There are some films where the fashion feels like a full-on character in it’s own right. Sex and The City, Great Gatsby, Atonement, they’re some of the biggies which all have fashion in them creating this other pull, this other thing which holds your gaze and stands up as a major part of the viewing experience. Carol, the new film directed by Todd Haynes, starring Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara is a film set to join those ranks. A subtle but enthralling love story -based on the book ‘The Price of Salt’ by Patricia Highsmith- Carol, is set in New York city in 1952 and follows the sincere romance between two women. The costumes, designed by Sandy Powell, are EXSQUISTE! Blanchett as Carol is pretty much effervescent, with her high glamour, elegance and sophistication, compared to the more discreetly and casually dressed Therese, played by Mara. Carol is the impeccable type of woman you would see in a magazine while Therese is the working class girl on the street. This styling plays a huge part in Carol’s seduction of Therese, her look, her poise and presence are an aspiration, she is transfixing, and that, well, it’s massively down to her fashion. With her simple elongated silhouette, the smooth tones and perfectly placed accessories, the costume here screams of neatness and constraint, much like the character herself; poised and possibly a little suppressed. To get the look as perfect as it is designer Powell used a lot of era specific underwear to exaggerate Blanchett’s shape; padding on the hips and the classic 50’s pointed bras! With authentic vintage bags and shoes made by Ferragamo to be exact copies of old shoes, the clothing here is just as alluring as the women and the story. Absolutely sublime.
Carol is in UK theatres from 27th November 2015