Monday, May 27, 2013

Oh, Audrey!

Audrey, Audrey, Audrey!
What a lady. I just recently watched Charade the other day where she co-stars with Cary Grant. Great film... but I'd like to talk about the leading lady herself, Audrey Hepburn. Captivating all those who watch her on the big screen, this skinny little actress has been a fashion icon up until present day. Really until her, there wasn't an actress of her physical caliber in films. Bringing a new body image to the big screen, designers couldn't get enough of her. She was actually Oscar De La Renta's muse during her time.
Films such as Breakfast at Tiffany's has really made her more of an iconic look than an actual person. Harsh to say, probably, but it is true in a sense. In a recent interview, which can be seen below this paragraph, Audrey explains just that. "I created a look, in order to make something of myself".

When people think "Breakfast at Tiffany's", of course one is going to have an image of Audrey Hepburn flash into their heads, but I'm also sure and can safely state she will be wearing the same outfit. The large "cat-eye" sunglasses with the long cigarette holder staring into her reflection from the Tiffany's window dressed in an all black evening dress and long gloves with a tiara and heavily pearled necklace on.
What about Sabrina? She looked way to thin in that film, but never the less, stunning all the same. And who can forget her simple, yet still iconic ensemble in her solo dance number in Funny Face. Dressed in black on black turtle neck, and ankle high cigarette pant with white socks and black mary janes'.
This woman wreaked of fashion iconography, but Audrey herself never found herself personally pretty and admitted anyone can obtain the "Audrey Hepburn" look as she calls it. "My look can be attainable by any woman." Regardless Audrey, you were and are still quite a woman that I personally would love to walk in your shoes for a day...or closet at least.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Khaleesi, Game of Thrones

HBO's, Game of Thrones is probably every costume designers' fantasy come to the television screen. A phenomenal show, and a phenomenal wardrobe to say the least. The costume decision, made by Michelle Clapton, is one of the most creative minds in Sci-Fi history (in my personal opinion). A mix somewhere between old world Medieval times and a Star Wars resemblance, the garments are out of this world...literally. Even designers such as Helmut Lang have used the show as a form of inspiration; for example, in his fall 2012 ready-to-wear collection.

Everyone has their favorite character in the show that they're routing for to claim the throne, which is one of the great things about the concept of Game of Thrones. Personally, I can't get enough of the "imp" Tyrion Lannister and Khaleesi, which is who I would like to talk about wardrobe wise for today's post. Although I love the men of the North's garments all covered in thick furs and animal hides and the Lannister family richly embroidered attire, Khaleesi's outfits are always what I look forward to in every episode.

Khaleesi's wardrobe this current season is all about the ethereal greek-goddess look. Most of the female leads on the show are covered in thick embroidered floor-length gowns in long trumpet sleeves showing very little skin. Khaleesi on the other hand, wears draped, flowy, sheer gowns with chunky necklaces or bracelets that rest halfway up her arms, often in gold or leather. After all, she is the mother of dragons. In the previous season when Khaleesi is married to Targaryen leader, Khal Drogo, her wardrobe consisted of the traditional Targaryen attire. She wore torn hides and leather in various shades of earth and sand covering only what needed to be covered on her body. A drastic change in her costume choice is noticeable once she leaves the tribe after the death of Drogo and becomes the mother of dragons.

Monday, May 13, 2013

"MAD" for the 60's

Let’s talk “MAD MEN”.
(classic Dior look)
Has there ever been a living soul who didn’t wish they could go back in time to the 60’s….or for some, wish they could re-live it. Now let’s talk specifically about the clothes during the 60’s shall we? What I enjoy most about the show “Mad Men” is that as the seasons have past and the characters build and develop, the stylistic design changes along with them in almost every aspect of the show; from the first season when the characters are living in the beginning of the 1960’s to this current season in 1968. Don Draper’s new office building, the interior design, furniture, technology, and yes… the CLOTHES all modernize and update to the later 1960’s. From the very first episode, one can see the tones of the 50’s still lingering in the new age of the 60’s Don and Betty were currently in. And as the seasons pass and things progress, so does the style of “lingering 50’s” to ‘cat-eyed’, skinny-tied, “WOW” crazy-patterned colored dresses of the later 1960’s. A great comparison to showcase this progression throughout the show is to view side-by-side Don’s first wife in the first few seasons next to Don’s second wife, Megan, in this current season. I am aware that the two ladies differ stylisticly, but even so, Betty’s wardrobe consisted of the frilly nightgowns with the princess sleeves and the classic Dior look of the 50’s (the poof–full skirt that falls to the mid calf). Megan looks more like she just came out of a groovy Austin Powers flick. You could safely assume she is what most people in today’s generation identify the 60’s with fashion wise. The huge swirly hair-sprayed hairdo’s, the chunky necklaces, earrings, and bracelets, and that funkadelic wardrobe of hers all in bright colors, metallics, and vinyl white knee-high go-go boots. All I can say is, “Hello 1968”!

Downton Abbeys' Sybil fashion scandal!

To all those "Downton Abbey" fans, this post will particularly tickle your fancy!
Who could forget in the episode of “Downton Abbey” when rebellious Sybil flaunted her new pair of pantaloons. This scene in episode 4 season 1 of “Downtown Abbey” is possibly the most momentous in “Downton Abbey” fashion archive history. First off, it’s amazing and equally refreshing at how spot on the show is with the accurate fashions during that time. Me being a costume history fanatic, I often find flaws in period films and television when it comes to dressing the characters in what they would have worn during whatever time they're supposed to be in. 
However, "Downton Abbey's" designer, Caroline McCall, (who won the Outstanding Period/Fantasy Costume for a television series award at the 15th annual Designers Guild Awards) has completely nailed it down to the 'T'! 
In the early 1900’s, a very famous French designer, Paul Poiret, designed the first ever pair of pants for women. Technically it wasn’t really a pant. It was more like ginormous parachute pants that gathered at the ankles… Imagine MC Hammer’s pants and you’ve got a pretty good picture in your head of what they looked like. Poiret, already a famous designer by this time, fashioned these 'bloomers' out of inspiration from his muse and fit model, Denise Poiret, his wife. Below is actually an image of one of Poiret's designs and to the right is an image of his wife fashioning his bloomers. Only for the super scandalous and daringly independent minded ladies during this time, the trend stirred up a lot of controversy. I even believe a Miss “CoCo” Channel couldn’t get enough of them. In actuality however, the fad faded pretty quickly during its time, up until WWI came around. Regardless, kudos to all the independent fashionistas back then, I don’t know if I would have had Sybil’s guts.