the Look of an Authentic 1912 Wedding
- Choices of the Heart
Permission by PAX
�Christy, Choices of the Heart� premieres
Sunday, May 13 (9:00 � 11:00 p.m. ET/PT) and concludes Monday, May 14 (8:00
� 10:00 p.m., ET/PT) with the event that�s been eagerly anticipated by
Christy fans for over 34 years � the heroine�s wedding. It�s an occasion
during which wealthy gentry will rub elbows over the punchbowl with barefoot
hillbillies, while antique cars pull into Cutter Gap, depositing wealthy
guests from Asheville. Set against the backdrop of a magnificent
mountain range, with spectacular views in all directions, Christy�s wedding
will turn out to be everything she ever hoped it would be -- especially
her gown, which is a one-of-a-kind fashion statement, both in the script
The film�s self-taught costume designer,
Kate Healey, mixed her sophisticated sense of style, rugged individualism
and a little creative license to pull off a truly romantic look for an
authentic 1912 wedding. She designed a unique, vintage gown for Christy,
now portrayed by newcomer Lauren Lee Smith.
Permission by PAX
Influenced by early twentieth century
Parisian designers, the wedding gown is a distinctive creation with lavish
attention to detail and exotic ornamentation. Healey researched historical
fashion illustrations and found that gowns designed by turn-of-the-century
couturiers called for a train, embroidered tulle and sculpted, often flowing,
draped beading. However, Healey eschewed the era�s streamlined hobble
skirt as it would have proved impractical for a woman getting married in
the mountains of Tennessee!
In the miniseries, Christy appears
in a wedding gown made of white peau de soie, silk chiffon and chantilly
lace, all authentic to the period. Her antique lace veil is modeled
from its description in the script: a family heirloom passed along
for generations, to which each bride added something of her own.
Christy�s mother added satin ribbons, and during the rainstorm when Christy�s
life is in danger, her students at the mission sew seed pearls onto the
veil as an act of faith.
Healey also dressed the grooms�both
Reverend David Grantland and Dr. Neil MacNeill, since two separate ceremonies
were filmed to keep viewers in suspense until the miniseries� conclusion.
James Waterston, who portrays Reverend David Grantland , appears in a black
wool tuxedo complete with an off-white silk vest, wing-tipped shirt and
the final accent�a gentleman�s felt top hat.
Stewart Finlay-McLennan, who portrays
Dr. Neil MacNeill, appears in a traditional Scottish kilt that honors the
character�s roots. Healey ordered the classic MacNeill tartan from
Scotland and had an authentic kilt made locally. The kilt�s sporan, lace
tied shoes, shirt and keitan that drapes across the chest, were also designed
according to tradition and especially for Finlay-McLennan.
How did the cast feel about these
early twentieth century ensembles and transformations? Waterston
liked the fit and style of the trousers so much, he got to keep them.
(He was also outfitted for �Christy�s� storm and flood sequences with appropriate
gear, and as he recalls with a tongue firmly planted in cheek��I was particularly
fond of the 1912 wetsuit!�)
Finlay-McLennan was thrilled with
his costume. �It felt great to wear a kilt, and I think every guy
should wear one. The women love them!� says Finlay-McLennan, who
notes with amusement that when he came onto set, everyone seemed compelled
to try and lift it up! A true Scottsman, he adds, �I cannot reveal
what I wore under my kilt!� Lauren Lee Smith who portrays Christy
loved wearing the elaborate wedding dress but says, �The corset was annoying.
I�m glad they�re not in style today!� Still, she adds, �Kate did
an amazing job and put so much time and effort into it. I felt like
a real bride.�
- PAX -
Images by Brandon Hill or public