All right Mr. DeMille, I'm ready for my close-up

01 March 2014

Who Needs a Red Carpet? Legendary Looks from ON the Screen

Tomorrow night as the "stars" stroll and smile down the Red Carpet I will be wearing Valentino, my jewelry will by Cartier of course, my shoes...well, those will be my very best bunny slippers!  Ya think Colin Firth will like them??

If you are planning to watch the 86th Academy Awards at home most likely you will be in your bunny slippers as well and chances are you don't really care about Best Picture... you know why we are watching!! No matter how much of a movie fan you are, you have to admit that the award shows have become less and less of an event in recent years, often very boring, so why do we watch???? The clothes! The Jewelry! Hugh Jackman in a Tux!... Then we flip the channel or head off to bed!

 For me though the real connection between style and celluloid happens
 ON the screen not on the carpet.

The influence that film has had on fashion style cannot be over icons were made often by what they wore and the fashion world has cashed in on the "look" that many film characters made essential dressing-adding up to real business as the store racks would be filled with copy-cat creations. Hollywood has very often driven the direction of Amercian fashion-think Annie Hall's(1977) men's wear look, Madonna style in Desperately Seeking Susan(1985), leggings and baggy sweatshirts from Flashdance (1983),  Love Story (1970) helped the preppy College look and heaven help us the white leisure suit from Saturday Night Fever(1977).

It isn't just women's fashion that film has defined...When Clark Gable removed his shirt in It Happened One Night(1934) -one of my top ten sexiest film moments- the sale of men's undershirts dropped dramatically, and his famous trench coat caused sales to soar. The white T shirt was not in trouble forever,however, when both James Dean and Marlon Brando as in the Wild One (1954) sported them defining "cool". Steve McQueen's suit in the Thomas Crown Affair(1968) introduced British men's wear and remains an influence on what a well dressed man should have in his closet.

A single dress or outfit have become the star or the scene stealer of many a movie with the clothes very often being the most memorable part of the film. White dresses seem to come to mind a lot-Marilyn Monroe in the Seven Year Itch, Elizabeth Taylor in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and the iciest white of Grace Kelly in To Catch a Thief.

There are of course true film fashion icons whose style changed how women dressed forever.

Kate Hepburn always defied the fashion world by wearing her own style on screen, comfortable slacks as in Pat and Mike(1952) gave women permission to be classic and comfortable...Rear Window(1954) was another showcase for Grace Kelly with designer Edith Head introducing what would become known by Hermes as the Kelly Bag. Brigitte Bardot defined sex kitten style n films such as God Created Woman(1957) and of course there is Audrey who with or without Givenchy on and off screen will be emulated forever particularly a certain "little black dress" from Breakfast at Tiffanys

Today the clothes on screen that translate to department store dollars don't necessarily celebrate the art of fashion and the glamour of couture-that is what I love of about classic film-when those women dressed -they dressed!


Of course we love to see how the stars are styled but is what they are wearing as memorable as what Edith Head designed for Grace Kelly in To Catch a Thief or Givenchy's looks for Audrey Hepburn in Sabrina

 To celebrate Oscar night here is a look at some of my favorite cinema couture along with some films that used the fashion world as their muse... Come add a few fashionable films to your Netflix queue.

Of course we start with Audrey:

How to Steal a Million is probably one of my all time Audrey-style fashion favorites followed by Two for the Road and then of course Funny Face, Sabrina and Charade

Next would be Grace:

Faye Dunaway in Bonnie and Clyde

Get these into the queue!

The Women  go for both versions though the original is a treasure
Blow Up  London in the 60s!

If you love fashion do not miss!!

Great and Fashionable film books:

The Complete Book of Oscar Fashion: Variety's 75 Years of Glamour on the Red Carpet  Star Style: Hollywood Legends As Fashion Icons Edith Head's Hollywood: 2  Edith Head's Hollywood

Dressed: A Century of Hollywood Costume Design