Mary Poppins Returns is set to hit theatres this December, and we simply cannot wait to see the charming, wildly talented Emily Blunt step into the title role. The film, a sequel to the 1964 original, is one of the most highly anticipated releases of the holiday season. And a “Jolly Holiday” it will be, with the movie featuring a stacked cast that includes Lin-Manuel Miranda, Colin Firth, Meryl Streep, and yes, Dick Van Dyke.
It would seem that no one is anticipating the family film more intensely, however, than fashion designers. Runways for the Autumn/Winter 2018–2019 season, and even beyond that into the spring, have featured a variety of pieces that seem plucked from the sketchbook of Mary Poppins’ own costume designer. An unlikely style icon? Perhaps; the Edwardian looks rocked by the magical nanny may seem a little conservative by today’s standards. But the world’s leading luxury fashion houses have taken inspiration from the details and silhouettes of Mary Poppins’ down-to-business wardrobe and reimagined them in fully contemporary, haute couture iterations.
According to Vogue, the film’s costume designer, Liz Krause, describes the look as “High necklines; long narrow skirts; structured, tailored, emphasised shoulders; covered-up bodies, but not dreary or dowdy, plain or safe; hats and shoulders framing a purposeful gaze…” She goes on to point out that even those original costumes worn by Julie Andrews enjoyed a little updating. “There’s a healthy dose of late ’50s to early ’60s Hollywood in there,” she says, “and Poppins’ accessories were transformed with a sprinkling of Disney dust to become colourful, graphically simple, and just a little bit cute.”
Here are a few of the fashion houses issuing their own playful takes on that no-nonsense suffragette attire.
Dior started early with its Spring/Summer 2018 line, featuring sheer blouses and crisp collars, complete with sharply tailored jackets. The looks were updated with long earrings, strappy sandals, and a healthy amount of tulle.
The look continued into Dior’s fall line with silhouettes like the one below; winged capelet sleeves and a double-breasted coat, paired with a veiled beret, made for one of our favourite looks this year.
Chanel’s take on the Mary Poppins look was more about sparkling, shiny mix-and-matching; sheer sleeves were paired with a glittery chain belt, while a shining fabric played peekaboo beneath a classic, red collared coat. Even a streamlined double-breasted black jacket came to play with some dazzling shimmer.
ERDEM was all about that classic neckline action. Mary Poppins always loved a neat little bow at the collar, and the London-based label, which is all about powerful femininity, got a little daring with puckered, bow-like flowers at the throat. Its sleeves saw just the littlest hint of a puff — a welcome update. We love this contemporary Gibson Girl look.
Givenchy opted for sharply-tailored shoulders, a taut-waisted silhouette, and a sleek update to the high, ruffled collar look.
We adore Simone Rocha’s stylistic marriage of Mary Poppins and Colette. Those crisp white collars help to keep large swaths of black fabric from looking too dark or matronly. And while ERDEM may have taken a subtle, barely-there approach to puffed sleeves, Simone Rocha wasn’t afraid to get dramatic.
Finally, it could be argued that no label had more fun with the look than Alexandre Vauthier. The French haute couture fashion house knows that there is perhaps nothing more quintessentially “Mary Poppins” than the English nanny’s hat. Those flat-topped boater hats were paired on the runway with a generous helping of bows, high collars, and ultra-tailored jackets. We’re also loving the contemporary, glamorous flair present throughout these looks. A cinched, metallic belt; dramatic globe earrings; sleek satins; sexy fringes; a daring fur jacket — each detail catapults this aesthetic straight into the twenty-first century.