Thursday, August 11, 2022

Dior in ‘Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris’

The real Dior 1957 Collection

The clothes in the film are based on Dior's actual designs
 From The New York Post:

This summer’s most romantic movie is about a woman who falls in love … with a dress. In “Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris,” out Friday, a plucky, kind-hearted cleaning lady (Harris, played by Lesley Manville) working in 1950s London discovers a Christian Dior gown in a wealthy employer’s closet. The strapless lavender frock, festooned with glittering embroidered flowers and lace trimmings, propels Harris on a quest for her own couture confection, leading her all the way to France and Dior’s hallowed maison. The film’s costume designer Jenny Beavan told The Post that Harris’ rapturous response isn’t actually that far-fetched, historically speaking.

“For [many] women, it was just fantastic at the end of [World War II] to see clothes that had such volume in fabric, after everybody had been scrimping on rations,” said Beavan, a three-time Oscar winner. (Read more.)


From Town and Country:

Of course, a large part of what happens in Mrs. Harris is fictional—but not all of that comes from Gallico’s book. Some was devised by Fabian to help make even the imaginary moments on screen feel more believable. “The key to this story is that it is magic realism, so it has to have an equal dose of magic and reality,” he says. “If you go too far into magic, you won’t believe it; if you go too far into the realism, it wouldn’t have that uplifting fairy tale quality. The choice to have a binmen’s strike [during Mrs. Harris’s time] in Paris seemed like a fun idea with her being a cleaner. That was also partly motivated by my desire not to create too much of a chocolate-box world. If this beautiful city is strewn with rubbish, you’re bringing a degree of reality to the fairytale. Getting the balance right was important.”

Likewise, seeing inside the homes of the Dior staff—where they live real lives somewhat less charmed than an existence inside the atelier—helps create a sense of fantasy and reality on screen. “Getting a window into where some of these characters live was very important,” Fabian says. “There are lovely contrasts all the way through the story—between London and Paris but also between the glamour of Dior and the reality of the people who worked there.” (Read more.)


From Variety:

As the title character of “Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris,” Lesley Manville charms nearly everyone she encounters: homeless men on the streets of Paris, the heads of the Dior fashion house (including Christian Dior himself), models, dressmakers and racehorse track operators. Even the more snobbish people she encounters eventually find themselves taken in by Ada, a kindhearted but tough English cleaning lady who — following the devastating news that her missing-in-action husband has been declared dead by the British army — makes it her life’s mission to acquire a Dior dress and live out her dreams of glamour.

For people who know Manville best from her Oscar-nominated work on 2017’s “Phantom Thread,” where she played cynical and tough-minded fashion house manager Cyril, seeing Manville as the outsider in the world of high fashion may initially feel like a bit of an in-joke. But Manville makes it easy to forget all her past roles with the film, bringing a lovely sense of dignity and longing to Ada’s seemingly frivolous pursuit of a dress that gives the frothy film some grounding. For the veteran actor, the film is the start for a busy few months with many projects ahead — not the least of which including Netflix’s blockbuster series “The Crown,” which will have her replace Helena Bonham Carter in the role of Princess Margaret. (Read more.)



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