November 25, 2014 0

Dressing VIVIEN LEIGH | Fashion & Cinema Retrospective

By in GEFilms



WHEN      5th to 7th of December

WHERE   Victoria and Albert Museum, Ham Yard Hotel and Ciné Lumière.


Fashion & Cinema is a series of events exploring the relationship between the two industries, featuring on-stage conversations, talks and screenings.

Considered one of the most beautiful actresses of her day, Vivien Leigh always took a keen interest in the way she was dressed in front of, and behind the camera. Always professional and a consummate actress, she collaborated in depth with costume designers in order to give the best possible performance of her character. Dressing Vivien Leigh will explore Vivien Leigh as an icon and the inspiration fashion and costume designers have drawn from her for decades.


Friday 5 December at the Victoria and Albert Museum


Vivien Leigh was a brilliant collaborator with many major film costume designers, and many became close personal friends. Theatre & Performance Curator Keith Lodwick will discuss the important relationship between Vivien Leigh, the costumes she wore, the film directors, the costume designers and the character she played.

Victoria and Albert Museum, Gorvy Theatre | Fri 5 Dec | 6.30pm | £9, conc. £7

Saturday 6 December at Ham Yard Hotel


dir. José Quintero, with Vivien Leigh, Warren Beatty, Coral Browne, Jill St. John | USA | 1961 | 103 min | cert. 12 | In English

Vivien Leigh plays Karen Stone, a middle-aged actress who suddenly finds herself too old for the ingénue roles that initially made her famous. After the death of her husband, she flees public scrutiny and settles in Rome, where she meets the malicious contessa Terribili Gonzales, and the young, ambitious and beautiful Paolo, played by Warren Beatty. The idea of drifting alone through middle age is so frightening to Karen that she accepts Paolo’s arrogance and narcissism. Leigh, for the second time, plays a heroine created by Tennessee Williams (the film is closely based on his novella of the same title) and again, one that was somewhat close to aspects of her own life. As always, her performance is memorable and graceful. Leigh was dressed for the film in haute couture by Balmain. The film will be introduced by Kendra Bean, author of Vivien Leigh: An Intimate Portrait.

Ham Yard Hotel | Sat 6 Dec | 7.00pm | £15

Sunday 7 December at Ciné Lumière


dir. Elia Kazan, with Vivien Leigh, Marlon Brando, Kim Hunter, Karl Malden | USA | 1951 |

122 min | cert. 15 | In English

Based on Tennessee Williams’s 1947 play, the film of A Streetcar Named Desire had almost the same cast as Kazan’s previous Broadway production, but with the addition of Vivien Leigh who had been directed for the London production by her then husband, Lawrence Olivier. Leigh played her now famous role of Southern belle Blanche Dubois, a woman desperately clinging to what remains of her own attractiveness – as well as to traditions of the ‘old South’. Having lost almost everything she once had, Blanche runs to her younger sister Stella, only to meet the brutality of Stella’s husband Stanley, superbly played by Marlon Brando. Leigh, who was meticulous about her approach of “looking right rather than looking good” for the part, won her second Oscar for her remarkable cinematic performance as the wounded, unbalanced but unforgettable Blanche. The film will be introduced by John Lahr, author of Tennessee Williams: Mad Pilgrimage of the Flesh, and Vivien Leigh’s biographer, Kendra Bean.

Ciné Lumière | Sun 7 Dec | 4.15pm | £10, conc. £8

If you are a fan of the oldies and what to see more like this, visit to look for the next events in London.


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