Queen Elizabeth I; Alexandra Byrne, Cate Blanchett & Kirsten McMenamy

11 Nov

I love the costume drama’s  Elizabeth (1998) and Elizabeth: The Golden Age (2007) in which Cate Blanchett portrays Elizabeth I as a woman with great political and strategic knowledge, but also the feelings and doubts of a woman of real flesh and blood. Though not only Cate Blanchett’s performance is intriguing, her movie wardrobe consists of true masterpieces all designed by Alexandra Byrne, who got nominated for an Academy Award for Elizabeth I and won an Academy Award for Elizabeth: The Golden Age.

A vintage photograph that Alexandra Byrne posted on her costume mood board of a ruffled Spanish renaissance black velvet dress conceived by Cristóbal Balenciaga in 1941, was the overriding influence for Elizabeth’s court gowns.

Alexandra Burne confesses that she sacrificed historical accuracy to portray the splendorous wardrobe of the monarch who, at the height of her power, had 3.000 dresses in her wardrobe. Elizabeth’s jewelery was made by Erickson Beamen of Belgravia and her plumed heats by Christian Dior’s milliner, Stephen Jones.

The End of the first movie Elizabeth I decides to marry nobody except England. She has her hair cut off by lady in waiting, Kat and assuming the white-faced and gowned persona of the Virgin Queen. A breathtaking movie-moment.

Cate Blanchett as Elizabeth I, photographed by Irvin Penn in 2007 for Vogue. Dress by Nicolas Ghesquiëre based on the costume Cate Blanchett wears in the final scene of Elizabeth

W Magazine produced a stunning Queen Elizabeth I inspired fashion shoot entitled ‘Dame of Thrones’ for their September 2012 issue, featuring the story’s heroine Kirsten McMenamy beautifully captured by Tim Walker and styled by Jacob K.

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