Having grown up with a grandfather working as a producer on films during the golden age, the notion of old glamour is one that my eye is inherently drawn to; the world of the beau monde – starlets, big gowns, jewels and a red lip gave me my first insight into the transformative power of clothing and its ability to capture a persona. From Marlene Dietrich – the first woman to wear a tux (at the time, she could have gone to jail for it) and whom went onto influence YSL’s ‘Le Smoking’ collection to the liberation defined by Bardot and her fellow French muses; these women embodied strength and empowerment ahead of their eras.
As we live in times of visual over saturation and stimulation, as the speed and turnover of fashion has become so excessive that designers and luxury houses need to keep looking elsewhere for content, the last few seasons have seen a return to seminal film references: Virginie Viard’s debut RTW collection for Chanel SS20 took influence from French New Wave cinema; Christopher Kane segued sexual symbolism through Pre-AW’19 via Marilyn Monroe, whilst Molly Goddard became a global name through the screen dressing Killing Eve’s psychopath assassin, Villanelle.
As 2020’s award season begins, it continues to highlight not only the powerful gaze of the red carpet but the symbiosis between fashion and film glamour. With this in mind, I referenced seminal screen moments and borrowed pieces from MY WARDROBE HQ to show how they could work, whatever your generation.
Davina Catt is a writer, director and model and has featured in Vogue, FT and is a contributing editor at Interview and Violet.