The Crown Series 2 costumes: the unbelievable facts behind the looks

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  • You've spent Christmas binge-watching The Crown Series 2. Now watch our interview with The Crown's costume maestro for the incredible stories behind the season's most iconic outfits - from sustainable seashell hats to a coat made out of curtains...

    The world has officially gone royal-fashion-mad, thanks to a certain Ms Markle. We spent Christmas binge-watching The Crown Season Two and just to kick the royal hype level up a little bit more ahead of May 19th, we strongly recommend hiding away from the rain at home and watching it all again – paying close attention to The Crown Series 2 costumes, of course. The second season of the royal drama is racier and pacier than ever – Princess Elizabeth emerges from her blissful newlywed cocoon with Prince Philip and steps up to the plate (with Prince Philip now forced to walk a few paces behind her, as per protocol) as the new Queen. Meanwhile, Vanessa Kirby comes to the fore in her star turn as Princess Margaret, developing before our very eyes into the hard-living jetsetter she became after the heartbreak of her father’s death and the enforced end of her doomed affair with divorce Group Captain Peter Townsend.

    The crown costumes Margaret

    There are glamorous cameos for key contemporary figures aplenty – including Jackie Kennedy (played by Jodi Balfour).

    None of these award-winning turns would have rung true without pitch-perfect costumes. The attention to detail that goes into Queen Elizabeth II’s iconic style moments is second to none – stand-out colours, location-appropriate tribute details, weighted hems to avoid embarassment on windy tarmacs…so the planning involved in The Crown Series 2 costumes makes dressing Beyonce for a world tour seem like a piece of cake. Throw in the fact that the series has a huge cast of major and minor characters and spans so many years and you’ve got a major costume challenge for Jane Petrie, the woman behind the wardrobe.

    ‘Colour is incredibly important, I use subtle changes to tell a story,” she says. ‘For example, Tony Armstrong-Jones often wears a light blue shirt, unbuttoned at the top, to contrast the ‘proper’ crisp white shirts of the palace.’

    As it moves into the 1960s, Netflix‘ The Crown Series 2 costumes see a change in silhouette and look. The wardrobes of 1960s fashion icons like key cameo Jackie Kennedy are tighter, and lines more defined. The seeds of the Queen’s ‘uniform’ as we know it today starts to become apparent in this series. ‘Nothing should move or need care whilst in public. She needs to be recognised from a distance and she can’t wear hats that hide her face. So she has a very strong public look,’ says Jane.

    The crown costumes Elizabeth dress

    Over 500 costumes were made for the series, and Jane established a special textile workshop where fabrics could be dyed and screen-printed, shoes could be ‘weathered’, etc. The costumes involved in some of the crowd scenes were epic – for the funeral of Prince Philip’s sister Cecile, 500 extras had to be costumed in Nazi uniforms. The massive ‘Under the Sea’- themed ball attended by the Prince of Wales and Wallis Simpson in Paris had the workrooms beavering away round the clock in a mountain of sequins, glitter and sustainably-sourced shells. They produced mermaid costumes and hats in the shape of lobsters, squid and ships for the ball attendees.

    Under cover of darkness and shrouded in security, Jane brought some of the most iconic examples of The Crown costumes (oooooh) over to the Marie Claire studios to talk us through all the incredible details, amazing costume facts and how the most memorable outfits from the series came together.

    The crown costumes Elizabeth dress

    Click above to hear all about the secrets behind those incredible Crown costumes..

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