Making Dante's Dream come true.

30 Apr 2012

The Catherine Earnshaw problem.

My goodness! More than a month without writing a post, I'm so ashamed. But, for God's sake you don't want to know how busy I've been. Just finished the 1780s project two weeks ago and I have three new ones started already. But more about that soon. Now it's time for the 1780s!

It all started while wondering why all the Wuthering Heights screen adaptations have such inaccurate clothing. Then I decided to re-read the book and re-watch the most well-known versions to look into the flaws and try to think about a proper dress that would fit Catherine. Then I thought, well, could be fun to actually sew it!

The 1939 version is one of the most iconic adaptations I believe, but as most of the 30s-40s films, it relies on the "Oh, this is a Victorian book, let's make everyone wear crinolines" pattern. You can't actually see the wide skirt but, well, you get the idea with this pic, right?

There is a BBC adaptation from 1953 and an Spanish-language version by Buñuel from 1954 (God, it may be in Spanish but it's great!); however I can't find useful info/screen-caps of these ones so I'm afraid I'll have to ignore them.

There is also a lack of information on the versions from 1960-1980. And I think this is why I conceive most of the films historically inaccurate, because these versions are nowadays less known and accessible. The 1978 version apparently features proper costumes though (but let me judge the sideburns and the rest of the look in both of them!) :

The most renowned version from the 1990s is the 1992 one, and although not my favourite, I must say it is the most historically accurate one in therms of fashion. Besides, the dresses are gorgeous, and hair and accessories match perfectly with the period.

Finally, from the 2000 onwards the "Jane Austen look" fever starts to show. That is in the 2009 and 2011 versions (respectively shown):

Why is this so? Why do we range between late 18th century clothing and 1850s clothing? I'm afraid I'm going to explain something that is too obvious but I believe I must. The original book is set in 1801, so the characters during the "present" part of the story would be wearing Empire waists etc. That is old Heathcliff, Cathy the younger, Ellen telling the main story etc. 

However, Ellen says at some point "this story started 23 years ago" or something similar. That would take us to 1778. Then, in 1778 Cathy is just a child, so let's say that when she returns from Thrushcrosss grange it's mid or late 1780s.

I know it's not perfect, I'm not that good yet, but let me just show you my version finally! :

I'm wearing a chemise and a corset as underwear, which obviously you can't see! But I made them too. Then I made the petticoat (visible!) and a bum roll. The dress is a robe à l'anglaise made out from an Ikea bed sheet. Don't you think the flower pattern is perfect for this era? It's so similar to the one in a dress I posted some time ago. As complements I'm wearing the fichu (which I also made), and the hat and its decoration were bought and put together. The gorgeous shoes are from the American Duchess shop, which I think I mentioned before too. 

In this last picture it was raining cats and dogs! I thought it was worth to catch a cold to capture this wuthering weather look! :P


  1. No sabía que tenías un blog, y además en inglés, qué nivelazo.
    Siendo Cumbres Borrascosas mi novela favorita, he decir que ninguna adaptación al cine o televisión que he visto me ha convencido, pero nunca se me había ocurrido enfocarlo desde el punto de vista del vestuario y ha ahora que leo tu entrada, estoy de acuerdo con ella. Creo que el vestuario de la peli del 92 es el que se acerca más a la época en la que se ambienta la novela, me encanta el atuendo de montar a caballo con la chaqueta roja.
    Por cierto, ya te lo dije en el flickr, pero genial la sesión de fotos y precioso el traje.
    A ver qué tal la nueva versión, qué ganas de verla :)

    1. Haha, aprovecho para paracticar, ya que en la uni me piden muchos trabajos y ensayos en inglés :) A todas las pelis les falla algo, nunca podrán cubrir todos los aspectos que cubre un libro. Pero me pareció interesante mirarlo así, ya que al ser una historia tan famosa, las versiones más conocidas tienen el vestuario "mal situado". Muchas gracias! Sí, yo la vi en el ordenador pero también iré al cine :P

  2. I like the 1970s version with Timothy Dalton although I think the one with Juliet Binoche followed the book better. I watch them all!--hoping. Great post.

    1. Yeah, I like it too! You should watch the new one, it's different but it's awesome!