THE AVENUE VOLUME V | ISSUE 2
st or y t elling
THE AVENUE Storytelling | Spring 2017 Vol. 5 Issue 2
GRAPHIC DESIGN DIRECTOR
GRAPHIC DESIGNERS WOMENSWEAR STYLING DIRECTOR MENSWEAR STYLING DIRECTOR WOMENSWEAR STYLISTS MENSWEAR STYLIST SENIOR PHOTOGRAPHERS PHOTOGRAPHERS HAIR & MAKEUP ARTISTS MARKETING DIRECTOR PR DIRECTOR MARKETING ASSOCIATES PR ASSOCIATES WEB MANAGER
Halley Husted, Claudia Bracy, Mikaela MJ Amundson, Sarah Ceniceros, Aideen Murphy and Karina Masri Valerie Butler Will Harvey Elisabeth Holliday and Annie Wu Adrian Kombe Lindis Barry Jasmine Rayonia, Non Kuramoto and Annie Wu Dana Dworkin, Anoushka Barpujari and Dana Rocha Lindis Barry Nicole Miller Francine Chen and Krupa Patel Marcella Kukulka and Maria Bermudez Pizano Marcella Kukulka
Non Kuramoto, Louise-Audrey Zenzini, Maureen Porter, Harrison Herreman, Elizaveta Pereguda, Kiley Choi, Michelle Liu, Shelby Robin and Morgan Chemidlin
Matthew Hosking, Hanne Larsen, Claire Moorer, Ellie Ballin, Brittney Ifemembi, Alec MacLean, Tori Mumtaz, Jack Corriveau, Valerie Butler, Alessandra Zucchi, Leanne Powdermaker, Margot Vincent, Nick Ireland and Victoire Cointy Special thanks to Daniel McGorry
letter from the editor
Why do we care about storytelling? Because in this world replete with biased narratives and “fake news,” our own power to tell the stories that matter to us may be all we have to create change. Fashion is a means to ‘exist loudly’ even if our physical voices may be cut off. When you look at the way a person dresses, you can immediately find a story there. Their cultural background, their interests, their personality and how they choose to present themselves to the world all shine through, in even the smallest details. Designers and costumers have taken such aspects of fashion to create clothing and characters that make statements. Fashion is also about choice. It gives people the freedom to choose who they want to be. You can escape to a fairytale fantasy in your best blue dress or command respect in your favorite power suit. Some people choose to reclaim their culture by incorporating traditional clothing items in their looks. History changing fashion choices were so bold and impactful that it defined the story of an entire generation. Dior’s New Look that debuted in 1947 redefined what a post–war woman could be, and infused a new liveliness in a seemingly bleak time. The look brought back the independent and playful woman. Something that was about to be forgotten amidst the fabric rationing of the time. Diane Keaton’s looks in Annie Hall showed women that femininity does not have to fit in a box—comfort and confidence are the most attractive things. We start off this issue with Rei Kawakubo, the boldest fashion designer of our lifetime, who constantly challenges pre–existing ideas of the limits of fashion and identity. We explore how fashion uses storytelling in the form of campaigns and runways shows, and examine the vice versa when storytellers use fashion to advance their vision in films. Our timeline on the history of print magazines will give you an insight on why we love what we do. We also give an overview of notable looks on the Autumn/Winter 2017 runway and discuss how fashion and beauty looks interact to tell a specific story. Our first photo spread focuses on stories of artists our age, our second parodies iconic movie posters showing us how memorable iconic fashion in films are and our beauty spread is a modern reimagining of Commedia Dell’arte looks. We conclude this issue with a list of great literary works by women, because this editor–in–chief is tired of the cis–white–male narrative, and thinks we can do better at representing diverse voices. Thank you to my amazing team of storytellers who infused who they are into this magazine and made it possible. Thank you to you, our reader, for picking up The Avenue. We hope that this issue inspires you to discover what story you want to tell and shows you how fashion is an amazing outlet to do so. Keep shining and speak up about who you are, what you believe in and who you want to be.
Non Kuramoto Editor–in–Chief
TABLE OF CONTENTS 6
To Be Beautiful Instead of Pretty: Rei Kawakubo and the 2017 Met Gala
From Print to Film: Fashion Campaigns That Tell A Story
Day in the Life
The History of Fashion Magazines
Fashion Speaks Louder Than Words
From Fashion to Film: Tom Ford and His Limitless Talents
On The Runway: Autumn/Winter 2017 Fashion and Beauty
Cinema & Cosmetic Collaborations
Good Reads by Women
Film Makers With Distinct Styles: What Makes Their Work So Mesmerizing?
To Be Beautiful Instead of Pretty Rei Kawakubo and the 2017 Met Gala
Written by Maureen Porter
Rei Kawakubo, the creative director of Comme des Garçons, is the theme of the 2017 Met Gala. The Met Gala is a lavish black tie event held in New York City every year to benefit the Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute. The exclusive event is filled to the brim with A–list stars donning extravagant outfits based around the upcoming Costume Institute exhibit. One of my favorite Met Gala years was 2015, when the theme was “China through the Looking Glass.” Celebrities such as Rihanna and Fan Bingbing truly embraced the theme and showed up looking like works of art themselves.
I am not impartial. I was able to visit the exhibition in New York that year. I can say that it was my favorite museum exhibit to date, and I am definitely going to try to make my way to the new exhibit when it opens on May 4th. If you cannot make it to New York this Spring or Summer, then stay tuned for the broadcast of the Met Gala where you will be able to see your favorite A–list celebrities decked out in extravagant outfits inspired by Rei Kawakubo, a visionary who creates works of art that may not be conventionally pretty, but beyond beautiful.
“For something to be beautiful it doesn’t have to be pretty.” – Rei Kawakubo
Photos courtesy of: telegraph.com, wordpress.com, vogue.com
Numerous celebrities ranging from Ellen DeGeneres to Drake have been seen decked out in designs by Comme des Garçons, specifically their more wearable line: Comme des Garçons Play. Kawakubo, who was born and raised in Japan, founded the line in 1972 despite the fact that she was never educated in fashion but rather, studied art and literature at Keio University. In the beginning, Kawakubo gained a cult following with fans who dubbed themselves “the crows.” Now her couture company generates millions in profit every year. Comme des Garçons, which is French for “like boys,” is now an internationally recognized couture brand that has helped welcome in a new age of Japanese fashion designers and brands. Kawakubo has upheld a tradition of designing clothes that allow women to dress like the boys, thus avoiding exaggerating female sexuality. Instead, her clothes reexamined Western definitions of sexiness. Since her beginning, Kawakubo has not been designing clothes for women to gain the attention of men, but instead, designing clothes that empower the independent woman. Kawakubo’s work is anything but expected, which is what contributes most to her success as a designer and innovator. Kawakubo’s designs are distinct; they do not hide in the background but dare to be different, dare to be something and say something. It is Kawakubo’s bold nature that marks every creation she makes.
“Kawakubo has not been designing clothes for women to gain the attention of men, but instead, designing clothes that empower the independent woman.” Kawakubo’s most recent work was the Spring 2017 Comme des Garçons Ready to Wear line. It was inspired by Kawakubo’s focus on “invisible clothes.” Subverting the common interpretation of “invisible,” the models walked the runway in clothes that resembled modern art sculptures. The clothes themselves were not invisible, rather, they hid the shape of the model’s bodies. The work left a lot to ponder, not only in its magnificent design, but also the deeper message behind it, something Kawakubo always presents in each of her collections. The line also emphasized one of Kawakubo’s recurring themes of female empowerment and changing perspectives about the female body.
My personal favorite collection of hers was the Spring 2015 Ready to Wear collection. This collection was centered around two keywords: “roses” and “blood.” These two distinct words together painted a picture of romantic tragedy and looming animosity. This line was extremely bold, with models wearing large pointed hoods, giving the runway an eerie aesthetic. One of Kawakubo’s most remembered runway shows was her Fall 2005 Ready To Wear Comme des Garçons line. The theme of the show centered on brides who took to the runway with white powdered faces, elaborate headdresses, and delicately wrapped lace. Kawakubo dubbed the show “anti– conservatism,” and music from different cultures and religions echoed while the models walked. This show also exhibited Kawakubo’s redefining of the female body and straying from the typical norms of couture fashion. An overview of Kawakubo’s works demonstrate how diverse her work is, as well as how her designs are everlastingly poignant and leave the viewer wanting more.
Last year’s Met Gala theme was “Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology.” The looks many A–listers chose were incohesive and did not quite fit the theme as well as in previous years.
“Do not expect a pretty Met Gala, but expect one that is beautiful” With this year’s Met Gala theme being so unique and visionary, it is hard to guess what celebrities will be wearing. It is best to expect the unexpected, a mantra that exemplifies Rei Kawakubo and what Comme des Garçons embraces. Expect your favorite stars to be donning the unconventional, the unique and distinct– all adjectives that describe Kawakubo’s work perfectly. On Monday, May 1st, do not expect a pretty Met Gala, but expect onethat is beautiful like Kawakubo’s creations themselves.
Print Film to
Fashion campaigns that tell a story Written by Louise-Audrey Zenezini Every spring and fall, thousands of fashion aficionados sit in perfectly aligned rows to be wowed by new designs. However, the best way for brands to get the buzz to go beyond the runway is to roll out memorable campaigns. The most iconic campaigns are ones that tell a story. The following campaigns encapsulate a story or theme through photographs or slogans and even more recently through video.
“You’ll look chic, sophisticated, and as authoritative as any man in the room. Only you’ll look like a woman.” – Donna Karan
d on n a karan
In 1992, Donna Karan introduced her “In Women We Trust” campaign, which imagined what the first female president would look like. Karan envisioned a line that was fit for a powerful woman. Karan revolutionized women’s clothes in the workforce in 1984, a time when unflattering suits and shoulder pads were the one and only style working women knew. The campaign, starring Rosemary McGrotha, depicts McGrotha answering calls, stepping foot off an airplane, swearing in as president and holding her infant.
The designs were first put into the spotlight when Hillary Clinton wore a “cold–shoulder” gown to a to her first White House dinner as First Lady. It proved that femininity and strength could be conveyed in details as small as cutouts. Karan evolved her lines to include the ever famous pantsuit, which became an iconic part of Hillary Clinton’s wardrobe. The “In Women We Trust” campaign became more relevant than ever during the most recent election cycle, where Karan’s vision came to life: finally a woman had the chance to be president.
Sources: nymag.com, fashionista.com,trulydeeply.com.au,fashionunited.uk
Her clothes are flattering, tight but not provocative and oozes comfort and femininity.
m e e t t h e h i l f ig er s
Tommy Hilfiger turned the idea of family into a full fledged campaign: “Meet the Hilfigers.” First released in 2010, it used social media to convey a family narrative. Each model was cast as a family member and ran social media accounts as their characters. The models took their roles to the streets as well, attending the U.S. Open as well as Fashion’s Night Out in character. The “Hilfiger Family” consists of father “Bernard,” Mother “Lea,” socialite and fashionista daughter “Jacquelyn,” aspiring–actor “Noah” and youngest daughter “Chloe.” Home–video style promotional videos were released in conjunction to the campaign. Print advertisements emulated classic family photos. Since its first launch, it has expanded to show the Hilfigers at other family gathering such as weddings and tailgate parties. The campaign furthered Tommy Hilfiger’s reputation as a lifestyle brand that can be worn at any age, at any time, for any occasion.
c alv i n k l e i n
Perhaps one of the most well known campaigns is Calvin Klein’s #MyCalvins. Since its launch in 2014, the brand has grown their fan base by over five million consumers by simply using the catchphrase “I _____ in #mycalvins”. Their 2016 campaign featured famous faces such as Kendall Jenner and Justin Bieber. Branding aside, the campaign allows individuals to showcase who they are, how they spend their time and how they feel when they are wearing Calvin Klein. It has given hundreds of thousands of people the opportunity to tell their story, and the number has only kept growing. The digital campaign is incredibly effective, as the photos are candid and intimate. Most submissions are unpaid and there are now over five million.
fashion f ilm s
In the age of social media, it is no surprise fashion houses ranging from Chanel to COS have turned to film to tell their stories. Five or six years ago, video fashion campaigns were lucky if they received more than 100,000 views. Now, an estimated 59 million people ages ranged from 13 to 34 watch online videos each month, allowing video campaigns to reach millions of viewers. Most recently, Chanel released a short film about what sparked the idea for Coco Chanel’s iconic tweed jacket. It featured Cara Delevingne and Pharrell Williams and brought to life Chanel’s Paris–Salzburg 2014/15 Métiers d’Art collection presentation. It reached almost three million views, six times the size of the audience of its first films. Films have been a common marketing tool used in high fashion for a while, but it is a relatively new for mid–range brands like Denham and Scotch & Soda. Denham is an Amsterdam based denim company who recently released several short films with their new collections. They seemed to be based off cult classics, such as American Psycho, which are adapted to tell a story about their jeans. Denham’s founder, Jason Denham, describes the films as “[their] slightly absurd way of exploring [their] inner denim demons.” Another brand from Amsterdam, Scotch & Soda, tells a different story through their films by focusing on individual models. In their first video, they show a razor blade being carried all over the world and ending up in Amsterdam. From there they have focused in on individual clothing pieces, putting together characters that people want to be. Using film to explain a brand’s story is brilliant, as it is a platform that can quickly convey the brand's philosophy and roots. While the approach to telling a story may have changed over the years by becoming more interactive or more visually complex, brands have been able to evolve with the market in ever changing economy, developing new ways for consumers to create new relationships with the brand.
RUNWAY NARRATIVE: HOW GUCCI AND MOSCHINO TELL STORIES THROUGH THEIR SHOWS
Written by Harrison Herreman
STORYTELLING is an artform that has accompanied human existence since the birth of speech. In fact, most art gets judged by how well it tells a story in addition to the aesthetic factors. In order to understand a Picasso, a critic must break down all of the points of communication within the piece. Every detail of Picasso’s work was meticulous. If a mouth was sideways and the person with the sideways mouth had a foot in water and a hand on a rock, you can be sure that these choices tell you exactly what kind of person this was in the eyes of Pablo. But this isn’t a magazine about painting. Fashion is no exception in the case of storytelling, even if the public constantly wants to marginalize fashion into an industry full of eccentrics. There are plenty of stories to be told with fashion, and the creative directors at Moschino and Gucci are some of the best storytellers.
Jeremy Scott, the creative director at Moschino, has built a reputation on his ability to constantly subvert and rebel against the fashion norms. Disappoint his fans he did not in the 2017 Fall/Winter Fashion Show in Milan. Scott begins incredibly simple, using beige which has a reputation for bore. Beige comes off as a huge surprise at the beginning of the show, as the first model trots out in a beige jacket and headwear. One expects a fashion show, especially one designed by Scott, to start off hard and fast with big bright colors and long flowy gowns. But this time around, Scott starts with a beige coat. Once the model comes into view, the audience can clearly see that he was not changing his ways. The story begins with a cardboard box. The subversions start small, but there exists no time in this show, outside of misperceptions, without
subversions. First the cardboard box, and the beige continues for a while and mixed with the cardboard boxes are labels that cover the beige coats, jackets and gowns. The cardboard box represents humble beginnings, a boring, blank slate that Scott gives virtue and grace to, proving that fashion does not need to be flashy. The labels reveal what fashion, and honestly all art, needs to strive for the horizon or something better. Fashion needs care. What is the significance of a fragile stamp on a box but to show that the box requires care to flourish. Any label in general represents a new set of hands and eyes that treat and help the box on its way to the final destination. In this case, each label represents another level of detail that Scott put into his show. Each level of detail creating a richer tapestry for Scott to communicate his social critique.
Despite the beige start, the boring and comfortable base that society would accept if they had to accept it, Scott proves that he will not allow his show to make just one point. The beige is comfortable and the labels give the viewer a toe in the water so to speak for the meticulous design to come. The beige comes to a screeching halt and the colors and trash chic evolve so quickly that it deletes the beige from one’s memory. The designs increase in complexity by tenfold and it retroactively makes the beige seem like low fashion. This works due to the fact that most of the beige outfits were coats designed to cover up one of these gorgeous, over–colored outfits and dresses. The color rebels against the beige and breaks from its trench–coat– shackles, becoming stereotypically high fashion. This parallels the way fashion must rebel against the boring and stable patriarchy, and the rebellion must continue.
Jeremy Scott begins simple, then he rebels against that and follows the classic tropes of what generally classifies as high fashion. These tropes are quickly disturbed by defying even the tropes of high fashion. AÂ model turns the corner wearing a red gown that seems to have an interesting design, but she stops. Upon further investigation, she is wearing a curtain which has been a staple of the fashion world, or anything with a stage, for a long time. She struggles for a moment as the curtain prefers to stay attached, paralleling the difficulty of breaking away from social norms. The curtain breaks and she continues down the catwalk, struggling the whole way through. It remains unclear whether her struggle was on purpose or happenstance, but it only adds to the message Scott attempts to transmit.
Fashion is no exception in the case of storytelling, even if the public constantly wants to marginalize fashion into an industry full of eccentrics.
Breaking away from social norms is not easy, but there is no doubt in anyoneâ€™s mind in Milan that the woman in the curtain looks fabulous. Even through the struggle she works it for everything she has got. Scott ends the show by alternating between trash chic, in the form of bubble wrap and shower curtain dresses and eventually just a pile of trash, and high fashion tropes such as furs and a classical gown that is noticeably uglier than the black garbage bag dress that follows it. This alternating between high fashion tropes and trash chic equalizes them and informs the audience that dresses made of trash bags and bubble wrap can be high fashion too if we want change bad enough. Scott tells a story about change and rebellion, and he reveals that with proper sticktoitiveness that beautiful new world is not too far away; in fact, that brand new world can be found in our trash if we look hard and want it harder.
Both of these artists bring storytelling to the forefront of fashion with their bold choices, even though their choices almost contradict. Jeremy Scott shows the world that the tropes of fashion hinder what it could one day become, and looks to trash as the way to tell everyone that fashion can come from anywhere. Scott simply makes a statement and backs it up with a singular example of something that almost works, but the idea of high society wearing trash to a gala event seems a bit far fetched. Michele cares not for the statement or the social critique, he just advances fashion. Michele takes two types of fashion that have been used periodically since their invention and he combines some of the best parts of both. Michele refuses to stop and take time to let people catch up to him and throws the audience of his show into the deep end, and by the time they reach the surface his story has been told. Fashion is art, and people like Jeremy Scott and Alessandro Michele demand that people see how fine an art fashion is and should be for years to come.
Photos courtesy of: vogue.com
Jeremy Scott told his story using change as a technique of revealing the weaknesses of the standard practice. Alessandro Michele, creative director of Gucci, takes the exact opposite approach and uses strict adherence to a basic principle to tell his story. On an aggressiveness scale from one to ten, Michele starts his show at a nine and occasionally bumps up to ten when he showcases how good his combinations are in his 2017 Fall/Winter 2017 collection. An example of an outfit that hits a ten on the scale is the glittery morph suit combined with jean shorts and a pink tee, which sounds ridiculous but in the midst of the show almost feels natural. The only way to break down what Michele creates is to consider what he strives for in fashion. Michele has always had a skill of combining references from other cultures or time periods effortlessly into one amalgamation that becomes simply a Michele work. This show combines some Traditionally Eastern elements, floral arrangements, kimonos/robes, hachimaki and semiâ€“awkward fashion trends from the late â€˜70s and â€˜80s. Michele combines florals, bell bottoms and glitter effortlessly creating one look that can only be described as a Michele.
Photos by Jasmine Rayonia
What is your creative craft? Technically I take photos, but I shy away from calling myself a photographer.
In one word, I would say I’m an artist. 5 words that describe you: Introverted, ambitious, loyal, competitive, persistent. What inspires you? I’m inspired by my fellow brown kids kicking butt in their respective fields— friends, famous people, and the next generation. Describe your story in one word: Dramatic.
What is your creative craft? Creating eccentric and fantastical portraits and photographs that
pull imagination and drama into quotidian life. 5 words that describe you: Improbable, spontaneous, resilient, humorous, & kind. What inspires you? People, and their inexhaustible varieties in life; and that we all have our own unique cultures, histories, and legacies within us that shape our time on this planet. Describe your story in one word: Dilettantish.
What is your creative craft? I am a singer, songwriter & aspiring producer. 5 words that describe you: Alternative, mellow, meditative, curious and receptive. What inspires you? Iâ€™m inspired by the nuances of perception; knowing that simple words can whisper desire to me but scream hate to her and mumble indifference to him, and spark different, yet relatable sensations in all of us. Describe your story in one word: Wavering.
What is your creative craft? Architecture & Design. 5 words that describe you: Passionate, Driven, Empathetic, Dependable, Honest. What inspires you? Every day Iâ€™m inspired to be a better, stronger version of myself than the day before. Also, Beyonce. Describe your story in one word: Worldâ€“Building.
What is your creative craft? I am a painter and mix media artist. 5 words that describe you: Eclectic, Analytical, Expressive, Curious and Reflective What inspires you? The intricacies and emotions behind peopleâ€™s story, particularly the stories of people of color. Describe your story in one word: Idiosyncratic.
the history of
Fashion Magazines Written by Liza Pereguda Photos by Annie Wu
The term “magazine” first appeared in 1731 with the introduction of the Gentleman’s Magazine in London. The name came from the French word magazin, meaning “the storehouse.” The first notion of fashion illustrated periodicals began with aristocrats recording information about what they were wearing. In the late 1600’s and 1700’s, French women and designers outside of the court relied on fashion sketches to see what was trendy. The drawings were compiled in books that were reproduced and sold.
By this time the French court had a few journals for the masses circulating called Cabinet des Modes.
Gustave Flaubert, a French novelist, wrote his debut novel Madame Bovary in which the titular character has a consistent fascination for fashion magazines. The “fashion magazines” that Flaubert refer to seem to have been illustrated magazines of custom clothing to order.
Harper’s Bazaar was founded in the U.S. as America’s first fashion magazine at a time when Paris dominated the fashion world. It was a weekly publication for upper class women published by the Harper brothers as part of their Harper’s publishing empire.
Vogue was founded in the U.S. as a weekly high–society journal, created by Arthur Baldwin Turnure for New York City’s social elite, covering news of the local social scene, traditions of high society and social etiquette; it also reviewed books, plays and music.
Fashion magazines started to feature photography.
Condé Nast purchased Vogue and transformed it into a women’s fashion magazine focused on beauty, composure and etiquette. Vogue soon became known for its distinctive photographs and high editorial quality. Nast hired the best illustrators and photographers of the day, and they produced covers for the magazine that were consistently sophisticated and occasionally revolutionary.
La Gazette du Bon Ton, the leading French fashion magazine by subscription only, aimed to establish fashion as an art alongside painting and sculpture. According to the magazine’s first editorial, “The clothing of a woman is a pleasure for the eye that cannot be judged inferior to the other arts.” It also contained exclusive illustrations by Cheruit, Poiret, Redfern and Worth.
American fashion magazines expanded content to feature journalism articles about women’s suffrage and socialites.
GQ and Esquire began covering men’s fashion.
American fashion magazines featured articles about working women fashion.
Elle magazine is launched by Helene Gordon Lazareff, greatly changing the way women perceive themselves. The success of the magazine was huge and one of Lazareff ’s talents was the ability to find the right person at the right time. In 1947 Lazareff promoted unknown designer Dior and his New Look.
Nast created Vogue UK and Paris editions.
Lazareff put the then unknown Brigitte Bardot on the cover. In 1958 she promoted the return of Coco Chanel. On the other side of the Atlantic, in the U.S. began the golden era of magazines. 1950’s New York was what Paris was for modern art in the late 19th and early 20th century for modern magazine art direction, specifically on Madison Avenue. This period was later called the Creative Revolution. Manhattan at this time was brimming with revolutionary giants: Alexey Brodovitch for Harper’s Bazaar, Leo Lionni for Fortune, Steve Frankfurt for Young & Rubicam, Herb Lubalin for Hennessy, Henry Wolf for Esquire, Art Paul for Playboy and Alexander Liberman for Conde Nast.
Condé Nast was sold to S. I. Newhouse who built the magazine empire around fashion and lifestyle.
Enhancements in color printing reduced costs and improved quantity and quality of magazines available. Number of sold copies of Elle reached one million in 1960. One out of six French women regularly read Elle. Cosmopolitan came to forefront. Its editor–in–chief Helen Gurley Brown refocused Cosmo as magazine for woman. New Cosmopolitan focused on younger woman and talked openly about sexuality. This model is still used to this day, making Cosmopolitan one of the best–selling women’s magazines.
Couture houses increased licensing and brand diversification, increasing the overall advertising load to include accessories and perfumes.
Fashion media such as cable television begin to compete with magazines.
Style.com was launched along with other online fashion sites.
Condé Nast closed nearly 10 titles ( Jane, Modern Bride, Elegant Bride, Gourmet, Portfolio, Cookie, House and Garden, Domino and others).
Some people predicted the death of print publications, just like they predicted the death of the newspapers. Both physical newspapers and magazines continue to live on. No matter how popular online editions are, they will never substitute the feeling of the paper between your fingers.
Fashion Speaks Louder Than Words Written by Non Kuramoto When you think of an iconic film, it is always accompanied by an iconic look. Breakfast at Tiffany’s would not be the same without Audrey Hepburn in her little black dress and pearls, and Marilyn Monroe’s billowing white dress in Seven Year Itch is one of the most recognizable moments in film history. Fashion and costuming is a crucial part of storytelling and world–building that exists fluidly between being grounded in reality and existing in an idyllic place. There is a sense of fantasy in a world where the aesthetic is informed and controlled by an artist—costume designers are able to combine various sartorial elements to bring a world to life and create a memorable person. The clothes establish the time and place of the story. They are indicative of decade and climate as well as the culture that the characters exist within. Grease is undeniably ‘50s with leather jackets, greased back hair and poodle skirts; Scarlett O’Hara’s huge skirt and simple delicate top in Gone with the Wind puts the viewers right inside upper class Victorian society. The greatest costumers have the ability to join historical accuracy with the director’s vision. For Sophia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette, costume designer Milena Canonero created beautiful
Georgian pieces with non–period colors. The pastel primary colors embody Coppola’s aesthetic and constructs a visual vocabulary that evokes Marie Antoinette (Kristen Dunst)’s opulent lifestyle by elevating it to the likes of a fairytale. Focusing on the essence of Coppola’s vision rather than historical accuracy allowed Canonero to tell a more specific story of who Marie Antoinette was. Rather than simply being a historical figure, she becomes a young woman who feels stifled by societal expectations and her husband’s unwillingness to consummate their marriage. She uses fashion and extravagance as an escape from her circumstances. The costumes help paint the more sympathetic image of Antoinette that Coppola was aiming to convey. Transformation within characters are also most clearly conveyed through changes in the way the dress. Perhaps one of the most notable examples is Andy Sachs (Anne Hathaway)’s metamorphoses from frumpy aspiring journalist to fashionista in The Devil Wears Prada. Being a fashion–centric film, the movie is full of early 2000's looks to die for. But the montage of Andy’s commute to work as she cycles through clothes that become increasingly fashionable and adventurous
is outstanding to say the least. Each piece that she dons speaks volumes on how she is evolving as Miranda Priestly (Meryl Streep)’s assistant and getting absorbed into the fashion world. Her transformation is not only told through her incorporation of brand–name clothes, but the more subtle things such as materials make evident that her fundamental fashion choices have been revolutionized. At the beginning of the film, Andy’s clothes have minimal texture and plain colors—she essentially wears the same cable–knit sweater and argyle skirt every day. After “fairy godfather” Nigel (Stanley Tucci) bestows Chanels and Pradas upon her, Andy’s looks become more complex and compelling. Her newfound ability to mix
and match enamel, leather, chains and bright green is a testament to her having gained an understanding of fashion. Some films have incredibly memorable looks that take the film to a new level. The film becomes known not only for its story, but for the impression it leaves in the audience. What makes such an iconic look is a combination of multiple factors. The costume must fit in the context of the film, but also feel surprising and fresh to the audience. Keira Knightley’s green dress in Atonement is considered one of the best fashion moments in recent cinema history— it’s success is thanks to it being both an excellent example of the bias cut dress from
the 1930s, and also being the showstopping green color that was immediately imprinted in the viewers’ minds. The dress walked the exact line between realistic and fantastical, becoming everyone’s dream dress that they did not know they needed. The titular character’s looks in Woody Allen’s Annie Hall immediately became iconic because of her unique way of making men’s clothes feminine. Her clothes were of the time, but it felt innovative in the way Diane Keaton managed to make her character sexy even while wearing floppy hats, baggy chinos and dorky vests. Annie Hall’s look was so affecting that it started an entire fashion movement, and many influencers today still name her as one of their biggest fashion inspirations.
Photos courtesy of: ichef.bbci.co.uk, media.vanityfair.com, refinery29.com, lesbeehive.com, derekwinnert.com
Although the writing is the main avenue for storytelling in a film, television show or in a play, what a character wears can give as much information about the character as what they say. All of the subtext about where the character comes from and how they choose to present themselves live inside the shirts, coats and accessories they “put on in the morning.” Watching a film paying extra attention to the characters’ fashion choices can add new layers to your understanding of the film. Memorable looks can create memorable characters, and in turn create memorable films. Perhaps we can learn from such to explore what kind of stories we can tell about ourselves through our fashion choices.
POSTER PASTICHE Photos by Non Kuramoto
k n i p n i y t t e pr
FROM FASHION TO FILM Tom Ford and His Limitless Talents Written by Michelle Liu
Chanel has Karl Lagerfeld; Gucci is looked after by Alessandro Michele; Valentino is under Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli. For plenty of designers, fashion is their life. They draw, design, make and sell; they put all of their passion and enthusiasm into fashion. However, there is one who stands above the rest: Tom Ford. He is an outstanding fashion designer who receives accolades in fashion season after season, while also being a remarkable film director. Tom Ford was born on Aug. 27, 1961 in Texas. His parents are both realtors so Ford’s family moved a lot. When he was 11–years–old, they finally decided to settle in Santa Fe, New Mexico. After he graduated high school, Ford moved to New York in order to study art history at New York University. However, he dropped out of school after a year, and eventually enrolled at Parsons School of Design to study architecture. Purely by chance, he was able to find a job in fashion, leading to his illustrious career in fashion design. He worked for Cathy Hardwick and Perry Ellis at the beginning of his career. Then, in 1990, he was discovered by Dawn Mello, Gucci’s creative director at the time, and was appointed to be the womenswear fashion designer of the brand. His unique talents were constantly displayed during his tenure. He was quickly promoted to creative director of Gucci. He was the miracle Gucci needed, turning the brand from almost going bankrupt to having a 43 million dollar market value. After that, Gucci has become a company that dominates the fashion field. Not only that, he continued to make hard decisions like purchasing a Yves Saint Laurent. He was the creative director of both fashion houses during the early 2000s.
During that successful period, he made the unbelievable choice to quit the job and started his directing career. No one can say Tom Ford is not bold. In December 2008, his a movie, A Single Man, began filming. The story was adapted from a novel by Christopher Isherwood. It was Ford’s first film without any previous experience. In the 2009 Venice Film Festival, the film was nominated for the Golden Lion. Two successful fashion houses and an award nomination for his first film, what an artist. A Single Man, starring Colin Firth, tells the story of George Falconer, grieving over the loss of his lover, Jim. The film, which takes place over the course of a single day, follows Falconer who is unable to cope with life without Jim and considers suicide. Throughout the day and his interactions with his friends and students, Falconer come to terms with the fact that happiness is evanescent; the only thing he can do is to enjoy and cherish all the moments in his life. Because of the irony of life, Falconer only discovers this moments before losing consciousness from a heart attack. Tom Ford’s talent as an artist and director shines through in his ability to capture Falconer’s delicate emotional changes. The tone that the story is told in is incredibly pleasing, and the aesthetic is impeccable. Each scene clearly establishes Ford’s vision, and all of the artistic elements coordinate perfectly with one another. One of the notable moments is the flashback to when Falconer learns of Jim’s death. The whole scene uses cool colors, white, black and brown. That signifies what a sad memory it is in his mind, and makes the atmosphere heavy. Colin Firth’s performance as a man suffering
with depression who is also trying to continue living his life as though everything is normal is absolutely stunning. I found the acting especially effective because the subtleties in his struggle were so profound. The way he tries so hard to pretend to be fine and protect himself makes it even more painful to watch. There is something about Firthâ€™s Falconer that is so sympathetic and hopeful at the same time. One of the most well known and beautiful scenes in the movie is when Falconer is with a young man. The background in that scene really caught my eye. There is a set of blue eyes on the wall, seeming to watch their interaction. This is the first time Falconer is seen smoking, as Jim never allowed him to do so. The young man reminds Falconer of Jim, and for a moment, Falconer is tempted to make love to him. However, cannot fathom betraying Jim and refuses. It is as though
the blue eyes on the wall are Jim, protectively watching Falconer. In Falconer’s mind, he knows that Jim is with him. In his heart, Jim never died or left him; Jim’s eyes are always there, watching him and accompanying him. Ultimately this movie is a tragedy. Falconer dies of a heart attack. No scene in the film is excessive—every moment is full of intention. The audience is precisely walked through Falconer’s emotional journey. Also, owing to Ford’s brilliant talent for design, every shot in the movie is impeccable; Any screen capture would be fit for a magazine spread. Colors match up; the costume design is delightful; the lighting sets the tone perfectly. It is clear that every single detail was carefully considered. The film is also full of quotable lines. One line that was
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particularly memorable to me was “Sometimes awful things have their own kind of beauty”. It taught me how to think optimistically about life. Every person in the world experiences plenty of awful things such as losing jobs, friends and even family members. Sometimes things only hurt for a little bit, but a lot of the time pain can be deep and permanent. The mindset of this line proposes the positive power to help people be brave and find beauty in even the most difficult of times.
ON THE RUNWAY Autumn/Winter 2017 Fashion and Beauty Written by
For the past several weeks, fashion enthusiasts have flocked to key fashion destinations from around the world to view the newest 2017 collections up close. Fashion week has come again, and from New York to London to Milan to Paris, designers have not disappointed. In many of the Autumn/Winter 2017 collections, makeup artists stole the show with their unique and jaw–dropping designs. The makeup artistry in the Fashion Week 2017 shows partnered seamlessly with the garments themselves, incorporating a character into each look and completing the overall story of a collection. Here are three collections to keep an eye on for the season’s newest beauty trends—whether they are colorful and quirky, dark and sexy or fresh–faced and youthful. 1. Maison Margiela Fall RTW 2017 – Makeup by Pat McGrath Maison Martin Margiela debuted its A/W ‘17 Ready–to–Wear collection at Paris Fashion Week, gracing the runway with modern twists on classic silhouettes. Maison Margiela is known for breaking the typical high–fashion mold, and diverging onto a path of futuristic creativity. Creative director John Galliano’s creations for the A/W ‘17 show changed up the classic silhouettes of trench coats and gowns by including angular cutouts and intricately layered fabrics. By tying together classic garments with whimsical fabrics
and subtle accents of sporty street– style, Maison Margiela created an offbeat collection that was reminiscent of modern art in motion. From the neck up, the vibrant beauty looks were also intricate enough to tell a story of their own. Pat McGrath, perhaps the most influential makeup artist of the moment, crafted multicolored masterpieces on the models for the A/W ‘17 collection. Rainbows swirled over eyelids, flared wings were emblazoned on cheekbones and peacock feathers and threads of every color were woven into hair. The asymmetrical and imperfect application of color added a unique flair to each look. The cheeky abstract makeup look brightened up the neutral colors of the garments on every new model that sauntered down the runway. Apart from colorful additions to hair and eyes, the runway looks featured bare lips and skin, giving the impression of free–spirited concert–goers donning face paint. With makeup and hairstyles reminiscent of music festival culture, Pat McGrath’s artistry added a pop of color to the typically neutral hues of autumn couture. The painted makeup looks helped to tell the story of the collection and add a youthful twist on high fashion.
2. Yves Saint Laurent Fall RTW 2017 – Makeup by Tom Pecheux Creative director Anthony Vaccarello led out a parade of sultry, dreamy designs in the Saint Laurent A/W ‘17 Ready–to–Wear collection at Paris Fashion Week. The glamourous collection featured a sexy city–girl vibe, mixed with a retro French elegance. The models took to the runway dripping in silk, leather and short hemlines. The dark yet brilliant designs provided an edgy twist on well structured garments. Many pieces in the collection included asymmetrical hemlines and sleeves and skin– tight tailoring, all of which were paired with slouchy knee–high boots. Tom Pecheux, the newly appointed YSL global beauty director, proved to be a handsome match for the collection. With his designs, Pecheux aims to “[bring out] luxury, a creativity, but with a level of simplicity.” Fresh–face makeup was paired with naturally styled hair, evoking a delicately grungy sex–appeal. Several of the models featured smoky eyes, with slicks of charcoal pigment effortlessly streaked across their lids. Unfinished shapes and broken lines made every model look like a party girl, despite being paired with well–structured and fine tailored garments. Many of the models in edgier garments wore contrasting makeup with luminescent, flawless skin and barely–there pigments. Pecheux’s premiere collection with Saint Laurent whisked audiences into a dreamy nightlife scene. Mixing elegant designs with fresh edgy makeup created a feminine–yet–tough ensemble. The party scene at Saint Laurent A/W ‘17 was definitely one to turn heads.
3. Rochas A/W 2017 – Paris – Makeup by Lucia Pieroni Rochas brought a dash of elegance to Paris fashion week with its A/W ‘17 Ready–to–Wear collection. The line was sophisticated, debuting classically feminine vibes. The collection featured slightly retro and classic silhouettes, such as knee–length hemlines, cinched waists and double breasted coats. The garments exuded femininity through the additions of bits of lace, bows, soft pastels, high– neck blouses, florals and all things delicate. The elegant collection was spun with a modern and flashy twist to keep things fresh. Rochas took the liberty of modernizing a few classic designs by incorporating sequins and brilliant fabrics into gowns or by adding extra sheer panels to elude a sexy vibe. Another modern twist in the collection was seen with the jeweled embellishments and buckles on shoes, and gemstone encrusted “R”s on several accessories such as clutches and handbags. From full– coverage dresses to skin–baring sheer gowns, Rochas’s A/W ‘17 collection was designed to reach every type of woman of all ages. The makeup and hairstyles were perfectly crafted to showcase the elegance and femininity of the collection
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without drawing attention away from it. The hair on models was slicked back into low, loose buns, and secured with delicate hairnets and uniform black bows at the nape of the neck. The retro hairstyle was highly feminine. Paul Hanlon, the hair stylist, described the style as “sophisticated, very elegant and a bit equestrian.” Makeup artist Lucia Pieroni complemented the feminine designs with illuminating beauty choices. The looks were all about having a bright and fresh complexion, resulting in one of the most luminescent looks to be seen at Paris fashion week. The dewy flawless skin featured only a little more than a bit of highlighter and blush, and was paired with bare lips. Pieroni made the unique decision to outline the upper and lower lash lines with matte brown eyeshadow, darkening the eyes. While one might assume a brown color would make a model look dull or tired, the subtle smoky definition created a fresh, fierce look. With intensified eyes, the overall looks evoked power. Finishing the face with strong–yet–natural brows, Rochas’s A/W ‘17 collection tied beauty and couture to create an overall youthful and fresh look.
Photos by Non Kuramoto
CINEMA AND COSMETIC COLLABORATIONS Written by Shelby Robin
Collaborations in the world of beauty often grab the attention of shoppers. Whether it be with a with a celebrity (Katy Perry and CoverGirl), fashion designer (Mara Hoffman and Sephora), fine artist (Konstantin Kakanias and Nars), or something totally random (Clinique and Crayola) these mergings of two worlds will always get us curious. Who can say â€œnoâ€? when two of your loves come together and create something new?
From high end brands to drugstore brands, collaborations that we see time and time again are makeup brands partnering with Hollywood, coming out with movie themed collections that take the form of uniquely themed products. We, here at The Avenue, have compiled a brief history of cosmetic/cinematic collaborations. No matter what movie genre you love, you will find something in this list that piques your interest.
DISNEY PRINCESSES It is no surprise the genre of movie collaboration seen more often than any other is with princess movies. Princesses are known to have unworldly beauty, so it is an intuitive pairing. Spring 2017 brings the release of the new live action Beauty and the Beast starring the lovely Emma Watson, so naturally a well–received beauty collaboration has accompanied the movie. The film has collaborated with L’Oreal and rolled out seven pairs of lipstick and nail polish. Unfortunately this collaboration has only been released in Italy! We hope that it will be available worldwide soon. Beauty and the Beast x L’Oreal is far from the first of such collaborations. In 2015, MAC came out with a live action Cinderella movie collection. The makeup was in beautiful Cinderella blue packaging that will remind you of the classic dress she wore to her fateful ball. Also in 2015, Sephora came out with a second installment with their collaboration with Disney, featuring seven princesses compacts, including Elsa and Anna from Frozen. The collaboration had its start in 2013, with the release of eyeshadow pallets, perfumes, and more all inspired by Disney princesses. Honorary princess, Alice from Alice in Wonderland, has also found herself falling into the world of cosmetics, with Alice Through the Looking Glass x Urban Decay makeup collection in 2016. This was a highly publicized collaboration, with absolutely stunning makeup packaging, featuring a pop–up butterfly in eyeshadow palette. Definitely this collaboration was one of the most successful of its kind.
DISTOPIAN SOCIETY If Disney princess movies are not for you, no need to fret! It is not the only film genre that collaborates with beauty brands. On the other end of the spectrum, blockbuster hits about dystopian societies such as The Hunger Games and Divergent have also come out with cosmetic collaborations. And these collaborations are not limited to high end makeup, they can also be found at drugstores. The Hunger Games collaboration with CoverGirl that came out in 2013 featured twelve different makeup looks, each one inspired by one of the twelve districts at a very affordable price tag. This is a great example of a makeup company that benefited from the huge popularity of a movie franchise. Divergent is a second example of a dystopian society movie made makeup collection, which came out in 2014, was in collaboration with Sephora. It featured lipglosses, a makeup brush, and a beautiful eye shadow palette. Dystopian societies and makeâ€“up may not seem like a perfect fit, but these companies were able to make it work by be taking inspiration from popular franchises.
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Some movies are classics for a reason, and occasionally cosmetic companies pull inspiration from the past by pairing up with one of these old goodies for a collection that reminds you of these long time favorites. In 2014 MAC came out with a collection inspired by The Rocky Horror Picture Show, almost 40 years after this iconic movie made its debut. The collection included (of course) four shades of red lipstick, as well as plethora of other fun products, such as glitter pigments and some eyeshadow palettes. Any minor or serious fan of this movie could enjoy the spirit of The Rocky Horror Picture Show that was infused into this collection. Another collection inspired by a cult classic is Urban Decayâ€™s Pulp Fiction inspired makeup that came out a decade after the movie. Anyone who knows the spirit of Pulp Fiction would agree that this partnership fits the vibes of Urban Decay perfectly. The products in this small collection included an eyeshadow palette and a few lip products that screamed Mia Wallace were sure to catch the eye of any Pulp Fiction fan. Not all beauty collaborations fit into those three categories. Some other movies that cosmetics companies have collaborated with include Wonder Woman, 50 Shades of Grey and The Muppet movie. There have been some questionable collaborations that leave us asking why. MAC, who does multiple collaborations a year, has a few flops in their history, such as their partnerships with The Simpsons, and the animated movie Trolls. But, when companies do select the right movie, these collaborations can be a success. Movies are a method of exploring new worlds similar to how makeup allows people to explore their identities. Also, within the movie industry, makeup can play a big part in creating iconic characters, and adding the overall cinematic appeal of a film.
Written by Non Kuramoto Illustrated by Natasha Bonfield
“Do we need more stories by straight white men about straight white men?” Has been a question I have been asking myself recently and my answer is increasingly leaning towards: No. Our lives and histories have been inundated with the cis–white–male narrative, and I am tired of hearing about it. There are so many more voices to be heard and stories to be told. Women have especially gotten the short end of the the literary stick (and every other stick) throughout history. Here are some awesome literary works by women, who despite how much society told her that no one cares about her opinions, got their pens and paper out to shed some light onto their world and shared their wisdom with us.
THE LITTLE FOXES Lillian Hellman Lillian Hellman was angry. An angry woman is not well liked; they were especially disliked in 1939 when it was published. But she could not care less about her likeability. She was angry about the state of the world and owned it. Considered one of the first important female playwrights in American theatre history, Hellman infused her rage into plays like The Little Foxes. Centered around the money and power–hungry Hubbard family, the play exposes the audience to the effect of greed, questions about whether women have to play men’s games to win, ultimately making us wonder: do we live in a world that is owned by the Hubbards? The Little Foxes is being revived on Broadway this season starring Laura Linney and Cynthia Nixon.
BAD FEMINIST: ESSAYS Roxane Gay Roxane Gray’s smart, incisive voice is refreshing and invigorating. She interweaves pop–culture and her life experiences to deconstruct being a feminist while also loving things that could be considered ‘unfeminist.’ The series of essays is divided into five sections: Me, Gender & Sexuality, Race & Entertainment, Politics, Gender & Race and Back to Me. She covers topics from “The Careless Language of Sexual Violence” to “The Morality of Tyler Perry.” She grapples with themes and questions that women, especially those of color, are forced to face and stand up against every day. Gray encourages us to reexamine the implication of mass media culture and how it affects the definition of “feminism.”
WE’RE GONNA DIE Young Jean Lee In her one woman play, Young Jean Lee reminds us of a simple truth: We are going to die. We’re Gonna Die, told in a series of vignettes and songs, examines painful truths about being human. No subject is too sacred for Lee; She talks about loneliness, heartbreak, aging and all of the fears we have about addressing and accepting those things as part of our life. But Lee also instills in us a sense of comfort and hope. Her underlying message is that we are all in this together. There is a strength in understanding that the struggles of humanity is universal, and nobody is alone. She argues that death is not something that should be feared. In Lee’s eyes, death is another part of life that we can find a way to make peace with. An audio version of We’re Gonna Die, narrated by Adam Horovitz, Kathleen Hanna and more is available on Spotify.
THIS BRIDGE CALLED MY BACK: WRITINGS BY RADICAL WOMEN OF COLOR Cherríe Moraga and Gloria E. Anzaldúa This anthology, edited by Cherríe Moraga and Gloria E. Anzaldúa, was first published in 1981 and laid the foundation for third wave feminism. The collection of writings by feminists of all backgrounds was created to push back against second wave feminism ideas (often characterized as being a whitewashed feminist movement), and to call attention to intersectionality. The various contributors brought in race, class and sexuality into the framework of feminism, and sought to open people’s eyes up to a greater definition of feminism. Almost forty years since its original publication, the ideas explored in this book is more relevant than ever.
FUN HOME Alison Bechdel Alison Bechdel may be most well known for introducing what is now widely known as the “Bechdel Test.” The test asks if a work of fiction has 1) at least two female characters, 2) who talk to each other, 3) about something besides a man. The author of the comic strip, Dykes to Watch Out For, delves into her childhood and youth in her memoir Fun Home. The graphic memoir focuses on her relationship with her father. It uncovers themes of sexuality, domestic abuse, suicide, gender roles and dysfunctional families. Bechdel’s wit, illustrations and storytelling ability makes this heart wrenching story incredibly memorable. A coming–to–terms story, Fun Home is a beautiful exploration of how people who live under the same roof, but not entirely in the same sphere as each other, must tackle the difficulties of being true to their own identity. Fun Home was adapted into a musical and won a Tony for Best Musical in 2015.
THE HANDMAID’S TALE Margaret Atwood This dystopian novel in which all of women’s rights and mobility are taken away, is terrifying because it doesn’t seem completely unrealistic anymore. Told from the perspective of Offred, a “Handmaid,” whose sole function of existence is to reproduce, The Handmaid’s Tale offers a pretty bleak view of the near future. It covers various topics that are still concerns, from government surveillance, women’s rights, and victim shaming in situations where women have been taken advantage of. But Offred’s unwillingness to buy into the government as she learns its secrets, no matter how many ways they try to oppress her, is a good spirit for us to hold onto. A TV adaptation of The Handmaid’s Tale is set to premiere on Hulu on April 26, 2017, starring Elisabeth Moss as Offred.
Filmmakers With Distinct Styles
What Makes Their Work So
Written by Kiley Choi Photos by Lindis Barry
In films it is standard for the storyline and plot details to be portrayed through direct actions and dialogue. Looking past these obvious, surface–level aspects, however, there is so much more that goes into our perception and experience of a film. From emotional response and psychological pleasure to characterization and mood– building, directors must take into account every facet of the visual and auditory senses when creating their work.
One of the most important and influential decisions filmmakers are faced with when directing a movie are the costumes their characters wear. Usually, key aspects of a character’s personality are expressed through their fashion choices, as is the case with people in real life. Fashion has always been a means of creating a first and lasting impression in people’s minds and communicating a specific identity or image.
Components such as lighting, wardrobe, soundtrack, camera perspective and colors influence our viewing experience more than we may realize. Skilled filmmakers understand this and take care to create harmony between these components and the mood, character and plot they are trying to convey. Filmmakers who are even more skilled do not only take the complete audience experience into account; they add their own personal flare and motifs to every cinematic detail they touch. Making such personalized films goes beyond just creating cohesiveness in a single film; it establishes a specific aesthetic that exists throughout a director’s entire body of work.
Filmmakers Wes Anderson, Quentin Tarantino, Sofia Coppola, Stanley Kubrick and Martin Scorsese are some of the best in the business at adding their distinctive style to each movie they produce. Through their use of clothing, each director enriches their films with an added element of storytelling and often influences fashion trends and movements in the real world simultaneously.
Popular films: The Grand Budapest Hotel, Moonrise Kingdom, The Royal Tenenbaums The master of color schemes, Wes Anderson never disappoints with his carefully selected and arranged sets. Each film seems to be dipped in its own color palette: the warm tones of The Royal Tenenbaums, the soft pastel colors mixed with dashes of primary colors in The Grand Budapest Hotel and the faded primary colors of Moonrise Kingdom, to name a few. Anderson’s films often feature main characters who are outcasts; this aspect of their characterization is reinforced by his out–of–place wardrobe choices. Margot’s fur coat in The Royal Tenenbaums is a perfect example of this. It separates her from the rest of the characters, highlighting her identity as the adopted child. Her fur coat can also be seen as a symbol of secrecy and protection, which coincides with her enigmatic personality and the hidden feelings she harbors for her brother. At the same time, her brother Richie’s sunglasses parallel this characteristic of secrecy, as he is hiding romantic feelings for Margot as well. In The Darjeeling Limited, the Whitman brothers’ elegant suits provide a stark contrast against the setting of India. The suits are representative of their high status, apathy and vanity. Additionally, in Moonrise Kingdom, Suzy Bishop’s retro high socks, beret, pastel–pink collared dress and eyeshadow identifies her as a young girl dealing with more mature issues, such as sexual desires or independence. Through his careful styling, Anderson successfully communicates the major traits of each of his characters, all the while supplying the world with some iconic looks.
Stanley Kubrick Popular movies: Eyes Wide Shut, A Clockwork Orange, The Shining, Full Metal Jacket, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Dr. Strangelove Although the late Stanley Kubrick made films that cover a wide variety of genres, he was still a filmmaker with one of the most distinctive styles to date. Many of his films dealt with the dark side of human nature, particularly dehumanization and psychological deterioration, which can be seen in his works Eyes Wide Shut, A Clockwork Orange, The Shining, Full Metal Jacket, and 2001: A Space Odyssey. His themes were portrayed well through his costumes, most notably through the use of strange masks and robes in Eyes Wide Shut. These peculiar ensembles (styled by past Vogue editor Marit Allen) were mirrored by the normal dresses and suits that the characters wore during the day, creating a contrast between reality and fantasy, restraint and freedom and light and dark. Alex’s iconic costume in A Clockwork Orange consisted of a white shirt and pants, a bowler hat, a cane, military boots, suspenders, a jock strap and false lashes for one eye. This look was off–putting and ironic, and it has inspired lines by designers such as Chitose Abe and Marjan Pejoski. Additionally, the costumes of The Shining expressed the identities of the characters, from Danny’s vibrant sweaters to Jack’s more drab look. The film has inspired pieces in a collection by Stuart Vevers for Coach as well as Alexander McQueen’s entire Fall 1999 show. Kubrick had a devotion to creating each film to be unlike anything the audience had seen before. He continually pushed the boundaries of controversial topics such as sanity and sexuality, and he meticulously planned for his costumes to be representative of these themes as well.
Quentin Tarantino Popular movies: Pulp Fiction, Kill Bill (I and II), The Hateful Eight, Django Unchained, Inglourious Basterds, Reservoir Dogs Quentin Tarantino’s films can be described as nothing less than over–the–top, humorous, and dangerously chaotic. Ironically, though, Tarantino creates this trademark out–of– control mood through very controlled style and aesthetic choices. A large contributor is his use of a wealth of different style influences in his films—anything from Westerns to kung fu movies—as well as his unrestricted use of vulgarity and violence. Tarantino distinguishes his characters from those in other movies through the use of simple yet iconic clothing and hairstyles. He does not shoot for subtlety in any aspect of his movies, including wardrobe; he instead focuses on exaggerated, memorable clothing that simplifies the character to a more general identity while still making a lasting impression. Some of the best examples that immediately come to mind are Mia Wallace in Pulp Fiction, O–Ren Ishii in Kill Bill, and the gangster team in Reservoir Dogs. Mia pulled off what has now become quite an iconic look: white blouse, black dress pants, cropped black bob and red lipstick. The sharp contrasts in this look, its lack of embellishments, and its similarity to the clothing of Jules and Vincent represent both her position of power in the film as Marcellus’s wife and her ability to exercise this power.
Similarly, O–Ren Ishii’s costume is representative of her power. Ishii wears both a black kimono and a white kimono—both compliment her swords— the simplest image of a (half ) Japanese past–assassin, current–mob–member. Finally, the classic black and white suits of the heist gang in Reservoir Dogs became one of the most iconic gangster looks of the ‘90s. Their attire represented their identities in its inherent irony; the gangsters are wearing a sort of costume to hide their true occupation. It is apparent that Tarantino’s costumes are not simply decorative; they are an integral part of the identity of each character. All of these fashion choices combined with all of Tarantino’s other stylistic choices create a film noir body of work characterized by chaos. This chaos, in turn, helps to reinforce his common theme of revenge and creates an impactful and distinct viewer experience.
Sofia Coppola Popular movies: The Virgin Suicides, Lost in Translation, Marie Antoinette, Somewhere Sofia Coppola is known for her nostalgic and dreamlike cinematography. On top of having her own killer fashion sense, the wardrobe styles in her films have been influential to the fashion world as well. The most notable Coppola film in terms of wardrobe is her debut movie, The Virgin Suicides. The clothing she chose for the Lisbon sisters feels like an authentic representation of the ‘70s, including lace dresses, florals and bandeau tops. This wardrobe characterizes the Lisbons as innocent but also rebellious; by dressing in this manner, they defy their conservative parents, while also emanating an air of femininity and naiveté. The sisters spurred an off–screen fashion movement that brought back the retro styles of the ‘70s and inspired pieces by Rodarte and Marc Jacobs (e.g. Jacobs’s Daisy campaign which was made in collaboration with Coppola). In her film Lost in Translation, Coppola’s use of pink wigs and lingerie contribute to her classic dreamy aesthetic. In Marie Antoinette, Coppola included extravagant and bold 18th century dresses, which, in Marie Antoinette’s case, comes off to reveal vulnerability in the form of elegant white knee–socks with baby blue ribbons. Sofia Coppola is a master of using costumes not only to express the identity of her characters, but also to establish the overall light and nostalgic aesthetic she has become famous for.
Martin Scorsese Popular movies: The Departed, Goodfellas, Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, The Wolf of Wall Street, Shutter Island, Mean Streets Martin Scorsese’s own life and perspectives influenced his films and their style heavily. His own struggle with drug problems are reflected in his movies, which usually contained gangsters, drugs, fame, greed and corruption. Similar to Kubrick, Scorsese uses dark humor in his films to strengthen the theme of human nature’s dark side. Like Tarantino, Scorsese uses violence in his films. The filmmaker’s costume choices contribute to the gritty,almost ominous quality of many of his films, and have influenced fashion trends over the years. In Taxi Driver, Travis Bickle’s edgy look of distressed jeans, a western shirt and M–65 jacket was readily adopted by fans and was slightly reminiscent of Woodstock days. The double–breasted, deep–collared suits of Goodfellas started trends in urban areas of America during the ‘90s. These suits, as well as the Armani suits worn by Jordan Belfort in The Wolf of Wall Street, represent the characters’ entitlement and greed for wealth and power.
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Northeastern University's Fashion Magazine, The Avenue - Storytelling Issue