Wardrobe Gallery: Australia

~ For my previous Wardrobe Gallery (Jane Eyre), I did a separate post for each outfit. That proved a tad ungainly (Jane wore a surprising number of different things, and she is an ascetic character!), so this time I’m putting them all in one. ~

Australia (2008) is on my top ten list of films with truly wondrous costumes. This is a movie on the grand scale, reminiscent of epics of years past such as Gone with the Wind or Lawrence of Arabia. The late 1930s/early ’40s costuming is as delicious to the eye as is the cinematography, each outfit lovingly concocted to display some new facet of this tale of Lady Sarah Ashley (Nicole Kidman).

She starts out in England, in her Equestrian Outfit of black fitted riding jacket, black leather gloves, off-white breeches, top hat, black buckled riding boots, and an interesting circular silver pin at the neck:

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Arriving in Australia, she is dressed in the truly spectacular navy-&-cream Nautical Ensemble, with a polka-dot ascot, fitted jacket, fishtailed skirt, cream gloves, spectator shoes (by Ferragamo), pearl earrings, Panama-esque hat, matching parasol, and coordinated luggage (designed by Prada, no less!):

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Nicole Kidman Australia movie image

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For the long drive to Faraway Downs, she wears a Driving Outfit of belted beige linen suit, blouse and tie, safari hat with mosquito netting, above-the-elbow brown leather gloves, and driving goggles:

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She also gets to showcase a swish silvery dressing-gown (Nightwear #1), whilst a spectator at the memorable “shower scene”:

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Arriving at Faraway Downs and discovering her husband’s demise, she is obliged to don black Mourning Attire, complete with parasol:

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When she first meets Nullah, she is wearing Nightwear #2, a delicate pink buttoned nightgown (presumably silk):

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In the scene where she dismisses Fletcher, she wears her Culottes Outfit, with fitted cream blouse, tan culottes, belt, boots, and tucked-in cravat:

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While proving her horsemanship skills to the Drover, she wears Riding Clothes #1 (jodhpurs, green jacket, shirt & tie, fedora-style hat, leather gloves, and buckled boots):

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Going to comfort Nullah, she is clad in her Blue Bow Blouse outfit, with a grey belted skirt (looks like wool), blue silk bow-tied blouse, and sometimes a brown cardigan:

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As they set out on the drove, Sarah wears Riding Clothes #2 – a variant on the earlier outfit, minus the green jacket, with grey outback-style hat, and a tucked-in necktie in a green-and-white pattern:

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This is also the outfit seen in many of the promo shots:

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Having reached Darwin, she is finally at liberty to change back into some more feminine apparel, and she presumably takes advantage of the Chinese tailors in town to have a few cheongsam-style dresses made. Here is Chinoiserie #1, rose-hued, in which she pleads with the Drover:

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For the ball, she changes into Chinoiserie #2, a head-turning crimson number with a plunging neckline and trailing train, accented by gardenias:

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(N.B.: With this outfit she also wore red velvet peep-toe heels, by Ferragamo:)

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“Back at the ranch”, as they say, Sarah is seen in both masculine and feminine attire. Dress-wise, we have Chinoiserie #3, in a leaf-patterened fabric with pale yellow and green accents, belted at the waist:

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She also sports a Blouse-&-Pants Outfit, with sky-blue short-sleeve blouse, beige trousers, and the by now familiar neckerchief:

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In addition, Riding Clothes #3 substitutes a plaid shirt for the previous off-white one:

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When Nullah is taken away, she is wearing Blue Blouse & Skirt combination, with a light blue short-sleeve blouse, tan plaid belted skirt, and grey hat:

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In the next segment of the story, she wears a khaki shirt with epaulettes and an army-green skirt for her Military Uniform:

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Hugh Jackman and Nicole Kidman in Australia.

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Finally, against the stirring strains of Elgar’s Nimrod in the last scene, Sarah wears a Floral Blouse & Skirt ensemble, again with a leather belt accentuating the waist:

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In addition to all the above, I found images of Sarah wearing a Blue Floral Dress and a Blue Plaid Shirt. I can’t place these outfits in the film (at least in my recollection of it), but perhaps they were just used for promo shots:

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Catherine Martin was deservingly nominated for an Oscar for her work on the costumes in this movie. Here are some of her original designs for Sarah (plus a couple for the Drover, played by Hugh Jackman, who was dressed in “the traditional garb of the Australian drover – a mixture of moleskins, checkered shirts and R.M. Williams boots, topped off with an Akubra brush hat”):

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~ costume design: Catherine Martin ~

* Having just completed post #100 (huzzah!), Cinemattire will be taking a holiday…. Enjoy the costume galleries! *

🙂

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4 thoughts on “Wardrobe Gallery: Australia

    • My apologies for the delayed reply!! I took a genuine holiday from this blog, & haven’t checked comments for ages.
      I certainly agree with you – both she & the clothes look wonderful in the film!
      Thanks again for commenting! 🙂

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