The infamous literary heroine has been re-imagined time and time again, but being a 90’s baby, the two images of King Arthur’s main squeeze are that of Keira Knightley and Tamsin Egerton.
Keira Knightley portrayed the damsel in 2004’s film, King Arthur,with Clive Owen playing her King Arthur and Ioan Gruffudd playing her Lancelot (damn girl). Her costumes are designed by veteran costume designer, Peggy Rose (of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise).
Tamsin Egerton, plays a blonde and significantly more Victoria’s Secret version of Gwen, accompanied by a blonde and significantly younger versions of King Arthur (Jamie Campbell Bower), and Leontes/Lancelot (Philip Winchester). She wears designs by Joan Bergin, who most notably designed costumes for the series The Tudors and currently for the show Vikings.
The two storylines are just as different as the Guinevere’s, and therefore not worth mentioning, but we can compare the different costumes each lady wears in similar situations to determine who will prevail in this Fashion Face-off.
Camelot‘s union between Guinevere and her actual husband, Leontes, featured a pale blue robe with a linear pattern that emphasized her figure and a white beaded gown (its hard to tell but I’m pretty sure it’s beaded!). What really made her a modern bride was her vibrant floral crown. She looks like she’s going to Coachella with that! I remember when I first watched this scene I was surprised by how ordinary she looked, but actually liked it. There was something very PS. I Made This about it–meaning, I could see the actual work that someone put into it, it looks organic, making it appear that much more believable. The only thing unrealistic? Her perfectly curled hair.
Guinevere, during her wedding to King Arthur after her husband kicks the bucket, decides to wear a white and aqua blue open-neck gown. The edges have what looks to either be beaded or floral design. This Guinevere has what could be considered a more traditional wedding headdress. It’s a white floral crown, but attached is a veil; I could see a bride today wearing this if she wanted to have a white wedding with a boho feel. There is vertical rucheing in the bodice that emphasizes her small waist and adds texture.
WINNER: Camelot’s Guinevere. Why? Because I love the use of colors and the lushness of it.
Here, Guinevere wears an off the shoulder dress in royal blue velvet. I’m not a big fan of velvet, but if it was a luxurious fabric, I could see why Guinevere would be wearing it. The metal shoulder strap echoes the metal details in the men’s battle gear and I like that it contrasts with the lush fabric. Blue almost always looks beautiful on blondes, and I’m really liking the hair styling choice of a side bride with a head crown (the crowns on this show were exquisite). The dress does appear simple in this photo, but I do remember it moved really well and looked very regal in motion. It’s not one of my favorite Guinevere dresses, but it’s still lovely.
Here, Guinevere wears a baby blue gown with large openings for the arms for easy movement. I like the sleeve details, how they are pieced together with gold buttons. The dress reminds me of Star Wars for some reason, too! It definitely has more of a Scottish feel to it, which makes it appear more historically accurate. No, I’m not sure if this is something they would have worn then, but I could see it in Brave so maybe?
WINNER: King Arthur‘s Guinevere. Why? Because I said so. No, because I like the movement and the small details–it’s feminine, comfortable (looking), and she looks capable of kicking ass in it.
Wildcard Warrior Princess
Just look at the design on the dress. It’s GORGEOUS. Some may say it looks like a couch, but it’s still beautiful. I love the animal skin blanket/cloak she’s wearing to keep warm-there’s a sewn pattern on it with gold thread. It’s such a fun look and compliments Arthur’s outfit in the scene.
I’d like to do more research to see if Peggy Rose drew inspiration from historic Scotland, because this looks like a female version of Braveheart. I always love it when a female lead can hold her own on the battlefield (Eowyn, anyone?), but I’m not quite feeling this look. I get wanting to make the most out of Keira’s lust status, but all this battle gear does is emphasize her baby chest. Keira herself made fun of the film’s posters because they gave her a bit of a boost when she was wearing this. Also, how can this possibly protect her from flying arrows and daggers? Maybe this Guinevere wanted to feel free from all those heavy dresses and this is what she came up with. The costume itself is very dynamic and interesting to look at, I’m just loving it on this actress and for the story.
WINNER: Camelot‘s Guinevere. Why? Again, because of the use of color and originality (this is from the same lady who dressed The Tudors!) It’s just a very rich wardrobe full of color, texture, and fantasy.