Dark Fashion In Film & TV : Penny Dreadful – Vanessa Ives

To be beautiful is to be almost dead, isn’t it?  – Vanessa Ives

I have been dying to write about Penny Dreadful for ages, and am so excited about revealing my passion for the show and the fashion choices of my favourite character.

Penny Dreadful is one of the most beautifully horrific, terrifically written TV shows that I have ever set time aside to watch. I have been glued the show since its inception in May 2014 and have never witnessed a bad episode. The programme focuses on the lives on many characters from 19th Century Irish and British fiction, including Dorian Grey, Mina Harker and Dr Frankenstein. The acting is flawless, the settings completely in touch with the ambiance of moody Victorian London, and the costumes…oh my word the costumes.

Today I’m focusing on the fashion choices of main character Vanessa Ives (played by Eva Green), a mysterious, beautiful, intelligent woman with supernatural gifts. However, her gifts are also a heavy burden which threaten her sanity as well as the lives and safety of her friends and family.

Vanessa’s fashion is, for much of the time, stately and polished however there are times, especially in the second series where she appears much more disheveled, which I actually rather love.

My favourite fashion moments include Vanessa’s almost Strega like ensembles in the third episode of the second series entitled ‘The Nightcomers.’ In the episode, Vanessa is educated about the dark arts by the Cut-Wife, an old witch living in a solitary cottage deep in the heart of an eerie moor.

As a teenager, I was very influenced by the Victorian Gothic look, and had some stunning, antique pieces. Though my style has changed greatly since my teens, I am still heavily attracted to many of the outfits Vanessa wears during her supernatural escapades in London, especially her high collared, beautifully tailored coats, brocade skirts and full length lace dresses. I’m not a fan of lace usually, but Vanessa wears it ever beautifully. Like Vanessa, I’m not one for showing lots of skin, and I think it’s absolutely possible to look ravishing without getting everything out.

If you decide to watch something tonight, and you haven’t seen Penny Dreadful, I highly recommend you give it a try.

– Katie

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