16/03/2011

When Film And Fashion Collide


First things first, I'm not going to even pretend that I haven't concocted this post with the sole intention of plugging an article I wrote for Clothes On Film. Yes, I'm a shameless promoter but this is my blog so I'm going to do it anyway despite the likely impending accusations of douchbaggery. Whevs.

Those who are unaware of Clothes On Film (and if so, WHAT THE HELL?!), its aim is to "examine costume and identity in the movies with detailed articles on outfits, reviews, news and exclusive interviews, this is a site for those who take a different perspective." Edited by Chris Laverty, my unofficial style consultant via Twitter and probably the best cocktail mixologist across the land, COF articles have been picked up by the likes of The New York Times and has been described as 'a rich and decadent soufflé'. To put that comment into perspective, my blog is described 'filmic nonsense' but to be honest, I'll take what I can get. Back to the point, while writing about Madonna's flawless wardrobe of epic 80s...ness I was reminded of other movie characters whose clothes have made me swoon.

Deb from Napoleon Dynamite (2004)


There are many highlights to Deb's look, but amongst the high top trainers and white ankle socks, the tiered pink lace prom dress, pastel coloured tops, orange bum bags and stonewash denim, it's her barnet that takes centre stage. You know people refer to a mullet as 'business in the front and a party in the back'? Well, back in the follies of my childhood (aka the mid to late 90s), the placement of your ponytail was serious business. A low one was a standard look for school, a mid one meant you were being adventurous and a high, tight ponytail indicated you hailed from the Croydon area but the side ponytail, rocked so effortlessly and unironically by Miss Deb, meant it was party time. She also gets extra points for crimping, a style which brings back more than a few memories of the stench of burnt hair...

Cher and Dionne from Clueless (1995)


Since Beverly Hills couldn't be further from Brixton, Clueless was the only reference I had to the spoilt little rich girls of the West Coast. Despite my seething jealousy that these chicks had e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g they wanted while I had to wash my dad's car for 50p, Cher and Dionne were my childhood heroes and remain the sole reason for my obsession with over the knee socks, patent leather, Mary-Jane shoes and thigh revealing skirts. Also, I haven't quite let go of the dream to own a revolving, colour co-ordinated wardrobe. Sigh.

Dorothy from Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953)


Marilyn's pink dress may be the most iconic image from GPB, closely followed by these red sequined dresses nicely worn by French & Saunders, but Dorothy's slightly more androgynous look is what always catches my eye. Her evening numbers are mostly black which contrasts Lorelei's bright and perky dresses and day clothes are covered with a large, polka dot lined jacket. My favourite remains the black, halterneck jumpsuit worn during her solo accompanied by a gaggle of men wearing nude pants. Simply ravishing. While we're on the subject of the dearly departed Ms Russell, I think this red and black striped number from Son of Paleface (1952) deserves some attention.