Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Anna Karenina

Anna Karenina Collection in Banana Republic
         I finally picked up a copy of Anna Karenina at a local book shop. Five dollars! Definitely one of the best ways I spent five dollars. Like many classics, the beginning can be a bit slow-paced, but once you dig into the meat of the story…ah, then what a pleasure. I am only up to Part 2 of this gargantuan tale, but Mrs. Karenina has already swept me away in her tale of twisted passion and suppressed yearning.
        Tolstoy’s masterpiece has been filmed and is currently playing in theatres now! I’ve only seen the trailer and was practically drooling over the breathtaking cinematography and costumes.

       Speaking of costumes, can I say how envious I am of Keira Knightley (the actress who plays Anna Karenina)? She gets to wear the most divine gowns, hats, and jewelry. Her costume wardrobe consists of silk, whispers of lace, burgundy, and luscious fur. The film’s costume designer, Oscar nominated Jacqueline Durran, derived inspiration from Christian Dior’s 1950s collection as well as 19thcentury Russian aristocracy. Durran wanted to combine the stark silhouette of the 50s with the softness of 19th century gowns. A fusion of structure and romanticism, self-control and liberty seem to symbolize Anna’s internal conflict as well as Tolstoy’s general theme of Russian traditionalism vs. democracy.
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        Unlike Ms. Knightley, we can’t simply walk into the Met and say to the curator “Oh yes, I’ll take the navy silk gown that once belonged to the Duchess of Genovia. Send that to my butler Irving--won’t you dear? What’s that? I should write a three million dollar check? Oh, how silly of me. I almost forgot.”
       Banana Republic understands that we can’t exactly reenact the scenario depicted above, so they designed an exclusive Anna Karenina collection just for us. The collection is available in stores now and features a contemporary and wearable version of Knightley’s film wardrobe. Incorporating timeless black, luxe oxblood, lace, pearls, and fur hats, this collection mirrors Russian bourgeoisie in its own way. The outfits featured here are also very modest. They are perfect for many occasions, from traditional Thanksgiving dinners to board room conferences.
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The fur hat is clearly a portrayal of Russian aristocracy during the 19th century, while the black military jacket is inspired by Count Vronsky. Lace and burgundy hint to Anna's innate allure and sophistication. Below is the blogger from "Cheetah is the New Black" donning an AK + BR outfit (right).
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Keira Knightley and Her Romantic Red Carpet Looks
Knightley channels a radiant romantic on the Red Carpet as well. Perhaps her roles in period film (Pride and Prejudice, The Duchess, Atonement, and now Anna Karenina) have motivated her elegant and Victorian-inspired ensembles. She's wearing Chanel and Valentino in these photos. LOVE.
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        Pinned ImageKeira Knightley in Valentino
So there you have it. If you want to channel Anna Karenina’s enigma and classic romanticism, then I suggest heading to your nearest BR. Perhaps Count Vronsky is waiting for you there.


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