The 90s Film Making the Case for Wearing Black at Weddings

Four Weddings and a Funeral, 1994(Film still)

We’re taking style cues from Kristin Scott Thomas’ character, the sarcastic and stylish Fiona, in Four Weddings and a Funeral

“Isn’t she beautiful?” gushes Scarlett, played by Charlotte Coleman, in Four Weddings and a Funeral, as bride number one of the four in the film’s title walks down the aisle. “Scarlett, you’re blind,” replies Kristin Scott Thomas’ Fiona. “She looks like a big meringue.” Such is Fiona’s cutting, wry humour; her lines in the 1994 film deftly convey her sharp indifference towards nuptials. Four Weddings and a Funeral is a bittersweet, charming and quintessentially British – save for the presence of Andie MacDowell in the role of Hugh Grant’s Texan love interest Carrie – film that follows Charles (Grant) and his friendship group as they navigate various celebrations of matrimony and love.

Fiona is central to this circle, and one of the first characters we encounter: she sips a small black coffee before the first wedding, the antithesis of her clumsy, haphazard brother Tom (James Fleet) who gorges hurriedly on breakfast by her side. But aside from Fiona’s chic morning routine, it’s her exquisite sartorial choices that deserve spotlighting. As Scott Thomas returns to film screens this weekend with the release of Churchillian drama The Darkest Hour, in which she plays Clementine Churchill, we’re revisiting the style of Four Weddings and a Funeral’s Fiona, one of her first and finest characters.

The Signature Style

Fiona’s preference for black dresses at weddings is a mainstay throughout the film. In the opening scenes she is seen trying to decide on one such piece, holding a series of dark, silken full-length dresses against herself in the mirror, each with a muted floral print. Eventually choosing a wispy-sleeved dress, black waistcoat and undulating, dusty pink hat, Fiona looks the very essence of nonchalance (no doubt thanks to Scott Thomas’ own adoptive French style). The hat she sports here, incidentally, also appears in Four Weddings’ closing credits when we see Fiona wearing it alongside her eventual husband, Prince Charles.

Another notable black dress makes an appearance at wedding number three. High-necked, sleeveless and accessorised with gold jewellery and a cigarette, Fiona casts a sombre silhouette as she makes known her love for Charles, radiating a sadness that foreshadows Gareth’s (Simon Callow) death and funeral. At Charles’ wedding, however – the last of the four – Fiona’s wardrobe takes a turn for the colourful. In a kaleidoscopic jacket worn over a blue shirt, Fiona makes a speech for the groom, the burden of her unrequited love (formerly mirrored in the dark tones of her wardrobe) having apparently lifted. Note that later, alongside Prince Charles, she sports pale pink from head to toe. Naturally.

The Modern Manifestation

Although Fiona’s donning of black at weddings is a decision laced with melancholy, she nonetheless makes a strong case for following suit. For a voluptuous hat, turn to a designer like Jacquemus, and to Hillier Bartley for romantic, silk dresses with high necks and billowing sleeves. When it comes to jewellery, earrings should be sassy and sarcastic to match Fiona’s idiosyncratic wit – J.W. Anderson’s golden moon faces are a must – and always on show beneath a short bob. Plum red lipstick and a cigarette optional. 

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