When I first watched the film The Awakening (2011), there were two specific elements I instantly fell in love with: the use of Lyme Park (aka Pemberly) and Florence Cathcart's (Rebecca Hall) wardrobe. Of course, it was also a ghost story, and you know how much I love those as well.
The film takes place in 1921 England, where post-war spiritualism was on the rise. Florence Cathcart life mission is to prove supernatural experiences were mere hoaxes. Despite her consistent history of proving each instance false, part of her hopes to encounter a real connection to the other side (as she is still mourning the loss of her lover during the war).
Her notoriety gets her a job offer from Robert Mallory (Dominic West), a teacher from a boys boarding school in Cumbria called Rockford. A young student recently died at the school, and it appears a child's ghost is haunting the boys. Mallory hopes to employ Florence to investigate the situation and the sightings. Florence is reluctant at first, but her own childhood experiences convince her to take on the case. And from there, Florence finds out more than she ever expected to know (which you can get a glimpse of in the trailer below).
Of course, whether debunking seance scan artist to unexplained or unbelievable encounters at the school, Florence has impeccable style. It is classic British: wool, tweeds, tailored pieces, simple and sophisticated. Her wardrobe is very mix and match and, therefore, very easy to obtain and replicated in 2016.
Simple, well-made basics are the key to achieving Florence's style. Well-fit, tailored, high quality pieces, which, when thrifting, can be found at a bargain price. The pieces she wears in this 1920s-based film are very much classic pieces that never go out of style.
The vintage pieces I've collected below are just a hint at what you can find online, but even your local thrift stores will have the right pieces you need to embody Florence's supernatural investigation style.
From top to bottom/left to right: 1) a classic white button up shirt. You would actually need two: one in silk (as seen here) and one in cotton or linen for casual day look. Do not forget to roll up your sleeves when you mean series business. 2) A vest to wear over both shirts and dresses, preferably in tweed). 3) A long wool coat to wrap yourself up in to protect from the crisp, cold air. 4) A pair of high-waisted tweed trousers or a high-waisted wool skirt. 5) A classic pair of black oxford shoes, a style that gets slight variations each decade, but the classic is always in fashion. 6) A cotton or linen dress, preferably long-sleeve, but the skirt length, material, and style are key. Also pairs perfectly well with the vest and shoes.
I hope you have enjoyed this second special October/Halloween edition of Vintage Film Threads. If you have a particular film you would like to see in this series, please leave a comment below. Until next week.