At a recent advanced screening of Anna Karenina—the film opens in theaters nationwide tomorrow, November 16—there was one thing we immediately noticed about the beautiful Jacqueline Durran-designed costumes: Star Keira Knightley wears mirror-image dresses from the beginning of the film to the end—in other words, the same structures, but in different colors. Durran told InStyle.com that she used this device to illustrate how the titular character moves from the heights of society to (spoiler alert!) being a complete outcast. “With the ballgown near the beginning of the film, she [Anna Karenina] triumphs in a black dress amidst all the dancers at the ball, who are in pastels. For her to be in black makes sense—she was then contrasted to the society around her,” Durran told InStyle.com. “And when she goes back to the opera at the end, it is almost the exact same dress, but in white, and it’s the opposite thing that’s happening. That’s the high point of her humiliation.” Durran, nominated for two Oscars for her costume work on Atonement and Pride and Prejudice (both starring Knightley), also enjoyed the surprise element of dressing Anna in black first, and then white. “You would imagine her in white first and black second, so the fact that it was reversed—I love that,” she said. Click here to find out where the film is playing near you, and stay tuned to InStyle.com for more costume details from Durran tomorrow!
Plus, see Banana Republic’s Anna Karenina collection!