PHOTOS: A Sneak Peek At Banana Republic’s Anna Karenina Collaboration

It’s only the middle of summer, but retailers are already in the final stages of their holiday collections. Case in point: last week, I attended a preview of Banana Republic‘s Anna Karenina-inspired collection created by the upcoming film’s costumer designer Jacqueline Durran. I might’ve broken a sweat during the hot walk to the preview, but I was lusting for the opulent and winter-worthy wares even before I left.

In case you haven’t heard, director Joe Wright is turning Leo Tolstoy‘s classic novel into a feature film, which will be in theaters this November. The trailer is amazing, and so is the 76-piece collection that Banana Republic and two-time Academy Award winning costume designer Durran created. There are fur accessories, elegant baubles, feminine dresses, and military-inspired outerwear for the ladies, and old-school topcoats and suits in wool, houndstooth, and flannel iterations for the gents.

The movie is obviously a period piece set in nineteenth century Russia, but Durran and Kneen had to find a way to transform the film’s costumes into modern wares. “It’s really interesting to look at Anna Karenina and work out things from the movie that you can take and put in a modern concept to make a wearable look for people,” explains Durran. “So that’s been the trick really, to take fur, to take jewels, to take different textures of fabric, lace, velvet, chiffon, and to mix them up together.”

Durran got her start in costume design in London’s Angels and has worked her magic on films such as Pride & Prejudice, Atonement, and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. As Durran was working on Anna Karenina, Kneen got wind of her project and knew that a collaboration would be on the horizon. The question of who approached whom is still a mystery, but Kneen tells me that it was all just kismet.

“We were kind of already there without knowing it, and then it captured our feeling and the sensation we had for the season,” he says. “The fabrication was in colors that are definitely in the air from a trend point of view. Then the Anna Karenina connection came along and there was a whole kismet there. I’ve always been a big admirer of Jacqueline’s work, so to work with her was a dream come true.”

Durran’s dream also came true — she got to work with Kiera Knightly again. “She really is so delightful,” Durran praises. “She’s a real collaborator, so that she’s involved in the style of the costumes. But she always understands that she’s a piece for the movie and she’ll always refer to the director. All the movies I’ve done with her have also been directed by Joe. And he has a very strong vision that we all work toward. So we all work together as a team really, and she couldn’t be nicer.”

See a few looks from the collection, as well as a sneak preview of the Banana Republic’s holiday collection below. The Anna Karenina pieces range between $59.50 and $500, and will land in stores late October.

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