Whenever I need an inspiration for color in fashion, I always revisit my beloved movie ‘Down with Love’. This frivolously delicious and hilarious movie, starring Rennee Zellweger and Ewan McGregor, has itself become a bit of a vintage movie. It is a spoof on the Doris Day and Rock Hudson comedies of the 60s.
The bubbly blonde and the dark, handsome guy, with the ‘girl trying to work hard to get somewhere’ kind of story line. It certainly makes a very deserving ‘chick flick’, perfect for a rainy Sunday afternoon. However, the main attractions for me are the costumes. Make no mistake, this is certainly forward thinking in terms of the whole vintage thing. I guess the craze about ‘Mad Men’ really started with this movie.
The costumes were designed by Daniel Orlandi. I am extremely impressed with the fact that it had no real vintage clothing at all. All of the costumes were complete re-designs, fitted and turned into the funny colorful feast of a movie. The whole movie is a nonstop extravaganza of fashion display, overloaded with rainbow colors, beautiful fabrics, and matching outfits. I adore the ensemble of a pink and white wool jacket, over a super-fitted wool dress, matching the color of the jacket and topped with a pair of white gloves for style.
Daniel Orlandi must have read all the magazines from the years 62-67 to draw his inspirations for the movie. “We didn’t want to use vintage clothes on Renee, or any of the other principals, because we didn’t want it to look shabby,” says Orlandi, who instead used vintage fabric for many of his designs. “We wanted the clothes to seem fun and surprising, not campy.”
It definitely does not look ‘thrift shop’, in fact the cut and fit for both actors are simply amazing. Apparently, he intentionally designed the garments with lots of vibrant colors, even though they were not traditional colors for a blonde. I think the bright colors agreed with Renee very well, reflecting on her character and the comedy plot. The riot of colors, lavender, lime, fuchsia, snow-white, magenta and ice blue are certainly a feast for the eyes.
Don’t be afraid to copy the fashion of this movie though. All the expertly matched outfits, certainly put all of us who wear a GAP tee shirt and jeans to shame. We could always lighten ourselves up with a brightly colored scarf, a fitted dress with neat tucking details, or a pair of snazzy pumps. We should never be afraid of color, after all we can still wear the classic black coat. Get out there and wear those color and treat your friends to a colorful feast.