by my count) make up for all the eye-rolling, head-scratching, clunky bits that comprise the remainder of the film.

Screen Shot 2013-07-06 at 5.13.05 PM

Because the costumes. Wow. All the 1930s glamour your eyes can eat up.


The one downfall involving the costuming is that it’s rare that you ever see an entire full-length shot, as this movie has a lot of tight close-ups and quick cuts. A few of my favorite moments are in this post (there are more, believe me) and Arianne Phillips, whose credits include A Single Man, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, and Walk the Line, certainly deserved her Oscar nomination.


Screen Shot 2013-07-06 at 5.26.09 PM

This is from the scene where a corner of her dress is torn, and she huffs ‘It’s Schiaparelli!’. I appreciated that bit of inside-baseball style humor.



wallis simpson


wallis simpson

wallis simpson

Really though, if you adore beautifully shot 1930s period pieces and you don’t care much else about what else is going on, it will be two hours of your life well spent.


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