Last year I totally fell in love with ITV’s series The Durrells, set in the 1930s and based on the books by the naturalist, Gerald Durrell. At the time I was totally bowled over by all of the costumes used in the show and just had to write a post about my favourites. Well, as you may know, the second season is now well underway and before it comes to a close I wanted to do a more focused post for this one.
Keeley Hawes’ version of Louisa Durrell is very quickly becoming my hero and style icon! Louisa and I are very similar in age, we’re about the same size (well Keeley and I are!) and we both have a particular penchant for 1930s casual separates. Okay, so I don’t have four crazy children or live in Corfu (I wish!) or have multiple men fighting over me (again, I wish!), but we do have similar wardrobes. So, I thought I’d dedicate this season’s post to the 1930s casual elegance of Louisa Durrell. (Warning, it’s rather picture heavy!)
So far in her separates collection I have counted eleven different blouses, four skirts and three pairs of trousers that she wears on a regular basis. This allows the costume team to mix and match the pieces and come up with lots of different outfits.
The pale pink double button blouse in the photos above is a particular favourite of mine and one I have in mind I’d like to reproduce. It goes beautifully with both the deep coral trousers in the first photo and the raspberry pink patch pocket skirt (which reminds me of my mustard one) in the second. Can we just take a moment to appreciate her white 1930s shoes too?
And carrying on with the pinky tones, Louisa also has this simple but invaluable burgundy polka dot blouse. This could easily pass for just about any era, but the puff sleeves plant it firlmy in the 1930s/40s decades. The beige linen skirt is one of her favourites and gets worn a lot, teamed with with any one of her blouses. You can see its classic 1930s seaming below.
The powder blue pin tuck blouse is probably one of the most worn blouses on The Durrells and I can see why. It’s simple, can be teamed with so many other colours, but has has some really interesting detailing. The scalloped collar is particularly pretty and oh-so-feminine, I bet it would be a right pain in the backside to try and replicate though. Scallops are always excruciatingly fiddly!
Louisa has quite a thing for powder blue, as well as single kick pleat skirts. This powder blue skirt also has a stone coloured sister that’s pretty much identical and, although they’re quite simple styles, they ooze the 1930s.
This pretty little ditsy print blouse rarely makes an appearance and I was surprised I managed to find a photo of it. The print makes this blouse special, but the relaxed fit of it plants it firmly in the 1930s casual category. And just look at that stunning handbag! That is so obviously a true vintage piece, just like the majority of the costumes.
And talking of simple, this dark blue spotty blouse is as simple and as casual as you could get in the 1930s. Louisa wears it in this scene to look more Greek, and less fashionable, so she can appeal to the locals whilst trying to sell her home baked goodies at the market. You could easily find something on any high street today to replicate this look.
This orange blouse is a particular favourite of mine too and I think it really suits Keeley’s colouring. Again, it’s quite simple with just one large pin tuck either side of the button placket but the colour is just so rich. I have a blouse I bought last year at the Dig For Victory Show (cannot wait for this year’s!) that is a very similar deep rich orange but is a little more dressier than Louisa’s. I have it planned for a special outfit I will feature on the blog later this year, so do look out for that!
The photos above show three more blouses that get a regular outing. The vivid mustard one looks like it could be silk rayon as it moves so smoothly. The subtle green check cotton blouse has a beautifully scalloped button placket and sweet Peter Pan collar. Lastly, the deep salmon linen blouse has rather a more feminine feel to it than the majority of Louisa’s other ones. The beautiful puff sleeves and shawl collar help to create this.
I’ve seen all three blouses mixed and matched with other garments, including a pair of navy pinstripe trousers which I cannot seem to find an image of. However, I had to include multiple images of my most favourite item of her entire wardrobe (including the dresses!), her amazing white wide-leg trousers! Look at all those gorgeous details!!
After studying them in great depth, by pausing, rewinding and watching certain scenes a billion times, I’ve come to the conclusion that the only opening is the three buttons at the front. I believe the lacing at the back works like a corset, so to get the trousers on you have the laces stretched out and then you tighten them accordingly to fit you once the front buttons are done up. The two buttons at the top of the front pockets seem like they’re just for decoration and don’t serve any real purpose.
I’ve already had a discussion with the ClothSpot team about what fabric they’re made from and we’ve agreed it’s probably a linen drill. They’re now on the look out for some in white during their future buying trips so I can make myself a pair. Whoohoo! I already have the perfect Louisa Durrell style blouse which I bought at the weekend for £1, and yes, it is genuine 1930s! I just need to get a couple of rust spots out it if possible, so if anyone has any tips on how to do that I would be eternally grateful.