The most notable 70’s-style look in The Getaway.
American actress Ali MacGraw had a career in fashion before becoming an actress. She worked for Harper’s Bazaar as assistant to Diana Vreeland for $54 a week before fashion photographer Melvin Sokolsky stopped by the magazine and hired her right away, raising her salary. “Diana Vreeland had this beautiful girl for her secretary, who had legs that didn’t stop and a way-ahead intelligence and presence.” Art director and graphic designer Ruth Ansel recalls her as Sokolsky’s “muse and schlepper.” She stayed for six years, and in addition, she did stints at Vogue, as a model and a stylist, before going into cinema.
The suede trench coat is not only a staple for this spring, but can very well stand alone as a wardrobe essential.
When she did get her movie break, it was Ali’s own personal style that was central to her characters and turned out to be one of the defining fashion moments of the decade. Calvin Klein described her to Vanity Fair as someone who “exemplified the great American style”. “In the beginning, there was that rich-hippie period. But it went beyond that, and her style put her among the greats: Katharine Hepburn, Jackie Onassis, C. Z. Guest, Babe Paley.” It’s exactly that all-American ease, natural and undone stance, not the hippie looks, that I like about her. In the ’60s and ’70s she was among the very few trendsetting cinema stars who influenced movie-goers and the fashion world alike, along with Audrey Hepburn and Faye Dunaway.
The unbuttoned blouses, utilitarian jackets and skirt suits, the gold accessories, even if scarce, the suede trench, the browns and earth tones, and the most notable look, the dress with generous cleavage, that Ali wears in The Getaway, 1972 (costume designer: Barbara Siebert), along her then future-to-be husband, Steve McQueen, are very ’70s indeed, bearing the liberation spirit of the period (less structure and tailoring and being provocative enough), but staying on the minimalist side, thus having the potential to be easily adapted to the modern wardrobe. Because Ali MacGraw’s style still serves as a blue print for brands such as Ralph Lauren, Michael Kors and Tommy Hilfiger, as well as Frida Gianinni’s noteworthy last collection for Gucci, Spring/Summer 2015 (I already miss her at Gucci).
photos: movie stills captured by me from this edition , except for the first one | First Artists, Solar Productions, Foster-Brower Productions