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Poldark Style-part 4

May 3, 2015

To conclude my series on Poldark,having spoken of the style of costumes of Verity in the Poldark series, which you can still catch on BBC iplayer if you’re quick, I want to turn now to the other main female characters, Demelza and Elizabeth.

Poldark Style-part 4 – Elizabeth and Demelza

Elizabeth Poldark

Elizabeth's blue velvet riding outfit. Courtesy Mike Hogan/BBC.

Elizabeth’s blue velvet riding outfit. Courtesy Mike Hogan/BBC.

 

Elizabeth's brown velvet jacket. Courtesy Mike Hogan/BBC.

Elizabeth’s brown velvet jacket. Courtesy Mike Hogan/BBC.

 

A rainbow of silks. courtesy Mike Hogan/BBC.

A rainbow of silks. courtesy Mike Hogan/BBC.

 

Elizabeth is a stylish beauty, and her dark, glossy mane and big brown eyes are perfectly set off with her blue velvet riding jacket which she wears with a mini cocked hat (she has a brown velvet one of exactly the same cut).

 

Elizabeth at a Ball. Courtesy Mike Hogan/BBC.

Elizabeth at a Ball. Courtesy Mike Hogan/BBC.

 

Elizabeth with nodding ostrich feather. Courtesy Mike Hogan/BBC.

Elizabeth with nodding ostrich feather. Courtesy Mike Hogan/BBC.

 

I think that she looks great in those richer colours and so her ballgowns are quite disappointing: frilly things in drab dusty pinks which the actress, Heida Reed, mentions were dyed and re-dyed by the wardrobe department to suit her skin tone perfectly.

Marianne Dashwood's outfit Ang Lee'sadaptation of Sense and Sensibility. Photo courtesy Colombia Pictures.

Marianne Dashwood’s outfit Ang Lee’sadaptation of Sense and Sensibility. Photo courtesy Colombia Pictures.

 

It’s interesting to note here that the simpler style of Regency dress that you may be expecting (perhaps you are familiar with it from Jane Austen dramatisations) – the ones with a high waist line, drifting white muslin, flowing shawls and hair like a Greek Goddess – isn’t present here. Jane Austen’s “Sense and Sensibility” was written in 1811, thirty years before these books begin, in 1783.

 

1786 Sir Christopher and Lady Sykes strolling in the garden at Sledmere by George Romney.

1786 Sir Christopher and Lady Sykes strolling in the garden at Sledmere by George Romney.

 

Princess Anne Lady de la Pole by George Romney, 1786.

Princess Anne Lady de la Pole by George Romney, 1786.

 

So these ballgowns look very different. They have a low décolleté, and a slightly push up bra effect resulting from the corseting, which reaches to the natural waist ending in a slight point over the abdomen. Skirts are full, but not huge, (no crinolines here; if anything, they would have worn just a small pannier over the hips under the skirts) often with an over skirt, and sleeves are tight and elbow length.

Poldark Style – Demelza Poldark

Ragamuffin Demelza. Courtesy Mike Hogan/BBC.

Ragamuffin Demelza. Courtesy Mike Hogan/BBC.

 

Demelza in a peasant blouse. Courtesy Mike Hogan/BBC.

Demelza in a peasant blouse. Courtesy Mike Hogan/BBC.

 

Courtesy Mike Hogan/BBC.

Demelza the kitchen maid. Courtesy Robert Viglasky/BBC.

 

Demelza as a servant. courtesy Mike Hogan/BBC.

Demelza as a servant. courtesy Mike Hogan/BBC.

 

Courtesy Mike Hogan/BBC.

Verity and Demelza in ballgowns. Courtesy Mike Hogan/BBC.

 

As I mentioned, Demelza has metamorphosed from a shabby boy and his dog, through to a dreaming kitchen maid, finishing as the lady of the house.

 

The turquoise dress.Photo courtesy BBC.

The turquoise dress.Photo courtesy BBC.

 

The moment when she appears, dressed in Ross’s mother’s turquoise gown which she has nicked from a trunk is the moment she both gets laid and that her future is assured. Although Ross growls at her to take it off, he seems to feel very little “ick” factor is slipping it sensuously over her shoulders. And although it doesn’t fit her well, it seems that Ross’s mother was nearly the same size as Demelza too, and had a surprisingly up to date fashion sense.

 

courtesy Mike Hogan/BBC.

Demelza has a pale green for travelling in. courtesy Mike Hogan/BBC.

 

However, although Demelza is a red head (and I’m sure that we’ll be hearing that sales of red hair dye have shot up thanks to her fiery tresses) the costume designers haven’t kept her in turquoises and greens.

 

Demelza as a kitchen maid in her yellow dress. courtesy Mike Hogan/BBC.

Demelza as a kitchen maid in her yellow dress. courtesy Mike Hogan/BBC.

 

Demelza's wedding dress. Courtesy Mike Hogan/BBC.

Demelza’s wedding dress. Courtesy Mike Hogan/BBC.

 

Courtesy Mike Hogan/BBC.

Demelza’s scarlet Christmas dress. Courtesy Mike Hogan/BBC.

 

Instead, she often appears in red and yellow: a yellow cotton for her kitchen maid outfit and yellow silk for her first outting in society, and a red cotton dress (which she is married in) along with a brown cloak with red lining bought for her by Ross which she strokes lovingly on the way home. This is followed by a scarlet silk for her to wear at Christmas. The shapes of her gowns are the same as Elizabeth’s, and in fact the same as every female in the series, from peasant to courtesan.

Poldark Style – Aunt Agatha

Aunt Agatha. courtesy Mike Hogan/BBC.

Aunt Agatha. courtesy Mike Hogan/BBC.

 

I don’t want to go without giving a tip of the hat to Aunt Agatha. She appears in a mourning dress of black silk throughout, with a decidedly old fashioned looking bonnet with frills of white lace perched atop her curls. She finishes her look with fingerless mittens and a contemptuous remark or two for Francis.

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