Midnight in Paris: 1920s chic

Woody Allen’s latest film Midnight in Paris gives me nostalgia for past fashion eras, in particular, the 1920s. Being a lover of 1920s prohibition drama Boardwalk Empire I am forever lusting over the beaded flapper dressers and stunning antique jewellery, so I was happy to see similar costume in Midnight in Paris. 

If you’re not familiar with the plot, the film is based around Gil (Owen Wilson) a Hollywood screenwriter (obviously, resembling Woody Allen during this time) who is faced with relationship troubles and is transported through different eras at the stroke of midnight while holidaying in Paris.

It’s hard not be completely in awe of the costumes back then, especially if worn by famous literary author’s such as F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway, as well as legendary artist Pablo Picasso. The stylish three-piece-suits and stunning evening dresses represent the characters well, they are true artists and living legends – you wouldn’t expect anything less than luxury.

Gil himself is very Woody Allen inspired in his costume – the tweed jackets, loose-fitting white shirts, smart fitting trousers and a chunky belt – all he needs is some chunky framed glasses and he would resemble him completely.

The two women in Gil’s life during Midnight in Paris are completely opposite to each other, not surprisingly due to one being from the 1920s and the other his fiancée of the present day, 2010.

One is Picasso’s mistress Adriana (Marion Cotillard) who is ultra feminine, elegant and glamorous. Her wardrobe is a dream – vintage dresses with extraordinary beaded detail, unusual accessories, in particular the watercolour design bag with subtle fringe detail shown above which you would imagine to have just a matte lipstick and gold compact mirror inside.

Ines (Rachel McAdams) on the other hand is very different. She has a classic European look to her style – very travel inspired and classy. McAdams was draped in designers such as Chanel, Dior and Hermes (all French designers) for the role and I’ve already seen a noticeable amount of film lovers complimenting the above white shirt and belt combination – could this be a hot spring/summer look in 2012?

A few more shots from the film:

Midnight in Paris is available on DVD now.

1960s Paris

Oh how I dream of going to Paris… it’s so close to London but I am still yet to see the city that looks so beautiful in photos. I plan to escape to there this summer to eat macaroons, drink wine and explore. If there ever were a film that made me want to go to Paris even more so, it’s An Education. Which girl wouldn’t want to be whisked away to the French city, spoilt with dresses and taken to fancy restaurants?

Jenny Mellor is a 16-year-old school girl living in London in the 60s … my favourite era – it’s no wonder I fell in love with the film when I first watched it. A clever girl – she is headed for Oxford University but after her cello is offered a lift home by a stranger in a burgundy Bristol 405 car, her planned our future leads to a marriage proposal from the strange man (David) who is much older.

I certainly do not remember looking this stylish at school – a burgundy waist belt, mid length skirt and a tartan patterned bag, paired with her 60s hair cut shows Jenny (played by Carey Mulligan – LOVE her!) had an interest in fashion, even while wearing her school uniform.

Costume designer Odile Dicks-Mireaux certainly knew what she was doing – the whole film is filled with fabulous outfits, from both the men and the women (or maybe girl is more appropriate for Jenny) – from leopard print coats to floral tailored dresses the characters are super stylish and we see a huge transformation in young Jenny.

The above dress is very ballerina like – the ultra femininity is caused by the splash of red on an otherwise simple, plain dress and drapes Jenny’s petite frame with class and gracefulness. Oh how I wish I could own it. Dicks-Mireaux sourced the entire wardrobe apart from a few suits for the men which were purchased from vintage dealers and costume houses. The costume designer also relied on books of the era’s pop stars, as well as photographs of her assistant’s mum who was a teen in 1961 – the same year the film is based on.

The book in which the film is based on An Education by Lynn Barber is about her first boyfriend and was then adapted by author Nick Hornby for screen. Taken Jenny under her wing, Helen (Rosamund Pike) gives her a makeover which is a far cry from her school girl attire – the leather gloves, black shift dress, stylish cream swing coat and leopard print pillbox hat we see in the above image recreates a picture of elegance.

A vulnerable moment for Jenny in the film – yet one of my most favourite outfits in the film – the golden toned embellishments in the dress and the glimmer in the matching clutch purse warm Mulligans pale skin tone and the reds in the lipstick and nail varnish make her look older than her years – so very sophisticated and so very Audery Helpburn like.

Watch the trailer for An Education below.

What’s your favourite era in fashion? What are your thoughts on An Education? 


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