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Keira Knightley definitely knows her way around a corset and a hoop skirt. Few actress can make elaborate oversized gowns look so breezy and effortless to move around in.
So it’s not a surprise that the actress has ended up keeping costumes from her period films, Pride and Prejudice, Atonement and The Duchess. According to Denise Cronenberg, who designed the button-up Edwardian costumes in David Cronenberg’s A Dangerous Method, the actress was given several of the fim’s vintage white lace dresses.
Knightley and Oscar-nominated costume designer Jacqueline Durran donated the lavish gown to the Victoria & Albert Museum in London Tuesday to be part of the museum’s upcoming Hollywood Costume exhibition that will chart the wardrobes of the most iconic screen characters from the past century. The exhibit will run from Oct. 20 through Jan. 27, 2013.
Both women bid a fond farewell to the wine-colored ballgown. But fear not. Several of the film’s stunning costumes will be on display at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in Los Angeles during and at various guild screenings during the Awards Season.
Knightley recently praised her costume friend Durran to Entertainment Tonight. “She’s absolutely extraordinary,” she said. “And I think the reason is she always grounds it [the costumes] in the character.”
Knightley would know. Karenina is the third film the women have worked on together. And both of their previous films, Pride and Prejudice and Atonement, received Oscar nominations for costume design.
Karenina seems destined to follow suit. The film is a highly stylized and visually stunning tableau-effect adaptation of Tolstoy’s classic love story, breathing life into the tragic tale of a married socialite who, after an affair with a young soldier, is shunned by polite society.
The film has already premiered in London and screened at the Toronto International Film Festival. At the London premiere, Knightley, newly engaged to Klaxons musician James Righton, wore a demure cap-sleeved white lace gown by Chanel. She is, after all, the face of Chanel’s Coco Mademoiselle fragrance. But at Toronto, she chose a sultry sheer black lace gown by Elie Saab for the red carpet.
Anna Karenina opens on Nov. 16 in limited release and the Los Angeles premiere will take place on Nov. 14.
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