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Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Cinema Style-Poirot Season 1 Part 1

“It is the brain, the little gray cells on which one must rely. One must seek the truth within--not without." ~ Poirot”
Agatha Christie
When it comes to entertainment I, at least in general, have a soft spot for science fiction.  Despite my love of vintage most of the costume dramas on TV tend to bore me a bit, I make an exception however, for those based on the works of the brilliant Agatha Christie:
In particular I adore the long running Hercule Poirot program.
While the plots are entertaining and the performances are spot on it is the clothes and sets that make this program.  Nowhere else can the lover of 1930s style get better fashion inspiration.   Clothes on the Poirot run the gamut from swim suits, beach pajamas, day dresses, suits, hats and evening gowns and everything, absolutely everything, is gorgeous and period appropriate.   
Season 1 of Poirot aired in 1989!  but unlike many 1980s period pieces the fashions actually look authentic without the usual bits of 80s glitz seeping in.   The first episode, The Adventures of Chapham Cook, has Poirot looking for a missing domestic in the country side.  This would offer little in the way of glamour, save for the appearance of the lovely Pauline Moran as Poirot's secretary Miss Lemon.  Miss Lemon makes her first appearance clad in a stylish, but simple, brown dress with beautiful full sleeves, a wide white collar, and delicate gathers.
This simple brown dress gives a glimpse of the stylish wonders hat will surface through the series.
The second episode of season 1, Murder in the Mews, has Poirot investigating a mysterious case of suicide, or is it murder, on Guy Fawkes night.   The victim is a young lady, engaged to be married, her body is found by her best friend, Miss Plenderleith who wears a charming red outfit for a round of golf. 
The third episode, The Adventure of Johnnie Waverly, tells the story of a kidnapping of a young boy, the child of a country squire who has found himself a bit short on cash.    The child's mother, Mrs. Waverly, has some gorgeous clothes
I love the way she has tosses this cardigan, cape like, over her shoulders.  Here is another shot of the same dress, a truly beautiful 1930s day dress,
with what appears to be a print of little flowers, or maybe even balloons.  I liked this dress so much that I had Kim from Time Machine Vintage make me a similar one
Miss Lemon also appears in this episode, sporting what appears to be a pretty pastel cardigan with dots and a peach blouse.
The fourth episode, Four and Twenty Blackbirds, has Miss Lemon sporting another lovely brown number, this time a geometric print brown blouse with a large bow.
The blouse however, is outdone by a gorgeous dark navy dot print dress with orangey red trim
The dress is pretty enough from he front, but its the side view of the fluttery sleeves that really gets me:
The fifth episode, The Third Floor Flat,  has Poirot investigating a crime that strikes close to home, a murder in his own building.  Miss Lemon wears her brown bow blouse again but she also sports a handsome dotted top, I think its a knit. 
The young ladies who rent flats in Poirot's building have some gorgeous outfits as well.  There is a lovely navy dress with a cape like top and white bow:
and a shot of some 1930s style shoes:
My favorite look of this episode though belongs to the victim.  A wool jacket paired with a yellow blouse and a smart tweed skirt.

Midway through the first season of Poirot we get one of the real fashion extravaganza episodes of the series Triangle at RhodesThis episodes story line features Poirot vacationing on the Greek Island of Rhodes which of course means bodies will start piling up, as will glamorous resort fashions.  I also love this episode because I think the costume designers do an excellent job of matching the character's clothing to their personality.  Poirot is assisted in his sleuthing by Pamela Lyall a spunky, cheerful lady whose playful sports wear matches her adventurous fun loving spirit.  

I particularly love this dotted dress accessorized with crochet gloves:

and look at how the neckerchief on the man behind matches the dress:

Another winning number is her madras play suit with matching hat:

and her red bathing suit:

peach dress with neck tie

and the amazing oriental style wrap, hat, and beach pajamas:

I must admit my own beach pajamas with cape where at least in part inspired by this episode:
What I love about Miss Lyall's clothes in his episode is even though they are beautiful and glamorous they are also fun and look like you could really wear them for an adventure.  Her look really embodies the combination of glamour, comfort, and fun, that is what I love about 1930s style.
Of course Miss Lyall isn't the only well dressed character in the episode. The glamorous Valentine Chantry has some truly stunning outfits too:

I particularly love the crochet gloves and the wide legged white pants.  Again I tried to copy this look with my white pants from Hey Day Vintage:
The murder in the episode takes place during a cocktail hour where all the characters are dressed to the nines.  Miss Lyall has on a sunny yellow satin dress with a matching jacket:

It looks cute and charming and also positively innocent when compared with the over the top decadence of Valentine Chantry's look:

 If watching Triangle at Rhodes doesn't want to make you go to a 1930s island resort then nothing will!  
Coming soon....... cinema style Poirot Season 1 part 2.


  1. Wez back WooHoooooooo. Love your dress. They made a series of Poirot where I live :) xxoxxxx

    Mollie and Alfie

  2. You look very pretty in those outfits!
    And I love the outfit in white that Valentine Chantry was wearing. It sure is very stunning!

  3. Stellar post, dear Kate. I've always adored Poirot for both the intriguing mysteries (a love inherited from my mom) and the amazing fashions. The early seasons in particular really, really nailed 30s looks so incredibly well, as you've done a fantastic job of highlighting here. You're making me want to dip further back in time than my usual decades and sport a 30s ensemble or two myself! :)

    ♥ Jessica

  4. One of our favourite programs. Have a tremendous Thursday.
    Best wishes Molly


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