'Keira Knightley is very serious,' says Anna Karenina costume designer Jacqueline Durran

by Rebecca Twomey

Keira Knightley is one celebrity who manages to keep the focus on her craft and away from her private life. And she’s just as dedicated on set, according to costume designer Jacqueline Durran.

KEIRA KNIGHTLEY WOS IN ERDEM AT ANNA KARENINA PREMIERE

The duo have worked together on a series of spectacular looking films including Anna Karenina, Pride and Prejudice and Atonement. To celebrate the opening of The Anna Karenina Costume Exhibition and DVD release, Marie Claire spoke to the designer responsible for that emerald green dress in Atonement.

Jacqueline told us: ‘Keira is very serious, she’s serious about acting and about finding ways of expressing her character.’

As we’re well aware Ms. Knightley is far more than just a pretty face, and aims to perfect every part of her performance - including her costume.

KEIRA KNIGHTLEY: I’M MANIPULATIVE

Jacqueline reveled: ‘For Keira’s character in Anna Karenina, she wore ballet shoes through the whole film, it makes sense in a way because we were interrupting Anna on the stage, I have to work with actors on things like that, to make sure it feels right for them.

‘Costume is a very personal things and it can be idiosyncratic. The audience might never notice something but it feels right for the actor and it needs to be there.’

Of course Keira is simply a collaborator with costume. BAFTA-award winning Jacqueline makes the final cut, and it’s a labour-intensive job even before she’s begun stitching.

‘I’m not really sure how you go about creating costumes for film,’ she tells us. ‘What you literally do is take the brief, research it and then look at the character and you think about the actor and you formulate an idea of what would look good on them.’

After that it’s a combination of fittings, trying on shapes and speaking with the director and actor. ‘Physically that’s what you do but how you come to make your decision and how your decision process works is more difficult. Quite often it’s an instinctive thing how you make your choices.’

And with a subject as stunning as Keira it’s not a tough job to make her look amazing!

Anna Karenina is out on Blu-ray and DVD now. The Anna Karenina Costume Exhibition at Ham House is open until 4 April, nationaltrust.co.uk

WATCH! Keira Knightley interview

KEIRA KNIGHTLEY STYLE HIGHS AND LOWS

KEIRA KNIGHTLEY RULES OUT FIFTY SHADES OF GREY ROLE

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