Sophie Schneider explores the iconic wardrobes behind some of Hollywood’s big hitters
When defining a film’s costume and design as truly iconic you need to be assured that the fashion will influence future trends: the designers must predict and influence simultaneously. There are few films whose fashion designs are mimicked in current 21st century trends, however I’ve picked three films where certain designs or themes have cropped up in Paris Fashion Week.
Firstly, I re-watched Funny Face, that Hepburn classic, mainly to get my monthly Audrey fix, but also looking for inspiration for this article. Instantly, I fell in love with Givenchy, the fashion industry, and pink all over again. The lyrics to Think Pink, the opening number lead by the fashion editor Prescott (Thompson), are more relevant than ever; “Banish the black, burn the blue, and bury the beige, from now on Think Pink!”
Paris’ catwalk had obviously been in close contact with Ms. Prescott, as a large majority of the shows were seen through rose-tinted glasses, reflecting the ludicrously pink haven of Quality magazine HQ. Celine, Balenciaga, and Valentino’s shows were all packed with colour: candy, baby, rose, cassis, cherry- if it sounded remotely like a stripper name…it was there. But the pink obsession doesn’t end in Paris, a short walk round Jesmond will prove that. Osborne Road has descended into a sea of pink puffa jackets floating towards me like giant marshmallows. Even pink metallic mini-skirts (à la Sharpay Evans from HSM) are finding themselves on the high street.
“But the pink obsession doesn’t end in Paris, a short walk round Jesmond will prove that. Osborne Road has descended into a sea of pink puffa jackets floating towards me like giant marshmallows”
Former editor-and-chief of Vogue Diana Vreeland, who the character Ms. Precott was loosely based on, described fashion as ‘the intoxicating release from the banality of the world’, and I truly believe this pink phase does just that. When you take a leap, and throw in some pink to your outfit, you’re instantly transported to the nostalgic world of school discos complete with plastic touch pink mini skirts. Happy days…
Famously the first woman superhero, Barbarella (Jane Fonda) is a futuristic astronaut who later became a sex symbol influencing other sci-fi classics. The New York Times called Barbarella “the most iconic sex goddess of the 60’s”. The costumes were designed by Jacques Fonteray and Paco Rabanne, and they based their designs around white leather and plastic fringing, with a metallic touch: designs that later inspired Jean-Paul Gaultier in his futuristic costumes in the 1997 production ‘Fifth Element’. Paris FW reflected this then-daring futuristic style, as Correges, Dior and Paco Rabanne all adapted their looks to reflect the slim silhouette minimalist futuristic fashion look.
Finally, Rear Window makes it on my list, purely because of fashion icon Grace Kelly. The slightly disturbing, voyeuristic psych-thriller is brought alive by Grace Kelly’s wardrobe designed by Edith Head. The styles are classic and will never be outdated; Paris FW this year saw a lot of black organza cut-outs, mimicking Grace Kelly’s black floor-length gown. Kelly’s ‘fresh from Paris plane’ fitted monochrome chiffon and tulle mid-calf dress, is the film’s most famous design and also is incorporated in the black cut-out themes.