As a Hollywood screenwriter I’ve had the privilege of working with the hugely talented and conscientious craftsmen who labor behind the scenes of every movie and TV show. These are the people who create a universe of influential images that are the cultural engine for most every society on earth.
Wardrobe Designers hold a special place in my heart. I marvel at their ability to transform ordinary young men and women into objects of universal desire.
Contemporary fashion, the world of couture, frightfully thin models and diva designers, seems, at first glance, to exist in some rarified galaxy, but if you look carefully at today’s fashion one can almost always find a classic Hollywood version.
Fashion Week in New York premiered several lovely, even wearable—if you’re a size 2 and made out of money—collections. In particular, Michael Kors, Oscar de la Renta and Proenza Schouler showed confident, compelling and elegant creations.
But the entire affair took place under the cloud of Alexander McQueen’s suicide.
McQueen, a young, hugely talented and provocative designer, sprang from the English working class—his father was a taxi driver. The forty-year old designer admitted to past drug and alcohol use. The image he projected was that of an angry young man. Sadly, McQueen’s rage was profoundly inner-directed. His death is a tragedy and we offer our condolences to family and friends.
We especially take note of McQueen because his pricey, outrageous, scary shoes, made frequent appearances in our popular Friday Footwear editions.
Alexander McQueen’s last collection is startling but strangely beautiful. The theme of reptiles and birds dominated the cat walk. The dresses are notable for flowing sculptural lines, exquisite cut and drape, Victorian nipped-waists, and a poodle-skirt silhouette. The collection stirs up the image of a lizard exploding on the surface of an Audubon painting. McQueen’s vibrant colors, with computer generated patterns, are nicely resolved and ultimately give the impression of a flirtatious young woman from another eco-system who wants you—for lunch.
McQueen, along with several other important designers, showcased hats with their collections.
Seraphic Secret has, in the past, blogged about Hollywood hats, but here we’re interested in contemporary millinery and their Hollywood antecedents.
Narciso Rodriguez featured this oversized leather pillbox hat. Its volume and weight appear military, like a bunker buster about to take flight.
Phillip Treacy for Alexander McQueen. Totally theatrical. The reference is to Chinese opera by way of the imperial Chinese menagerie. Hey, this might be a fab-u-lous look for that over-the-top Beverly Hills Bar Mitzvah.
Myrna Loy has been there and done that. Before settling into sophisticated comedy, most notably The Thin Man series, Montana-born Loy was frequently cast as an exotic vamp.
Down to Mexico for bad boy Jean Paul Gaultier. There were numerous interpretations of the traditional sombrero. Quite compelling when sitting atop Gaultier’s signature corset armor outfits.
Playful in an o
versize sombrero, Rita Hayworth, real name Margarita Carmen Cansino, started her career as a teenage flamenco dancer. Hayworth hated being a movie star and claimed she was only happy on-screen when dancing.
Before settling into comedy, Lucille Ball was groomed by the studios as a glamor girl. Here’s Lucy displaying serious plumage. No doubt, that’s how she snared the love of her life, serial adulterer Desi Arnez.
Karen and I wish all our friends and relatives a lovely and meaningful Shabbat.