Anna Karenina is the hottest period movie of the year. Based on Leo Tolstoy's classic novel of the same name, it follows a despondent Russian aristocrat, bored and disappointed with love and life, yearning for something with greater passion in the world, and has one of the most iconic opening lines of any novel, "Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way." Keira Knightley stars as the eponymous character, Anna.
Knightley's slender figure is the dream for couture designers, and donning period costume is something she's more than used to having starred in numerous period dramas including Pride and Prejudice and The Duchess. The movie is set in the 1870s, which is an excellent era for costume and one that the film's costume designer was able to have a lot of fun with. In an interview with MTV, Jacqueline Durran, the costume designer, talked about the trials and tribulations of working on the film. "It is [a huge undertaking]!" she said. "Obviously I read the novel... [Joe Wright, the director] told me he wanted to stylize the story, to reduce and pare the costumes down to their exact essence.. We started by looking at 1950s couture... [we wanted to be] left with a really strong silhouette." She truly has done a great job!
It's not just the clothing that's stunning, and designed to a T, the jewellery was a massive venture as well. "We thought way back in the beginning that the idea of having real jewels would be great for Anna. She's all about that kind of luxury, and to an extent, vanity." She gushed. "So given the fact that we wanted to have real diamonds, we approached Chanel and they were willing to help. I went to Paris and chose all the jewels- we got lots of pearls, meters and meters- and lots of diamonds... about $2 million worth! Each morning we would ask Keira what kind of diamonds she'd want for the day, and she would choose."