1960s Paris

Oh how I dream of going to Paris… it’s so close to London but I am still yet to see the city that looks so beautiful in photos. I plan to escape to there this summer to eat macaroons, drink wine and explore. If there ever were a film that made me want to go to Paris even more so, it’s An Education. Which girl wouldn’t want to be whisked away to the French city, spoilt with dresses and taken to fancy restaurants?

Jenny Mellor is a 16-year-old school girl living in London in the 60s … my favourite era – it’s no wonder I fell in love with the film when I first watched it. A clever girl – she is headed for Oxford University but after her cello is offered a lift home by a stranger in a burgundy Bristol 405 car, her planned our future leads to a marriage proposal from the strange man (David) who is much older.

I certainly do not remember looking this stylish at school – a burgundy waist belt, mid length skirt and a tartan patterned bag, paired with her 60s hair cut shows Jenny (played by Carey Mulligan – LOVE her!) had an interest in fashion, even while wearing her school uniform.

Costume designer Odile Dicks-Mireaux certainly knew what she was doing – the whole film is filled with fabulous outfits, from both the men and the women (or maybe girl is more appropriate for Jenny) – from leopard print coats to floral tailored dresses the characters are super stylish and we see a huge transformation in young Jenny.

The above dress is very ballerina like – the ultra femininity is caused by the splash of red on an otherwise simple, plain dress and drapes Jenny’s petite frame with class and gracefulness. Oh how I wish I could own it. Dicks-Mireaux sourced the entire wardrobe apart from a few suits for the men which were purchased from vintage dealers and costume houses. The costume designer also relied on books of the era’s pop stars, as well as photographs of her assistant’s mum who was a teen in 1961 – the same year the film is based on.

The book in which the film is based on An Education by Lynn Barber is about her first boyfriend and was then adapted by author Nick Hornby for screen. Taken Jenny under her wing, Helen (Rosamund Pike) gives her a makeover which is a far cry from her school girl attire – the leather gloves, black shift dress, stylish cream swing coat and leopard print pillbox hat we see in the above image recreates a picture of elegance.

A vulnerable moment for Jenny in the film – yet one of my most favourite outfits in the film – the golden toned embellishments in the dress and the glimmer in the matching clutch purse warm Mulligans pale skin tone and the reds in the lipstick and nail varnish make her look older than her years – so very sophisticated and so very Audery Helpburn like.

Watch the trailer for An Education below.

What’s your favourite era in fashion? What are your thoughts on An Education? 


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