The story of Wallis Simpson and Edward VIII has always fascinated me. Power, passion and scandal, there are many layers to this tale that will never be forgotten.
I recently rewatched W.E., the 2011 film directed by Madonna. Dissatisfied with the way her own life is playing out, New York-based Wally Winthrop (Abbie Cornish) becomes obsessed with the romance between American divorcee Wallis Simpson (Andrea Riseborough) and England's Edward VIII (James D'Arcy) when Sotheby's holds an auction of the royal couple's belongings. Wally is especially drawn to Wallis' side of the story, and as certain events transpire in her life, the line between fantasy and reality begins to blur.
The film captures your attention from the get-go, and it has reignited my interest in the auctions of the Duke and the Duchess of Windsor that were legendary. Almost all of their items were purchased for way above their asking price, and each had a special tale to tell. Interestingly, in the movie, Cartier and Van Cleef and Arpels provide reproduction pieces of some of these iconic pieces, and some of Madonna's own jewels are also used.
The film is like my dream world for everything fashion. From the amazing Schiaparelli evening gowns downed by Simpson, to the sensible workwear attire of Winthrop, almost every costume dream is covered. I could spend all day looking at the various jewels, handbags and shoes! The set design too is amazing, and I love how the auction was recreated to the finest detail- what I would have given to have viewed the items in person!
Whilst the film scored some pretty rotten reviews, I really enjoyed this piece of cinematic history. Don't let the words of critics put you off, give it a try and immerse yourself in the world of Wallis and Edward.