Magazine article Variety

Fashion & Film: They Wore It, We Wanted It

Magazine article Variety

Fashion & Film: They Wore It, We Wanted It

Article excerpt

THE FORTIES

The Philadelphia Story: She rarely wore skirts off eamera, and in the first scenes of this 1940 romantic comedy, style rebel Katharine Hepburn donned a pair of Adrian-designed tailored trousers. Playing Philadelphia socialite Tracy Lord alongside Cary Grant and Jimmy Stewart, the feisty actress helped usher in a new fashion era for women-one in which getting dressed one leg at a time was no longer taboo.

THE FIFTIES

Rear Window: Whether she was leaning in, resplendent in a black-and-white tulle gown, to kiss a slumbering Jimmy Stewart or pulling a satin negligee from a stylish Mark Cross bag, Grace Kelly's turn as lithesome fashioA consultant Lisa Fremont in Alfred Hitchcock's 1954 thriller was mesmerizing. No binoculars were necessary to spy on this haute, Edith Head-designed wardrobe.

THE SIXTIES

Breakfast at Tiffany's: Sad-yet-insouciant Holly Golightly may have had the "mean reds," but it was her little black dress-a Hubert de Givenchy design worn by Oscar-nominated Audrey Hepburn in the opening scene of the 1961 film-that inspired envy and endless imitators. In 2006, one of the three original Italian-satin dresses Givenchy created for costumer Edith Head sold at Christie's for $467,200.

Belle de Jour: Luis Buñuel's 1967 film about Séverine, a bored Parisian housewife with a secret sexual life, became a masterpiece partly because of leading lady Catherine Deneuve's deceptively prim wardrobe of double-breasted coats, collared dresses and simple shifts designed by Yves Saint Laurent and accessorized with Pilgrim pumps by Roger Vivier.

Bonnie and Clyde: As gun moll Bonnie Parker to Warren Beatty's Depression-era bank robber Clyde Barrow in this Oscar-winning 1967 classic, Faye Dunaway embodied tomboy chic in midi skirts, fitted sweaters and tweed suits designed by Theadora Van Runkle. And nobody wore a wool beret better.

THE SEVENTIES

Love Story: From "Hello, Preppy" to "Love means never having to say you're sorry"-an Ivy League setting, and beautiful, young, dying Jenny Cavilleri wearing an adorable knit hat-this 1970 tale of opposites attracting and then facing tragedy was guaranteed to start a trend. Starring Oscar nominees Ali MacGraw as the working-class Jenny and Ryan O'Neal as aristocratic Oliver Barrett IV, the movie catapulted wool peacoats, plaid skirts and striped scarves into the fashion stratosphere, setting in motion waves of preppy style to come.

Annie Hall: When Woody Allen's neurotic comedian Alvy Singer first meets the title character of his Oscar-winning 1977 film, played by Diane Keaton, dressed androgynously in baggy khakis, a men's dress shirt, a vest, a tie and a fedora, she takes him for a madcap spin in her VW Super Beetle convertible-and the fashion world went along for the ride. …

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