Sunday, May 29, 2011

The Birds

The Birds is a 1963 suspense/horror film directed by the legendary Alfred Hitchcock, based on the short story of the same name by Daphne du Maurier. The film's innovative special effects, soundtrack, and apocalyptic theme influenced later "revenge of nature" disaster films. It's gone down in history as one of the first films to mix 'horror' and glamour on such a mainstream level, which is what Alfred Hitchcock is known for.

The storyline follows the young Melanie Daniels (played by Tippi Hedren) who is a San Francisco socialite. She decides to follow lawyer Mitch Brenner (playe by Rod Taylor) to his home in Bodega Bay, California. What Melanie doesn't know is that the time she picked to head to Bodega Bay is the wrong time. The birds in the area are becoming increasingly aggressive and soon every human being around comes under attack. With Annie Hayworth (played by Suzanne Pleshette), a close friend of the Brenners, becoming one of the early casualties.

This movie has been one of my favorite since I was a little girl, and will always give me the chills. Of course looking at it now, to be afraid of it is quite silly. The special effects were very advanced for the time but now in 2011, it seems kind of homemade compared to what we're used to seeing in movies. However, I will never forget being so afraid of this film but also intrigued. It wasn't extremely gorey (just a little, especially for a young girl) but it was more suspenseful and exciting. What was going to happen next? And the character of Melanie was just so beautiful and glamourous even throughout such a scary experience.

Melanie's beautiful blonde hair, extremely pulled together dresses and suit jackets with her delicate features and perfect accessories, made her the classic Hitchcock leading lady.

Here are examples of how The Birds impacted fashion:

model Kate Peck in a Birds inspired Australian fashion editorial
even Barbie has joined in on The Birds look!
Spanish fashion editorial

bottega veneta spring 2011 campaign

Here is my styling interpretation of The Birds:

The Birds

Saturday, May 28, 2011

black swan

Black Swan is a 2010 American psychological thriller film directed by Darren Aronofsky and starring Natalie Portman, Vincent Cassel, and Mila Kunis. The storyline revolves around a production of Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake ballet by an extremely prestigious New York City company. The production calls for a ballerina to play both the innocent White Swan and the sensual Black Swan. One dancer in particular, Nina Sayers (played by Portman), is a perfect fit for the White Swan, while Lily (played by Mila Kunis) has a personality that matches the Black Swan. When the two compete for the parts, Nina finds a dark side to herself.

With costumes designed by the amazing designers/sisters Kate & Laura Mulleavy of Rodarte, this movie quickly became known not only for it's amazing and dark plot but for it's impeccable styling. The costumes are dark and twisted just like the film itself, but with absolutely brilliant detailing on every costume that hits that stage. It's not a typical ballet film, and the costumes are certainly not typical either.

Nina is a woman plagued with her own demons. Not stable enough to take on this huge role on stage and absolutely not ready to take on her own life. But the show must go on, and Nina fights to get the role even though it ruins her.

The all black, Gothic yet feminine styling of the Black Swan's costume is one of the best seen on film. The textures are so wonderful that you feel as though you can reach onto the screen and touch them. Rodarte's genius mixed with the film's genius really equals perfection.

Here are examples of how Black Swan's styling has affected fashion:

US Vogue 2010


Miu Miu


Here is my styling take on Black Swan:

Black Swan

Friday, May 27, 2011

Bonnie & Clyde

Bonnie & Clyde is the 1967 American crime film directed by Arthur Penn and starring Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway as the stars, Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker. The film features Michael J. Pollard, Gene Hackman and Estelle Parsons, with Denver Pyle,Dub Taylor, Gene Wilder, Evans Evans and Mabel Cavitt.

The film follows a couple trying to make ends meet and make it big in the middle of the Great Depression. Clyde Barrow (Warren Beatty) and Bonnie Parker (Faye Dunaway) met when Clyde tries to steal Bonnie's mother's car. Bonnie, who is at a standstill in life and is completely bored by her job as a waitress, is intrigued with Clyde, and decides to take up with him and become his partner in crime. Together they do some holdups, but their amateur efforts, while exciting, are not profitable. Within time, the duo become full time successful bank robbers, murderers and criminals. Their love never dies but unfortunately, they do, after they are finally caught up with by the police after being on the run.

Bonnie & Clyde is considered a landmark film, and is highly respected and seen as one of the first films of the New Hollywood era, since it broke manytaboos and was popular with the younger generation. Its success motivated other filmmakers to be more forward about presenting sex and violence in their films. The overall styling of the film is beautiful and Bonnie & Clyde are depicted as this very in love, glamourous and sexy couple. They are doing horrible things but there is an attraction from the audience that is seen. There is an appeal about them.

Clyde's dapper clothing and Bonnie's put together chic look made people all over the country swoon and trends were built. Every woman wanted to be Faye Dunaway in Bonnie & Clyde and the style impact is still seen on the fashion industry today.

Here are some examples of Bonnie's impact on the fashion industry even up til this day:

Harper's Bazaar March 2010

Here is my styling take on Bonnie's look:Bonnie & Clyde

stealing beauty

Stealing Beauty is a 1996 drama film directed by Academy Award-winning Italianfilmmaker Bernardo Bertolucci and written by Bertolucci and Susan Minot. It stars Liv Tyler, D.W. Moffett, Jeremy Irons, and Rachel Weisz. The film focuses on an American teenage girl named Lucy Harmon (Liv Tyler), who travels to a beautiful Italian villa to stay with family friends of her poet mother who recently committed suicide.

Lucy has visited her family at the villa just four years earlier and exchanged a kiss with an Italian boy who she hopes she can get reacquainted with. The entire film is really representative of a young girl's journey to finding herself in life and owning her budding sexuality. The time in Italy for Lucy was a period of growth and discovery and every person has that period (or numerous periods) of that in their life.

The visuals in this film are truly wonderful. The gorgeous Italian landscapes play a huge role in the film but Lucy's styling is what really adds to the mysterious beauty of her character. Very loose, casual and feminine clothing that seem to have just been thrown on but plays a part in the attraction factor. Men are in love with this young woman and her innocent yet sophisticated & natural styling adds to the dreaminess. The perfect wardrobe for any girl dreaming of getting away to find herself, looking for love in an exotic location.

Here are examples of Lucy's style on the runways/fashion editorials

Dolce & Gabbana Spring 2011
Marie Claire fashion editorial

Here is my styling take on Lucy's look:

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Inglorious Basterds

Inglourious Basterds is a dynamic and offbeat war film written and directed by Quentin Tarantino released in 2009. This film is extremely critically acclaimed with an all star cast including Brad Pitt, Christoph Waltz, Diane Kruger and Mélanie Laurent. The film tells the fictional story of two plots to assassinate the Nazi Germany political leadership, one planned by a young FrenchJewish cinema proprietor (Laurent), and the other by a team of Jewish Allied soldiers led by First Lieutenant Aldo Raine (Pitt).

The overall styling of Inglorious Basterds is done extremely well for depicting the era and also respects the circumstance. It's an action film! There is so much going on. Violence, humor, interesting dialogue! This film isn't known specifically for it's brilliant use of fashion but as always, it's important to look at the big picture. Would this movie be as believable and well done without the impeccable styling of the uniforms and costumes of that time? The answer is most likely "no".

Diane Kruger, who is an extremely fashionable and classic movie star in real life, plays Bridget von Hammersmark who is both a German actress and secret agent. This character specifically is interesting as far as fashion is concerned because Kruger is a beautiful and stylish woman, however she's playing a tough lady.

Bridget von Hammersmark is no delicate flower but reminiscent of old time female movie stars playing a dark role with absolute glamour. She's living a double life and her styling depicts that. Her look is very 1940's simple and utilitarian but with beautiful detailing in her perfectly tailored suits made of the most luxurious looking fabrics. Feminine when she needs to be and tough when she needs to be. Nothing looks better than a gorgeous woman in a well made tweed suit holding a gun at you threatening to kill you, huh? Oh, Hollywood.

Here are some examples of Bridget's look on the runways/in fashion editorials:

US Vogue editorial from Fall 2009

Stella Magazine photoshoot


US Vogue. September 2009.

Here is my styling take on Bridget's look:


Tuesday, May 24, 2011

I'm Not There

I'm Not There is a 2007 biographical musical film directed by Todd Haynes, inspired by iconic American singer-songwriter Bob Dylan. Six actors depict different facets of Dylan's life and public persona: Christian Bale, Cate Blanchett, Marcus Carl Franklin, Richard Gere, Heath Ledger, and Ben Whishaw.

At the start of the film, a caption reads: "Inspired by the music and the many lives of Bob Dylan". Besides song credits, this is the only time Dylan's name appears in the film. The look of the entire film is extremely inspired and related to Bob Dylan's signature style and life. The messy hair, black Ray Ban wayfarer sunglasses, all black form fitting suits. Each actor in the movie (loosely) portrayed Dylan at some point in his life using all different styles. Cate Blanchett, the only woman to portray Dylan, does a remarkable job walking the gender line.

Women have been following an androgynous look in fashion for years and Bob Dylan's look has inspired countless womenswear looks on the runways and in closets across the globe. "Im Not There" is a good style representation of the idea of women wearing men's clothing. The film also shows how style can symbolize different phases of one person's life. "Im Not There" also proves the point that though appearances and overall style can be completely different from one another but the inner core of a person can be similar. Fashion can be a symbol of who the person is but it can also just be a shell. Fashion can mean nothing. It can go both ways.

Here are examples on the runway of the "Im Not There"/Bob Dylan style:

A runway look from Jean Paul Gaultier

Alexa Chung sporting Ray Bans, tight jeans, a blazer and loafers.

Tilda Swinton modeling for Pringle of Scotland.

Here is my styling take on "Im Not There":

im not there