Hitchcock and fashion
Ok Hitchcock may not be the fashion icon that come to our minds when we always associated style in the movies with well..the stars like Audrey Hepburn or Johnny Depp.. However his films like Rear Window, Vertigo and A man who knew too much will be in the list of films that have style. Who remember Grace Kelly’s gorgeous dress that she got from the runaways of Paris in Rear Window or Cary Grant’s saville row suits and perhaps tippa’s green suit in the birds? I do and today I will be looking on how Hitch’s films influence fashion designers in creating collections.
Now let’s look at the process of how Edith Head collaborate with Hitchcock in his films,it was seen that both are on the same page when it comes to fashion taste and it was Hitch’s films that show her best works. In the blog post “LFF blog: The same cloth – Edith Head and Alfred Hitchcock” Edith Head was ostracized for her conservative taste in design,in Hollywood but it was that conservative taste that make Head “an education in restraint“. She sees costume as a narrative device even to the littlest details,l remember that I was researching on Rear Window’s costumes,that Grace Kelly’s bracelet is somewhat similar to Ms Lonleyhearts which hinted a possible outcome for the relationship between Lisa and Jeff.
Or that suit that Madeline wore Iris Versey commented in her article “Costume & Identity in Hitchcock’s Vertigo” -“Madeleine is ultimately sexually unavailable. Scottie can never discover what Madeleine is like outside the drawing-room, not because she dies, but because ‘Madeleine’ does not exist. The costumes enhance this unavailability. They may fit and flatter, but they conceal Madeleine’s flesh beneath neat buttons and sharp tailoring.” It shows her restrained desire she gave to Scottie and also added that mysterious aura.
It was that power Hitchcock gave to his characters by their costumes that etched in our minds.
Now let’s look towards the present on how Hitch influence today’s fashion
Jill Sander did a playful twist with Hitchcockian fashion,with those sherbet colors.
Dolce and Gabanna hark back at the ladies,with the tweed suits which remind me of Vertigo.
Michael Kors based his fall 2008 collection on Melanie’s socialite clothing from The Birds.
While Kors goes for the subtle route for The birds,David Dixon did an interesting approach for the Birds by making the pheasant feathers as brooches (I would not mind getting one of them!).
Perhaps the only fashion that executed Hitchcock’s vision so well,is the late Alexander McQueen himself. There are two collections inspired by Hitchcock films his S/S 2001 (He was inspired by The Birds)
And then again his collection for S/S 2005 The Man Who Knew Too Much
I love the way he managed to borrow inspiration and executed beautifully in his exquisite tailoring.
And recently I found out that recently beauty products/looks are inspired by the icy Hitchcockian heroines!
Chanel Fall 2012 nail polish.
Well the men are wonderfully dressed in Hitchcock films,besides the ladies themselves. Cary Grant,Gregory Peck and Jimmy Stewart are wonderfully dressed and perhaps my ideal image of a perfect man.
My favourite men’s fashion moment in all of Hitchcock films,besides its well-taliored suits
Cary Grant’s casual outfit from To Catch a Thief,to me it was perfectly tres chic. A simple striped shirt and a red handkerchief to cover his neck,I don’t know why it shows Robie’s character as man who left his flamboyant days as a cat burglar. I read it somewhere that it hides Cary’s thick neck,as he disliked it and Cary Grant even trusted Hitchcock in his dressing. It was that eye of detail that make his films so classic apart from his clever storytelling.
Perhaps that is why people remember Hitchcock films so well,it was the high amount on detail in costume which the Hollywood moguls often neglected that made his films so classic. That amount of tailoring give to each character suits their character status so perfectly. Maybe that is why most fashion designers look back at his films as inspiration for their collections. It was the balance of ice and fire that make the designers intrigued by that wonderful world of Hitchcock