I've dreamt in my life dreams that have stayed with me ever after, and changed my ideas: they've gone through and through me, like wine through water, and altered the color of my mind.
Emily Bronte
Wuthering Heights

vrijdag 24 februari 2012


How did you got started in costume design?
 I used to do photography and I was keen on that, so I went to this theater and worked at the Old Vic in London.Then I did classes and went to college and I sort of started assisting designers. Eventually, I sort of thought I’d branch out and try to do it myself and become the head of the department. I started doing small films and then one meeting after another meeting, and I’m here.
What was the inspiration behind “Jane Eyre?”
The inspiration is her character, the challenge is making a woman from that time look stylish today, while still looking simple. She’s sort of a “thinking” Jane, so it was about looking and finding paintings of women in simple costumes at the time. And notes from Emily Dickinson, things like that. I just thought, "How would we make something exciting in all black?" So, instead of black, she could be in dark grey, and it could show more of the style, or detail. The original costumes were a great inspiration. I looked at them and was like, "Oh my God. How did they do it?" I was trying to recreate it really, without, you know, replicating.
Do you feel like it’s more challenging to work on a film where people have read the book and have an idea of how “Jane Eyre” should look?
I think it is, unless the script is designed to run away from the vision of the book. I think in this case, the original source of material is crucial, really, to what we were trying to do. So for me, although the characters are being described as sort of plain and simple, I didn't want to make them not plain and not simple. The character doesn’t have to be exact, but you don't want them to be unrecognizable. It's about achieving the spirit of the character, I think.
How do you bring a contemporary aesthetic to the period costumes?
It's challenging because people are looking at the actors, they know the actors and know that they are real people, so you can’t kind of over-encumber them with lots of fuss. The key is in the details, like Jane’s sleeves are probably tighter than they would have been, or adjusting the fabrics. It's not an exact replica of what Jane would have worn. If she had great big, puffy sleeves or something, I feel that would be inappropriate.
What was it like working with the stars, Mia Wasikowska, Michael Fassbender and Judi Dench, on the film?
Well, I don’t think many women want to wear a corset everyday of their lives, but that is what Mia had to do to get the right shape. I’m sure Michael doesn’t want to wear trousers cut quite so high with braces and skirted coat and scarves around his neck. And likewise, I don’t think Judi Dench really wants to be so buttoned up. I know with Judi, we could’ve gone further over-the-top with her, but I know that she wouldn’t have felt correct like that. So even though it was a dialogue with all of the actors about those things, but you know, really, Mia has to be congratulated because she tolerated all of it everyday, without a single complaint.
Were there any things you did to make the corsets more comfortable?
Not really. It’d be great if you could, but for them to do their work, it has to be constructed in a certain way. If they’re not, they won’t last half a day. It’d just be like a flannel or an old rag. And I know when Mia put it on, she was feeling - she was becoming Jane as it were, so it helps the character. It’s quite a relief to take it off, as I’m sure she’ll tell you. 
Do you feel that the costumes contribute to their character?
It takes time, they might have done something the week before where they’re sort of shot out in Los Angeles or something, in a t-shirt and jeans. So they come in, and they see this thing and they look and aren't totally comfortable. You know, I’m around these things a lot, so they’re familiar to me. But to them, it’s a bit tricky. But, slowly, I think that it’s good for them to meet the costumes designers, so they get a sense of where we’re going with it and they take the information, they use that and they come back to me with more information - what they feel about the character and then it’s like a journey together really.
What do you think about the other designers who are nominated?
I met Mark Bridges [who is nominated for "The Artist"] once in Los Angeles, he’s very pleasant. I met Arianne Phillips [who is nominated for "W.E."] many, many years ago. And I met Lisy Christl [of "Anonymous"] when I was doing “Jane Eyre," in London. I’ve known Sandy Powell [who is nominated for "Hugo") for a very long time. Definitely the longest. I love her work and all of it – I think this year, particularly, the people are really strong, amazing technical achievements.

'Emily Bronte portrait' goes for £4,600 at auction

Related Stories

A portrait believed to be of the author Emily Bronte was sold for £4,600 at a Northamptonshire auctioneers.
Portrait believed to be of Emily BronteThe 33cm by 24cm (13in x 9.5in) oil painting went under the hammer in Towcester on Thursday.
Auctioneer JP Humbert said it had attracted a moderate amount of interest after a previous sale of another painting.
The auction house sold that portrait of the reclusive writer for £23,836 in December.
This latest painting, which is annotated 'Emily Jane Bronte', was estimated to fetch between £5,000 and £8,000.
Auctioneer Jonathan Humbert said: "We have another Bronte painting which we will put up for auction in April and we are hoping to make it three out of three."
The Bronte family moved to Haworth, West Yorkshire, in 1820 where the Reverend Patrick Bronte was appointed Curate of Haworth.
They lived at the Haworth Parsonage from 1820 to 1861, which is now  the Bronte Parsonage Museum.
The painting was expected to fetch up to £8,000

woensdag 22 februari 2012

Haworth 1940 weekend A call to arms

Abigails Ateliers writes: 

Haworths residents and businesses are coming together to rescue Haworths 1940s weekend for the village and the many re enactors who find it a highlight of their year ,,Haworth  is famous nationally for the warm welcome extended to its visitors and has reputation for being the most welcoming of all 40s re enactments". 
Haworth has decided this year to donate the proceeds to help for Heros. The traders are asking anyone with suitable skills who is willing to donate their services to come forward, there is will free advertising for any local business in the Haworth 1940s newspaper distributed on the day. I have always been proud to live in Yorkshire and its people, they are welcoming and generous, innovative and determined and this united effort to boost the area and save an event dear to the hearts of many while benefiting our soldiers is one worthy of support. 
I am posting here in the hope that any blog watchers both private and amongst the media may be willing to give this event a mention on their blogs or in their papers. At a time when the area is under the National and international spotlight it would be nice for those who are profiting for stories about the area to give something back. Facebook/Haworth-1940s-Weekend

dinsdag 21 februari 2012

Abigails Ateliers gives her impression on the new Bronte Photograph.

Geri from the excellent Bronte Blog ""Kleurrijkbrontesisters blog""  is running an exciting  post on a possible new Bronte image.
I have been asked for my opinion.
I feel it would be wonderful for these sisters to be the Brontes, they look vibrant and despite the prim faces  somehow happy, they feel as though they are playing to the camera and having great fun.
I dont however think the costumes are correct for even Charlottes life time, the capes /mantles and the hair of the two seated ladies  seem ok  but the hair style and the  little hat on the central figure is very similare to many  from late 1850s and early 1860s  fashion plates and is unlikely to have been around earlier as hats slowly replaced bonnets in the later half of victorias reign.
Here is in addition as far as we  know no record of a similare  hat in the Parsonage costumes collection, there are several bonnets but the only hat is a pretty little straw one which looks later and which  I think belonged to Ellen Nusey. The hair style of the standing  lady also seemed  to be very like that of the ladies in the 1860s fashion plates especially the lady in green in the first of the 1860s plates. We  thought the styles of the seated ladies were  fairly close to early 1850s styles or very late 1840s styles  but  confess its an arkward era for  middle class hairstyles study  from primary sources  as usualy fashion plates show ladies either in bonnets, caps or full evening dress with flowers etc in their hair. I hope that this short post may have been useful,
Abigail Bell
Thank you so much Abigail. I am very happy with your comment. 
Please read more on Abigails AteliersHere you can see also interesting fashionpictures. 

Michael O'Connors designs:

KPCC recommends a visit to the FIDM Art of Motion Picture Costume Design exhibition to see Michael O'Connors designs:
‘Jane Eyre’ by Costume Designer by Michael O’Connor, 2012 Academy Award® Nominee for Best Costume Design. These costumes can be seen in the 20th Annual “Art of Motion Picture Costume Design” exhibition in the FIDM Museum & Galleries at FIDM/Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising, Los Angeles. (L to R): the costumes of Mia Wasikowska as Jane Eyre, Romy Settbon Moore as Adèle Varens, Mia Wasikowska as Jane Eyre, Michael Fassbender as Rochester, and Mia Wasikowska as Jane Eyre.(Alex J. Berliner/ABImages) Bronte blog

Housing plans row in Haworth

Plans to build 38 homes on a green field inHaworth will harm the character of the area and damage tourism, opponents say.
Keighley Area Planning Panel will decide tomorrow whether developer SkiptonProperties can build on land South of Lees Mill, Shuttle Fold.
The proposals, which are recommended for approval, include nine social rented properties.
Hebden Road resident David Thompson said: “The development would change the character of the area. There used to be a lot of fields around here but they are being built on and Haworth and Cross Roads are joining up in to one big suburb of Keighley.”
Bronte Parsonage Museum director Andrew McCarthy said he had concerns about the level of development in the village.
“We do have concerns regarding the erosion of the heritage character of the village,” he said. “As we know it is that character which brings a lot of people here, which obviously has an input in to the local economy.”
Haworth Parish Council chairman John Huxley said members recognised the need for housing but had some concern. He added: “The key economic driver in this area is the tourist trade.
“Every time somebody builds on somewhere it changes the way we look. This particular development moves Cross Roads closer to Haworth and takes away some of that distinction.”
He said the parish council was working on a neighbourhood development plan so it could have more say over which sites were developed in the future.
Other concerns about the plans include increased traffic, pressure on local services, including schools, an increased risk of flooding and the overshadowing of the former mill workers houses in Hebden Road, which overlook the site. the Telegraph and Argus

maandag 20 februari 2012

Great photo, but are these the Bronte Sisters?

The women on this photographe
 are making great impression on me 
These are three strong looking women
If these are the Bronte Sisters
I would like it very much
Much more then the ladies on the painting belowe

These pastel coloured ladies
are they able to write
stories like 
Wuthering Heights ans Jane Eyre?
The women on the top
  looks like they
have dare and they have power

But are these the Bronte sisters?
 What makes me doubt the most
is the hat of ""Emily"" 
These kind of hats
women were wearing in a later period

it is said Charlotte had a square face
This "Charlotte" doesn't
                                              I am not an expert on issues like 
                                                          fashion and photographe
                                                                             I will ask 


What are her ideas
She has a lot of knowledge
 about fashion of different periods.

The Parlour

The Parlour



Charlotte Bronte

Presently the door opened, and in came a superannuated mastiff, followed by an old gentleman very like Miss Bronte, who shook hands with us, and then went to call his daughter. A long interval, during which we coaxed the old dog, and looked at a picture of Miss Bronte, by Richmond, the solitary ornament of the room, looking strangely out of place on the bare walls, and at the books on the little shelves, most of them evidently the gift of the authors since Miss Bronte's celebrity. Presently she came in, and welcomed us very kindly, and took me upstairs to take off my bonnet, and herself brought me water and towels. The uncarpeted stone stairs and floors, the old drawers propped on wood, were all scrupulously clean and neat. When we went into the parlour again, we began talking very comfortably, when the door opened and Mr. Bronte looked in; seeing his daughter there, I suppose he thought it was all right, and he retreated to his study on the opposite side of the passage; presently emerging again to bring W---- a country newspaper. This was his last appearance till we went. Miss Bronte spoke with the greatest warmth of Miss Martineau, and of the good she had gained from her. Well! we talked about various things; the character of the people, - about her solitude, etc., till she left the room to help about dinner, I suppose, for she did not return for an age. The old dog had vanished; a fat curly-haired dog honoured us with his company for some time, but finally manifested a wish to get out, so we were left alone. At last she returned, followed by the maid and dinner, which made us all more comfortable; and we had some very pleasant conversation, in the midst of which time passed quicker than we supposed, for at last W---- found that it was half-past three, and we had fourteen or fifteen miles before us. So we hurried off, having obtained from her a promise to pay us a visit in the spring... ------------------- "She cannot see well, and does little beside knitting. The way she weakened her eyesight was this: When she was sixteen or seventeen, she wanted much to draw; and she copied nimini-pimini copper-plate engravings out of annuals, ('stippling,' don't the artists call it?) every little point put in, till at the end of six months she had produced an exquisitely faithful copy of the engraving. She wanted to learn to express her ideas by drawing. After she had tried to draw stories, and not succeeded, she took the better mode of writing; but in so small a hand, that it is almost impossible to decipher what she wrote at this time.

I asked her whether she had ever taken opium, as the description given of its effects in Villette was so exactly like what I had experienced, - vivid and exaggerated presence of objects, of which the outlines were indistinct, or lost in golden mist, etc. She replied, that she had never, to her knowledge, taken a grain of it in any shape, but that she had followed the process she always adopted when she had to describe anything which had not fallen within her own experience; she had thought intently on it for many and many a night before falling to sleep, - wondering what it was like, or how it would be, - till at length, sometimes after the progress of her story had been arrested at this one point for weeks, she wakened up in the morning with all clear before her, as if she had in reality gone through the experience, and then could describe it, word for word, as it had happened. I cannot account for this psychologically; I only am sure that it was so, because she said it. ----------------------She thought much of her duty, and had loftier and clearer notions of it than most people, and held fast to them with more success. It was done, it seems to me, with much more difficulty than people have of stronger nerves, and better fortunes. All her life was but labour and pain; and she never threw down the burden for the sake of present pleasure. I don't know what use you can make of all I have said. I have written it with the strong desire to obtain appreciation for her. Yet, what does it matter? She herself appealed to the world's judgement for her use of some of the faculties she had, - not the best, - but still the only ones she could turn to strangers' benefit. They heartily, greedily enjoyed the fruits of her labours, and then found out she was much to be blamed for possessing such faculties. Why ask for a judgement on her from such a world?" elizabeth gaskell/charlotte bronte

Poem: No coward soul is mine

No coward soul is mine,
No trembler in the worlds storm-troubled sphere:
I see Heavens glories shine,
And faith shines equal, arming me from fear.

O God within my breast.
Almighty, ever-present Deity!
Life -- that in me has rest,
As I -- Undying Life -- have power in Thee!

Vain are the thousand creeds
That move mens hearts: unutterably vain;
Worthless as withered weeds,
Or idlest froth amid the boundless main,

To waken doubt in one
Holding so fast by Thine infinity;
So surely anchored on
The steadfast Rock of immortality.

With wide-embracing love
Thy Spirit animates eternal years,
Pervades and broods above,
Changes, sustains, dissolves, creates, and rears.

Though earth and man were gone,
And suns and universes ceased to be,
And Thou wert left alone,
Every existence would exist in Thee.

There is not room for Death,
Nor atom that his might could render void:
Thou -- Thou art Being and Breath,
And what Thou art may never be destroyed.

Emily Bronte

Family tree

The Bronte Family

Grandparents - paternal
Hugh Brunty was born 1755 and died circa 1808. He married Eleanor McClory, known as Alice in 1776.

Grandparents - maternal
Thomas Branwell (born 1746 died 5th April 1808) was married in 1768 to Anne Carne (baptised 27th April 1744 and died 19th December 1809).

Father was Patrick Bronte, the eldest of 10 children born to Hugh Brunty and Eleanor (Alice) McClory. He was born 17th March 1777 and died on 7th June 1861. Mother was Maria Branwell, who was born on 15th April 1783 and died on 15th September 1821.

Maria had a sister, Elizabeth who was known as Aunt Branwell. She was born in 1776 and died on 29th October 1842.

Patrick Bronte married Maria Branwell on 29th December 1812.

The Bronte Children
Patrick and Maria Bronte had six children.
The first child was Maria, who was born in 1814 and died on 6th June 1825.
The second daughter, Elizabeth was born on 8th February 1815 and died shortly after Maria on 15th June 1825. Charlotte was the third daughter, born on 21st April 1816.

Charlotte married Arthur Bell Nicholls (born 1818) on 29th June 1854. Charlotte died on 31st March 1855. Arthur lived until 2nd December 1906.

The first and only son born to Patrick and Maria was Patrick Branwell, who was born on 26th June 1817 and died on 24th September 1848.

Emily Jane, the fourth daughter was born on 30th July 1818 and died on 19th December 1848.

The sixth and last child was Anne, born on 17th January 1820 who died on 28th May 1849.

Top Withens in the snow.

Top Withens in the snow.



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