Designer, Movies

Movie Moments: The Designer Connection Part III

Funny Face (1957), Director Stanley Donen, Designer Hubert de Givenchy.

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Before there was ‘The Devil Wears Prada’, there was ‘Funny Face’. Yes, yes, yet another Audrey Hepburn film… However, this movie makes this list not so much for Audrey as for fashion designer Hubert de Givenchy. As film lore tells it, Givenchy first met Hepburn for her movie ‘Sabrina’. The film producers had asked Balenciaga for costumes, but being busy with a new collection, he sent them to see his young friend Givenchy. On hearing the name Hepburn, the designer expected to see a certain Katherine who was very famous at the time. Instead, in comes a young Audrey, dressed in ‘small pants and ballet flats’. His gowns fit like a dream, they clicked and became life long friends. He dressed her in life and for every film since, including in this fashion bonanza known as ‘Funny Face’.

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In a nutshell, this is a light musical in which a dowdy intellectual is turned into a graceful cover girl by a fashion magazine editor looking for something different. This means several things: there is singing, there is dancing (look out for the utterly awesome ‘Think Pink’ number). There is humour. There is a makeover- there is FASHION. Serious fashion. There is a sequence with an actual high fashion shoot in Paris. Really. And not just any fashion shoot, but one dreamt up by the film’s visual consultant Richard Avedon, and starring Hepburn in a myriad Givenchy gowns. Triple whammy! This fashion shoot spawned some of the most often copied images, even today (woman in a ladylike dress with colourful balloons, anyone?).

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In amongst the glamour, Hepburn has time for a dance at a beatnik club dressed in the slim black silhouette (with dreamy loafers!) she made into a worldwide trend. While this look is iconic, it is the Givenchy gowns which shine in this film. There are some real heart wrenchingly stylish moments, culminating in a wonderfully fresh wedding gown (come to think of it, hopeful brides should bookmark this whole film). Watch this film for some mammoth fashion inspo, but be warned- you may be moved to set up an impromptu fashion shoot/show with lengths of fabric and bits from your wardrobe during viewing. Heck, even the couch throw might do.

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Movies

Movie Moments: The Makeover Part II

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Last week we were reminded of the pure excellence that is ‘Dirty Rotten Scoundrels’ in the makeover movie moments , I must admit it’s now on my re-watch list, again! Now its time for some serious style icon action. Enjoy. X Catalina

Roman Holiday (1953), Dir. William Wyler.

We all know Audrey Hepburn will appear on any movie list regarding style…it’s really just a question of which of her films it is! She has had her fair share of movie makeovers – Funny Face, My Fair Lady, Sabrina… Any of these could appear on this list, but my favourite on screen Audrey transformation is in Roman Holiday.

For starters, she’s a princess! Duh! A very young princess running from her royal duties for a very short while before they swallow her for ever (not an unfamiliar concept even today). Running away and (accidentally) straight into the arms of journalist, Gregory Peck. Now, Peck wears the crap out of any suit you throw at him- tall, dark, handsome and debonair. He looks so good. His photographer friend, not-as-handsome but charming Eddie Albert, takes it into more casual artsy territory with Breton stripes and soft suede. He looks good too. But Audrey shines. And whilst she looks amazing in her princess gowns (so amazing in fact that the whole wardrobe was gifted to her after filming wrapped) she even rocks Peck’s dressing gown with grace. However, it is her appropriation of a plain white shirt and a circle skirt that lets her character develop. Of course she could never really melt into a crowd, but this smart and simple outfit allows her to take in the sights (oh Roma, so beautiful!), drop her guard, grow into a woman, and fall in love. That’s the power of the right outfit! And let’s not forget it gives her the strength to liberate herself from her girly locks, and chop them into what’s possibly the cutest pixie cut in movie history. Cue hordes of women urging their hairdressers’ scissors higher and higher. Because what girl wouldn’t want to be a masquerading princess?

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