Being Aided by Atonement

There is good reason why the film Atonement is getting all the hype and hoo-ha that is being generated.  I’ll admit that I’ve been swept up by the PR machine and have fallen for all the critical acclaim the film is garnering.  Whilst I’m not a huge Ian McEwan fan (author of the novel ‘Atonement), it does cry for a film adaptation and if everything I’ve read is anything to go by, the director Joe Wright has done a mighty job.

It also happens to be one of those films that fashion-fiends will get sucked into with Kiera Knightley playing the aristocrat Cecilia Tallis sporting an array of 1930’s period looks which some have said bears much resemblance to a certain Mademoiselle Chanel who Knightley is now set to play (Just how many Coco Chanel films are there in production?  Are we to be bombarded with them all at the same time??).  The smokey close-up picture just about captures a Chanel aura so I’ll be interested to see how that particular Chanel-film fest pans out.

Back to Atonement though, I do believe I have a visual feast ahead of me, both in terms of the gruesome warfare portrayal and Cecilia Tallis’ costumes.  1935 is the year the film begins and we have a sleek sillhouette that Knightley pulls off stunningly, I have to admit.  I also love the starkness of 1930’s bathing attire and I love that symmetry of the film still.  Deco bathing suits over longer sleeved tops and if you dare (which I do) over tights and some platforms would make for a strictly party outfit.

It does seem to be a bit of a coincidence that the evening shot of her in the green gown bears much resemblance to the styling used in the Keira’s new Coco Mademoiselle ad campaign (the new campaign launches on 1st September if you’re interested in seeing Mademoiselle’s ‘universe’).

Cecilia Tallis living in a grand country house and with the scene being set in the hottest summers Britain has seen, you have Keira looking a little dishevelled in a more relaxed 1930’s daywear attire.  I’m really down for wearing worn down tea dresses with Doc Martens or something like that, not wishing to be decked out like I think I have stepped out of the 1930’s.  This reminds me…must…buy…more…vintage…slips..

Then of course, WW2 breaks out and Cecilia is a wartime nurse.  The shoulders have a more definied place and the looks are more functional but the outfit with the navy trench and nurse outfit does have smidges of Marc Jacobs AW07-8 about it.  Call it glamourous functionality if you will.  I now feel like I want to wear my father’s old tweed full length coat belted in with hints of femininity peeking out like seamed sheer stockings.

I could just be overly excited about the film’s release but concocting a fashion task list from some movie stills is an amusing way to pass the afternoon and give me more concrete ideas when out vintage shopping (doing a major haul this weekend for Style Bubble shops…)…

(Film stills from 

10 Replies to “Being Aided by Atonement”

  1. She is gorgeous and the film looks beautiful, but I don’t think I could sit through a Kiera Knightly film, because of her stupid inflated upper lip! She was so pretty already, but the collagen just looks so obvious to me, and it’s all I see when I look at her. Shame.

  2. Wow, I’m so excited to watch this, I hope they bring this to the movies down here. ahh….and thankyou for the lovely pictures.

  3. That film looks lovely. I think I’m going to have to watch it.
    And on the subject of bathing suits, I am hoping to buy the most beautiful original 1920s bathing suit off the place that I work (I work at a costume shop). I discovered it today, and I just had to have it! I’m now having to wait for my boss to set a price on it… I can’t stand the wait! Haha.

  4. Keira is just it to me, she has an enviable pout, and a list of ridiculously good looking boyfriends. But personal life aside, I think she’s a great actress (even though I’ve only seen the Pirates movies, and I adored her there)
    The wardrobe looks gorgeous. And in the last series of pictures she reminds me of a toned down version of Helena Bonham Carter.

  5. “I’m really down for wearing worn down tea dresses with Doc Martens or something like that, not wishing to be decked out like I think I have stepped out of the 1930’s.”
    So instead you’ll be looking like you are stepping out of 1994;) I know you are pretty young so you didn’t catch that look the first time around. Check out old videos of the tv show, Beverly Hills 90210 from 93-94, you’ll see what I mean.

  6. I badly want to see this film purely because of the costumes. Plus Keira Knightley is stunning (I am incredibly jealous) and James McAvoy too…

  7. 1994 was a great year…. I thought I was quite clever back then…. then I went to secondary school the next year and found out I wasn’t…. god those were bad times….

  8. I am *not* a Keira fan but I might have to see this now based on your pics alone. The costumes look fantastic and I definitely wish I could pull off that flowy, 30s look.

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