Afred Hitchcock understood the power of clothes, a central element to many of his classics. Not only were the costumes a tool in his movies, but style was often of the utmost importance. Pencil skirt suits, full skirts and dresses, nipped waists, restrained tailoring, classic totes and clutches, prim hair, gloves of all lengths, the most feminine dresses for the evening, fur stoles and coats as outerwear. But as much as I admire the elegance and timelessness and the bygone glamour, it’s not a style I see myself portraying. It’s something else that fascinates me about his heroines.
Kim Novak in Vertigo, Tippi Hedren in The Birds, Grace Kelly in To Catch A Thief, Dial M for Murder and Rear Window, you can’t think of their characters without thinking of their wardrobes, they are an integral part of who they are. Mysterious and alluring, icy seductive and cool on the outside, and often vulnerable and passionate on the inside. But Hitchcock’s each heroine was a much more complex character than that. And he often used clothes to play with their personality. But it’s not only the clothes, it’s the cinematography, the settings, these are all characters in Hitchcock’s films and they all create a whole, that very specific world that you know it’s perfect for the plot, it couldn’t be any other way. It’s this aura that draws me in. This is the fascination Hitchcock’s films hold for me.
And I think the biggest inspiration for designers when it comes to Hitchcock lies more in the individual characters so well built up, than in the actual clothes. Because doesn’t every collection revolve around a heroine? There is a leading lady starring in each collection.
There was a noir atmosphere at Bottega Veneta. The hair style and icy gaze of some of the models bared a resemblance to Marlene Dietrich in Stage Fright, others were evoking a vulnerable side, reminding me of I Confess. There was even a yellow doctor’s bag, which made me think of Tippi Hedren’s yellow doctor’s bag in Marnie. At Mulberry, one poise in particular, very composed and ladylike, had something undeniably Kim Novak in her confining grey suit in Vertigo. At Dolce & Gabbana, it was the grey tweed suit. The Ports 1961 grey full skirt dress-burgundy leather gloves-set hair look was very Grace Kelly, and at Rochas there was a variety of 50’s style outfits, very Hitchcockian, from full floral skirts and belted cardigans, to midi skirts (very Grace Kelly in Rear Window) and sweaters with fur cuffs or worn with elbow-length leather gloves. And sometimes, as far as I’m concerned, theatrics alone can carry a show.
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photos: 1-collage by me | clockwise from top left: Grace Kelly in Rear Window (still captured by me | Paramount Pictures) / Eva Marie Saint in North by Northwest (still captured by me | Metro Goldwyn Mayer) / Marlene Dietrich in Stage Fright (Warner Brothers) / Tippi Hedren in The Birds (still captured by me | Universal Pictures) / Tippi Hedren in The Birds (still captured by me) / Doris Day in The Man Who Knew Too Much (Paramount Pictures) / Grace Kelly in Dial M for Murder (still captured by me | Warner Brothers) / Kim Novak in Vertigo (Paramout Pictures) / Eva Marie Saint in North by Northwest (still captured by me) / 2-Ports 1961 Autumn/Winter 2013, Style.com / 3-Dolce & Gabbana Autumn/Winter 2013, Vogue.com / 4,12,13: Rochas Autumn/Winter 2013, Vogue.com / 5,7,8,9: Bottega Veneta Autumn/Winter 2013, Vogue.com / 6-Mulberry Autumn/Winter 2013, Vogue.com / 10-Marc Jacobs Autumn/Winter 2013, Vogue.com / 11-Lanvin Autumn/Winter 2013, Vogue.com