No one does stoic period whimsy quite like our Keira, do they? Wether it's a Jane Austen blockbuster or a Tolstoy tragedy, Keira Knightley musters dining room disdain like no other.
And so, for this week's installment of Films To Inspire Your Summer Style, we turn to her passionate foray into the '30s and '40s with her role as upper-class Cecilia Tallis in Joe Wright's film, based on Ian McEwan's devastating 2001 novel Atonement. It is a film that spans six decades, and is, ostensibly about how war shatters human life, but it's also about one woman's reticence, nerve and determination to transcend class, rank and sexism in order to seek happiness.
We see the unravelling of Cecilia's life mirrored in the slow unravelling of her gentry-garb. She transforms, like a butterfly in reverse, from silken-gowned debutante to a sullied-cotton disgraced woman and, finally, as a wool-shrouded nurse in mid-war London. Despite having been ravaged by loss and desperation, she remains, even in ill-fitting uniforms and bloodied aprons, elegant, refined and strong. Not as likely a style icon as, say, Marge from The Talented Mr Ripley, she is no less a gleaming example of eccentric English style that remains cool as a cucumber-sandwich throughout.
The emerald ballgown designed by Jacqueline Durran became as iconic as the picture that scooped seven Golden Globe and seven Academy Award nominations, and Keira, as Cecilia, is a character spun as tightly as the coils she wears her hair in before everything comes loose in the library...