Sunday, 21 November 2010

Funny Face Fashion

Next up, Audrey Hepburn as Jo Stockton in Funny Face from 1957.

You knew Audrey had to pop up at some point. And the photo shoots in this film- her as a reluctant model posing in Paris, harassed by magazine editor Maggie Prescott (Kay Thompson) and falling for photographer Dick Avery (Fred Astaire)- offer outfit after couture outfit to luuuuust for.

And then imitate.

One of the most famous shots from the film:

I can't pose in Paris or have the balloons. But what is most important is the dress. And I have a similar original 50s, handmade from directional lace in my collection:

Now, colour. Flowers on the dress, flowers in her arms, flowers all around:

The prestige of this dress can be judged by the price tag. It recently sold on December 14, 2002, at Sothebys in New York for $56,250.

This is my handmade early 60s version. A much more manageable £150.

Below is Jo's eureka moment- She can be beautiful, dress fantastically and have a brain. Which she puts to use showing this dress's full elegant potential.

Pick from this lace dress or these rhinestone embossed Charles Jourdan heels to have your own scarlet centre stage moment.

And, ah... The wedding dress!

Another eureka moment (I won't spoil it). She looks sensational. Many brides centre their days around this very look:

Amazing. Amazing. Amazing. I don't have anything quite as out there, but I do have this 50s handmade tea length dress with long sleeves, embossed satin and rose detailing.
If you are looking for a vintage wedding dress and this isn't right for you, try getting in touch with Helena who runs Heavenly Vintage Brides. I bought my own vintage dress from her, and couldn't recommend her more highly.

Finally, film hasn't only inspired fashionistas. It's influence can be seen in many a fabulous film too. The similarity between magazine editor Maggie Prescott and Miranda Priestly (Meryl Streep) in 2006's The Devil Wears Prada cannot be ignored. Single minded bitches, with vulnerable under bellies, leading the world and her wardrobe.

I like to think Anna Wintour watched it as a child- 'that's what I want to be when i grow up.'

Signing off with a few of my favourite non Audrey shots from the film. Sing along with me now... Think Pink! And email or comment if you want to try any of the dresses featured.


Friday, 12 November 2010

Leaves me breathless

I'm not disciplined enough to do this neatly and by decade or anything like that. I'm just going to throw down characters in films, books and plays who inspire vintage fashion... any which way I can.

First up, personifying cool, the independent Patricia Franchini.

Played by Jean Seberg in cult movie, Breathless. Written and directed by Jean-Luc Godard in 1960.

Patricia is the female lead. And an icon. Her outfits never look premeditated, just perfect, calm and with not an even ounce of prissiness. Just like her character.

Who doesn't love a simple Breton stripe? Especially when in Paris, surrounded by art. Here I am, unwittingly influenced by the image a few years back.

Unlike many of us, Patricia manages to make her uniform look chic. And in it she attracts the cad of the film, even when he should be concentrating on other things. Like running from the police. It's not just the fashion that's thrilling.

But getting back to it, isn't this one of the first and finest examples of a girl in a t-shirt with print emblazoned across the chest? Maybe. And check out those cropped trousers and flats. Ta da.

But she doesn't just do casual. This full circle skirt, nipped in at the waist, is the stuff that fashion (wet) dreams are of.

Happily I have a similar dress as part of my current collection. It is red and charcoal horizontal stripes. Add shoes, gloves and the sunglasses to match and we could almost recreate the scene. If only the young roguish Jean Paul Belmondo was as easy to find.

(Yes, that is my bathroom. I must get a full length mirror. One day I'll fall in.)

If you'd like to buy the dress, or just try it on, let me know. It is size 8-10 and £85. The colour makes it ideal for the upcoming festivities.

PS I gave my hand towel a thorough folding after this.

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Watch and learn

Everyone knows that Mad Men has had a huge influence on fashion. Even Victoria Beckham's collection gave it a nod (below). And no wonder. The tv series is sumptuous to watch, and the attention to period appropriate detail is astounding.

After watching a few episodes in my old comfortable pyjamas, I just couldn't do it anymore. Betty Draper shamed me into buying a night gown.

A proper 60's original pink froufrou number. Seriously. Thank God I don't smoke as much as she does, or surely I'd have caught alight by now.

But what other characters throughout time have influenced us to change our dress ways? Or what can we watch on screen for suitable decade inspiration when feeling in need of some guidance?

Over the next few days, I'll share my favourites with you, and relate them to outfits in my wardrobe and those available on my rack... Watch this space, and then some of the characters I recommend. And let me know your favourites too.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad