Dakota Johnson’s ‘Persuasion’ Suits: Take a Closer Look

Persuasion. Dakota Johnson as Anne Elliot in Persuasion. cr. Nick Wall/Netflix © 2022

Our expectation for Dakota Johnson’s cheeky new adaptation of Jane Austen, Persuasion is finally over. The movie is officially streaming on Netflix and before you get ready for movie night this weekend, we take a look at Regency-era costumes and some fun facts behind the best looks from the movie.

Costume designer Marianne Agertoft dressed the classic characters in the styles expected of the era: empire-waisted silhouettes, puffed sleeves, and cups adorned with opulent plumage. But she also brought a contemporary, subversive twist to wardrobes and cited the influence of unexpected style stars, from Audrey Hepburn to rock icons Debbie Harry and Patti Smith.

Persuasion. (L to R) Dakota Johnson as Anne Elliot, Izuka Hoyle as Henrietta Musgrove, Nia Towle as Louisa Musgrove, Mia McKenna-Bruce as Mary Elliot in Persuasion. cr. Nick Wall/Netflix © 2022

The period piece follows Anne Elliot (portrayed by Johnson) and her pretentious family, on the verge of bankruptcy. When the getaway, Frederick Wentworth (Cosmo Jarvis) returns to Anne’s life, she must choose between moving on or following her heart.

In her late twenties, Anne was already considered a bachelor in the early 1800s in England. After being persuaded to refuse Wentworth’s offer of marriage, she realizes that she has refused the only man she has ever loved. In a financial crisis, the aristocratic family is forced to move and rent out their lavish estate, when Anne reconnects with Captain Wentworth.

She also meets the acquaintance of the dashing Mr. Elliot (Henry Golding) to further complicate matters. With the presence of sisters Elizabeth and Mary (Yolanda Kettle and Mia McKenna-Bruce) and step-sisters Louisa and Henrietta (Nia Towle and Izuka Hoyle), conflicting romantic interests reach a boiling point.

Persuasion. (Left to right) Dakota Johnson as Anne Elliot, Henry Golding as Mr. Elliot in Persuasion. cr. Nick Wall/Netflix © 2022

The epitome of the modern woman, Anne’s wardrobe is revisited with a contemporary twist, with loose silhouettes and failed boots, her costumes reflect a rugged and rebellious heroine. “I looked to more contemporary heroines who I felt could express the different feelings and looks I envisioned for Anne Elliot,” Agertoft said. WWD. “Patti Smith, Debbie Harry and Audrey Hepburn were all on my moodboards. It was the attitude and ease of these incredible women that stuck with me.

Persuasion. (Left to right) Lydia Rose Bewley as Penelope Clay, Richard E. Grant as Sir Walter Elliot, Dakota Johnson as Anne Elliot, Yolanda Kettle as Elizabeth Elliot in Persuasion. cr. Nick Wall/Netflix © 2022

The costume designer has developed for British vogue saying, “We decided early on that we could relax the precision of the period if and when we felt it necessary. It all started with the mood board. Anne is quite a complex character and after reading the script I read quite a bit of Patti Smith and thought about this look. It seemed to connect with Anne’s intellectual side, but Anne also has a more adventurous side that I felt was more Debbie Harry, and there’s also something about her that’s a bit like Audrey Hepburn .

She went on to explain “Huh the stompy boots have something Debbie Harry in them, the shirt is quite Patti Smith and you see Audrey Hepburn in those delicate shoulder jackets. Looking to Katharine Hepburn for the Lady Russell character, Agertoft was inspired by Vincent Cassel for Mr. Elliott, and Steve McQueen and Bruce Springsteen for Captain Wentworth.

Persuasion. Cosmo Jarvis as Captain Frederick Wentworth in Persuasion. cr. Nick Wall/Netflix © 2022

With period dramas like Bridgerton and Golden age sparking a sartorial renaissance for the tales and fashions of the Regency era, Agertoft managed to stay historically accurate while also sprinkling in enough spice to keep the costumes’ energy fresh and new.

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