The period costumes of the Anne films are recognized for their authenticity and intricacy. Martha Mann, the costume designer for the first two films, set an ambitious precedent for the series.
All of Anne Shirley and Marilla Cuthbert‘s costumes were original pieces, constructed specifically for the films. Mann was faithful to Victorian styles, right down to the petticoats, furbelows, corsets and more. Ruth Secord took the reigns as costume designer for The Continuing Story, but stayed true to Mann’s initial vision. Secord used both items that were made specifically for the film, and authentic vintage pieces. Gilbert Blythe‘s costume, for instance, was a genuine medical uniform from the First World War.
Martha Mann returned as costume designer for A New Beginning, in order to recreate the tonality of the wardrobe established in the initial trilogy. Mann’s wonderful sense of style and creativity allowed her to craft not only many original designs, but to locate genuine period clothes, and pulls many items from stock to create an accurate and rich palette which would accentuate the story.
Thanks to the efforts of Mann and Secord, the lush, visually stimulating costuming of these films will continue to impress for generations to come.
In 2011, Sullivan Entertainment launched an online fashion store and blog – Still the Lovely – where a majority of original and authentic costumes used in the show are now available for sale.