'Anna Karenina': Russian fashion

Lustrous brocade hints of old world Russian style

Lustrous brocade hints of old world Russian style in this modern-style Theia brocade dress with pleated skirt, $595; at select Saks Fifth Avenue stores and saks.com. (Credit: Handout)

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Leo Tolstoy was a fashionista.

They don't teach you that in comparative lit. But just leaf through his 1870s masterpiece, "Anna Karenina," and you'll come across enough detail on rosettes and lace sleeves and velvet ("about all the rest there might be a doubt, but the velvet was delicious") you'd think he was a judge on "Project Runway."

So Tolstoy would perhaps be pleased with this fall's Russian-inspired apparel and accessories. In stores now, you'll find velvet, brocade, lace and lots and lots of fur (or faux fur) trim -- and just in time for the new film version of "Anna Karenina," which stars Keira Knightley and Jude Law, and hits theaters Nov. 16.

"I read the novel at university and again now, and it's much better when you read it when you're older -- it's just brilliant," says Jacqueline Durran, who not only served as costume designer for the film but as consultant on a special Anna Karenina capsule collection produced for Banana Republic.

Yes, Bahnahnahhh, as the British costumer so elegantly pronounces it, is offering up a line inspired by costumes in the film -- including black lace and jacquard dresses, a wool cape and faux fur stoles (which can be wrapped around the head and worn as a hat) for women, a flannel suit and military topcoat for men.

It doesn't take much, says Durran. "You can put one element into your wardrobe that will make it pop and give it an Anna Karenina twist."

Here are some suggestions to get you started.

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