Wednesday September 19, 2012
Cinematic styles can be as iconic as films
By BERVIN CHEONG
In all its perceived splendour, cinematic styles can sometimes be as iconic as the films themselves.
THE dramatic updo that mirrors a regal beauty; the wistful and flirtatious look of a sultry edge; the style essence of an iconic outfit, from the tiara and pearls, right down to the cocktail dress. The late Audrey Hepburn’s portrayal of Holly Golightly is certainly a recognisable image that defines 1960s glamour.
This only serves to highlight an idea that the lasting imagery of a character on film is as important as the film itself. In this case, the style, more than anything else, of a certain socialite from Truman Capote’s popular novel has propelled the 1961 Breakfast At Tiffany’s into the welcoming embrace of fashion lovers all over the world.
The highly popularised term “little black dress” is said to have been made famous with the film showing Hepburn in a black number three times. Each appearance of a black cocktail dress in a different scene depicts superb styling with matching accessories.
The oversized, horn-rimmed shades are added as a playful twist to an otherwise sophisticated aesthetic of classic pearls and tiara – truly glamorous. As are the long opera gloves, oversized cigarette-holder and diamond-encrusted jewellery that are featured as well. It is all part of a cinematic style that many have come to love and emulate.
When Hepburn ate a Danish while gazing at the window of Tiffany & Co in the film, it was certainly an opening to a legacy that most still remember. The classic movie sparked a continuing love for what is today considered as one of the greatest fashion films in history.
On these pages, the black-and-white visuals – inspired by Breakfast At Tiffany’s – are the result of an exclusive shoot for Star2, organised by Moët & Chandon, in conjunction with the champagne brand’s Cinema Classics 2012, themed around the iconic movie.
Breakfast At Tiffany’s may have turned 50 last year, but the style that it represents remains timeless. It is still considered a cinematic outing that changed the way women looked at fashion, namely the accessories, clothing and style, from head to toe.
Of course, Hepburn was a style icon, known not only as a screen legend, but also a best-dressed star who exuded grace and elegance, whatever she wore. More importantly, she was a humanitarian, too, who worked tirelessly to help charities and relief organisations across the world during her time.
Hepburn is said to know what looked good on her, and what didn’t. As her son Sean Hepburn Ferrer aptly explained in his book Audrey Hepburn, An Elegant Spirit: A Son Remembers, his mother’s style was “the extension of an inner beauty reinforced by a life of discipline, respect for the other, and hope in humanity”.
Apart from Hepburn’s riveting performance in Breakfast At Tiffany’s, other famous films and actresses have made their mark in the fashion world and have since inspired styles over the decades. The Philadelphia Story (1940), Casablanca (1942) and To Catch A Thief (1955), and their respective stars, among others, are all iconic classics with a reverent, timeless tribute to fashion.
Katherine Hepburn was reported to have made pants stylish for women in her portrayal of wealthy socialite Tracy Samantha Lord Haven in The Philadelphia Story, and Ingrid Bergman took to initiating the trend of glamorous menswear-inspired suits in her character of Ilsa Lund in Casablanca.
In Alfred Hitchcock’s To Catch A Thief, Grace Kelly’s character Frances Stevens similarly was a style focus for the film’s beautiful costumes. She is respected as one of Hitchcock’s most glamorous heroines and can be seen on screen in beautiful Grecian style gowns and chiffon dresses, as well as numerous stylish separates.
To be certain, films such as these are remembered for their fashion influence, and the actresses became timeless style icons.