Wings of the Dove

Fashion Movie: The Wings of the Dove

The classic love story based on the 1902 novel “The Wings of the Dove” by Henry James is truly a captivating story of love that intertwines the lives of three people – Kate, Merton and Millie. It has a very memorable plot, in which it created twists and turns all throughout the usual love story. The movie itself is an exquisite adaptation and if you are into classic films, it is definitely something not to miss.

Apart from the movie’s stunning plot, the movie also portrayed so much about the high society and way of life back in the early 1910s. The screenplay’s setting lands on the Post Edwardian Era in the early 1910s which explains the mindset of the characters and their way of dressing up. The fashion in that era is one of the most notable in the history of London. TV Serial Downton Abbey and movie The Great Gatsby are also based on this period. In this article, we are going to review some of the most remarkable costumes that the characters wore in the classic movie “The Wings of the Dove”. By the way, if you are interested in fashion movie.

Soft Chiffon Drapes and Elbow-length Gloves

Source: Miramax

Helena Bonham-Carter played the role of Kate, a young woman who lives under extreme supervision of her wealthy aunt. Although her wealth isn’t really hers but under the mercy of her aunt, she still dresses up the way wealthy young women do in the past. In one scene she wore a dress made from luxurious soft chiffon that flows all the way to the drapes. She also paired it with black velvet elbow-length gloves; a very popular accessory for sophisticated women in the 1910s.

Dainty Fascinators

Source: The Fashionéaste

As Millie (Allison Elliott) is a very wealthy young woman, fascinators are a must have in her personal wardrobe. One of her most notable fascinators is the one made from shiny silk, and dotted with black pearls on one side.


Source: WYMSEE

Fascinators are quite a common accessory for many English women in the past. Kate also wore hers is a darker version. The fashionable fascinator is quite notable for its blue velvet material embellished with a velvet ribbon petal and feathers. The fascinator also features a soft net that covers half of the face.


Oversized Floppy Hats

Source: The Fashionéaste

Apart from fascinators, oversized floppy hats are quite a common sight as well. It is what completes outdoor fashion in old England. In a particular scene where she sat on a moving horse carriage, she wore a classic black hat fully wrapped in chiffon ribbon. The oversized ribbon accent truly made the classic black hat stand out. She wore it along with a vintage velvet half coat layered on a vest.


Source: Vinnieh blog

Another favorite from Kate’s fashion wardrobe is this beautiful blue hat embellished with ribbons and lavish yarns. The blue ensemble made the hat look extra luxurious. In addition, the ribbon knot truly matches the whole outfit in general. She paired it with a soft fur scarf, blue corduroy coat dress and black velvet gloves.

Rich Details and Embellishments

Source: The Fashionéaste

There aren’t much glitter and colors from that era and most of the clothes only belong in one dark-colored palette. Despite that, intricate details and over decorations are quite a fad. From sewn pearls and crystals to dramatic embroidery, these classic dresses are undeniably meant for luxury. It also involves ribbons and sequins to fully embellish a single dress.


Source: Christopher Niquet

Ancient roman prints and patterns were also prominent in women’s dresses back in the past. With one particular clothing worn by Kate’s aunt, Maude, she wore it as an oversized cape dress layered over a black long-sleeved turtleneck blouse.

Extreme Layers and Velvet Coats


Longer clothing and more layers are quite a significant fashion style in the post Edwardian era. In this particular ensemble, Kate wore a half opened velvet coat that extends all the way to the back. The coat is layered over a vest and blouse as well. To balance out the plainness of the upper portion of Kate’s ensemble, she paired everything with a long skirt patterned with vertical stripes.

Source: Wall Street Journal

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