Your local period piece-obsessed fruit cake (moi) is back.
Why am I emerging so soon after the release of Little Women? Am I not still marinating in March sisterhood and their neutral-colored waistcoats? Could I forget Beth and her rosy cheeks so soon? (Dark. Also, Beth, I could never.)
I have to admit, though, that a new film has just emerged to completely consume my heart, body, and soul with it’s fanciful language and pastel-washed frou-frou finery: Emma. And with it, my official spring color palette.
A little context: From the ages of 9 to 13, I would come home every day after school and put on the 1995 Miramax version of Emma starring Gwyneth Paltrow, Ewan McGregor, and Toni Collette. I know almost every line in the movie, and learned the score on piano even though I couldn’t read bass clef. Ninety perfect of my sexual awakening occurred whilst watching Emma and Mr. Knightley quarrel during a particularly charged game of archery. And when it wasn’t Emma, it was the BBC Pride & Prejudice miniseries, but I can’t get into that (you can read about that in chapters 1-10 of my memoir).
All this is to say: I f*cking love Jane Austen, and especially Jane Austen adaptations. So when I went to see director Autumn De Wilde’s interpretation of Emma in theaters on Saturday night, I was suffocated with anxiety. How could it ever live up to the 1995 version? Will they do Mr. Knightley’s jocular tone justice? Who could ever be a more perfect Harriet Smith than Toni Collette?! (See: Not a single person.)
But reader: I ADORED IT. If not for its near-perfect adherence to the novel and the welcome injection of comedy, then for the perfect Georgian-era set design, costumes, and don’t get me started on the cinematography. Every still could be a masterwork, every set could be in a museum, every landscape could be a painting, all awash in pale blue, egg-yolk marigold, and petal pink. (Pantone, please @ me?) Needless to say: I fell in love.
The color palette particularly stuck with me after the credits rolled. It made me want to powder my face, pop whole raspberries into my mouth, and throw on a romantic pale pink blouse. It made me want to look–and ideally feel–like a freshly hatched chick this spring, with a baby blue bow smack in the middle of my forehead. I made me want to wear white nightgowns with long spring-green silk overcoats, or pair periwinkle opera gloves and a seafoam cashmere wrap. It made me want a damn straw hat with a pale yellow gingham ribbon to tie around my chin. (Alt: Maybe I just want to be Harling Ross?)
When I woke up the next day, I unconsciously color-blocked a mint green crewneck, navy blue leggings, teal socks, and a quilted army-green jacket with an orange scarf. They weren’t colors that I would have ordinarily thought looked good together, having been raised by a woman who taught me to logically color-coordinate, but the colorful juxtapositions of costume and scenery in the film were so breathtaking that they challenged me.
Which is why I’m here to make but one humble statement: I’m ready to throw caution to the wind and look like a damn Easter egg this spring. Who knows, maybe I’ll sleep with tiny rags knotted in my hair to produce a fountain of mini ringlets to scare all my coworkers into thinking I’ve Kate & Leopold’ed them.
Have you seen Emma yet? Jane Austen stans: Are you in or out? Meet me in the comments to discuss with #nospoilers even though the book was literally published in 1815.
Photos via Focus Features.