I’m am ashamed to say I have never before watched any of the Miss Fisher Murder Mysteries. Why am I ashamed? Well, they basically tick all my boxes when it comes to film and television, set in the 1920s, with a female Hercule Poirot style slant, absolutely beautiful in the way they are filmed and with the most glorious fashions worn by Essie Davies as the heroine Phryne Fisher. They are glossy, glamorous and totally jazz age. And they still seem to have passed me by.
But last night, I finally caught up with the glamorous lady sleuth in her first, full length film. Miss Fisher and the Crypt of Tears was free to view on Sky and so I decided to dive in. It was frivolous and fun, with its tongue firmly in cheek, and with the heroine not so much working as a sleuth, but almost like a female Indianna Jones, as she tried to solve the mystery of the murder of a whole village many years before, and the relevence of a mysterious jewelled emerald found in the hands of a dead man.
I absolutely loved Phryne Fisher for so many reasons, not least that she is not some teenaged heroine, but a truly glamorous woman in her absolute prime. With her sleek black bob and red lipstick that is never smudged no matter what her predicament, Miss Fisher is like the older, wiser sister of a Louise Brooks character, and she has a wardrobe to match.
The 1920s was one of the most important decades in fashion, a time when modern really came to the fore as women discarded with their corsets, lifted those hemlines, and chopped off their long locks. The clothing allowed for more freedoms and this is shown in the adventures that Miss Fisher gets involved in.
In the bottom two stills, taken from the film, Miss Fisher very much resembles, in looks and style, another iconic 1920’s figure, Coco Chanel. The black and white palette and the slightly androgynous styling is so Chanel at her 1920’s peak, and is also timeless and totally wearable now.