Today we further examine the wardrobe of the main heroine, Mina Harker. What’s interesting about her wardrobe is the use of green and blue, both cool colors and these serve to define the character’s primary personality- cool, practical, level-headed (especially when compared to her friend Lucy). Below is another green dress done in the same style as the iconic day dress that we discussed in yesterday’s post:
The costume sketch is a bit on the plain side when compared with the final product. The one feature that stands out is the bustle and once again, this is a dress that’s more appropriate for the late 1880s rather than 1897.
It’s interesting how the tone of the green color changes, depending on the light and the quality of the picture. Also, note the creasing on the bodice underneath the bustline- either the actress wasn’t wearing a proper corset, or the bodice was too long and it got pushed up when she sat down (which is partly why you see women of the era perching on a chair or bench rather than actually sitting).
Now, while green does seem to dominate Mina’s wardrobe, it’s not the only color. For Mina’s more “passionate” or intimate scenes, and particular, the “Absinthe” scene, there’s this red dress that mixes Victorian and Medieval style elements and serves to emphasizes the sexually charged erotic relationship that Mina/Elzabeta has with Dracula. And of course, the red also serves to emphasize Dracula’s vampire nature. 🙂
What is interesting about the red dress is that with the train, it gives an early 1870s effect, at least when viewing from the rear.
In contrast to the above “absinthe” dress, below is another dress worn by Mina. This dress is a bit more restrained but unfortunately, it only appears briefly in the film, first in the shipboard scene when Mina is throwing Dracula’s love letters overboard and later when she’s marrying Jonathan Harker:
It would have been nice to have seen more of this dress, its lines are probably the closest to those characteristic of the 1890s silhouette although the sleeve caps are not really appropriate for 1897.
Now, for a complete change of pace, below is the “Elizabeta” dress from the movie. This is the dress that Dracula’s wife is wearing when she commits suicide after being informed falsely that her husband Dracula having been killed battling the Turks, thus setting the tragic chain of events in motion. Once more, shades of green:
And the final product:
This dress contains a combination of Western Medieval and Byzantine elements; the rich embroidered dragon motif especially stands out. Had enough of Mina Harker? Well, stay tuned for Part 3! 🙂
To be continued…