I liked Jane Campion’s Bright Star—it was a nice story with pretty cinematography, and I always love Abbie Cornish—but, like all Jane Campion movies, I felt like something was a little lacking to make it feel like a comprehensive, finished piece of work. I can never quite put my finger on what it is with Jane’s films, but it’s always the same: I can see it’s well-done, well-acted, and all the pieces fit, but there’s just something missing to me.
However, the costumes in this film were absolutely dazzling, and that’s what I wanted to feature. Forget Ben Wishaw; it’s the clothes that are Abbie’s co-star here. The story focuses on her character’s fashion designs, so costumer Janet Patterson had her work cut out for her. I think she did an amazing job. The designs are bright, brave, and startling to see in a period piece like this—but that’s the point. They represent the adventurousness and confidence of Abbie’s character against the folks around her who make fun of her talents.
Some of my favorites: