We may be somewhat late to the party recommending The Favourite, a film which has been out since the start of 2019 and is now picking up traction in all this season’s award categories. The newest work by director Yorgos Lanthimos focuses on the relationship between three strong, flawed and complex women who are each vying for power, status and control and as funny as it is emotive.Set in the 18th century and starring Olivia Coleman as the wonderfully eccentric and woefully lost Queen Anne – who has rightfully already won a Golden Globe for her performance – you’d be forgiven for thinking The Favourite would be a masterclass in period costume. However, the costume designer Sandy Powell, who has worked on previous classics such as Cinderella and The Young Victoria, instead created a beautifully stylised aesthetic which was still perfectly in keeping with the time period but as unique and interesting as the film itself.
In a fascinating article from Vogue, Powell shares her vision for the costumes as well as a behind-the-scenes look at how the team achieved their unique vision.
“We weren’t making a conventional historical film. Silhouette-wise, there is nothing wrong with how the costumes were made.
But, fabric-wise, artistic license was taken. It adds to the general feeling of the film.”If you’re in London this Winter you can see this intricate work (all the costumes were made completely from scratch) in person at Kensington Palace. All of the costumes, as seen on Coleman as well as co-stars Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz, are on display until 8th February 2019, giving you a chance to see the laser cut detailing and clever tailoring up close. The display of corseted dresses showcase the talent of the costume department, managing to look both contemporary and respectful of the era.
Seeing these incredible pieces up close remind you of the value of trueraftsmanship as well as the power of imagination and is the perfect accompaniment to the film, which is still screening at every major cinema. With Oscar nominations soon to be announced we can’t imagine The Favourite not picking up more well-deserved accolades which will hopefully include the Academy Award for Best Costume Design.
For more information on the exhibition please visit the Kensington Palace website: