Film Style: Ginger & Rosa

Ginger & Rosa Film Still

I loved watching ‘Ginger & Rosa’ (2012, dir. Sally Potter). There are so many good things in this film: great styling, great lighting design, and a really interesting coming-of-age story (plus a dark-haired character called Anushka). Set in London, 1962, Ginger and Rosa are best friends, but are becoming rather different as they grow older. Rosa wants to find fulfilment in finding love; but Ginger is more of an intellectual determined not to fall into what she sees as her mother’s life of drudgery in housework. She listens to jazz, wants to be a poet, and is a budding activist.

The styling plays on the flame and black theme of the two main character’s hair. The lighting switches between moody and bright, and always with much natural light. I really enjoyed the colour palette used in the set design and costumes, always with hints of ginger and orange amongst a background of greys, blacks and browns. Here are my favourite film stills (I included the status bar so that you know when in the film they occurred):

Ginger & Rosa Film Still

Oh so sixties…ironing their hair and dressing in matching outfits.

Ginger & Rosa Film Still

In matching cream pullovers at a CND meeting.

Ginger & Rosa Film Still

Ginger’s lovely pyjamas are clearly her favourites…they feature throughout the film. I love it when designers include personal details like this, instead of giving characters a new outfit for every scene.

Ginger & Rosa Film Still

Lots of protesters dressing great at a CND match. I enjoyed seeing how the crowd dressing brings together all colours again: black, white, orange, blue.

Ginger & Rosa Film Still

A very beautiful still, very stylised but wonderfully pensive. I adore the addition of the marigolds.

Ginger & Rosa Film Still

A walk though Hamstead Heath (I think?). The character Mark on the right enjoys tweeds and tailoring.Ginger & Rosa Film Still

A great scene in this laundry-bedecked courtyard by Ginger’s block of flats, with children playing with lovely 1960s toys. (I’m sure that this type of accommodation may have actually been more depressing though, à la Cathy Come Home…)

Ginger & Rosa Film Still

Quintessential teenage angst: comfort in pyromania…

Ginger & Rosa Film Still

Christina Hendricks is wonderful as Natalie, Ginger’s mother. She spends most of the film unhappy and dressed in black polonecks; so this brief scene where she finds contentment is very striking. The room is all lit in white.

Ginger & Rosa Film Still

Fantastic blue walls in Rosa’s night in prison.

Ginger & Rosa Film Still

Annette Bening gives a wonderful performance as the rather excellent Bella, a supporting character.The choice of these black cats eye frames are quite a feature, giving a real sense of the character’s strong personality.

Ginger & Rosa Film StillThe film ends with this scene in this rather magnificent hospital waiting room.


I hope this convinces you to watch it!

Can you recommend any other films with interesting production design and costumes?


All  images in this post are film stills taken from ‘Ginger & Rosa’, 2012, dir Sally Potter; cinematography by Robbie Ryan; costume design by Holly Waddington; production design by Carlos Conti.




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