Friday, October 19, 2012

Fashion in Films: Hitchcock and Grace Kelly

     Today kicks off the first day of 13 Days of Halloween! Oh how I love Halloween. I love everything about this time of the year. From carving pumpkins to putting together a one-of-a-kind costume, this holiday calls for tradition. Although, I have to admit that when it comes to the mandated horror movies that this day requires, I'm not a very big fan of the typical blood and guts horror movie (or Paranormal Activity. F#&K that movie. I couldn't sleep for months.) Aside from The Addams Family (which, let's face it, doesn't really count as horror but is definitely Halloween appropriate) the most adventurous that I get with movies this time of the year is It's a Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown. That is until I discovered the films of Alfred Hitchcock. I prefer the old school suspense and poor special effects. With the exception of the classic movie, Psycho, I personally think that the best Hitchcock films are the ones starring Grace Kelly: Dial M for Murder (1954), Rear Window (1954), To Catch a Thief (1955) -- all of which are featured in my annual list of Halloween movies . And yes, of course my opinion is completely biased. Any movie that combines the 50s, white gloves, Grace Kelly, and the talent of costume designer, Edith Head, becomes more of a fashion film to me than a classic Halloween appropriate thriller. Except for Dial M for Murder (Moss Mabry), Edith Head created all of the iconic looks for Rear Window and to Catch a Thief

     So this Halloween, if you're easily frightened and blood makes you squeamish (bonus points if you appreciate costume design in films and love fashion) I suggest looking into these three films. For a Stylist Fashion Blog-Hitchcock synopsis read below: 

(1) Dial M for Murder 
Plot: Husband (Ray Milland) discovers wife (Grace Kelly) guilty of infidelity and black mails another man to have her killed but murder plans not executed as planned. 
Watch out for: The red lace dress in one of the opening scenes with the full A-line midi skirt, sweetheart neckline, and 3/4 sleeves. 

(2) Rear Window
Plot: Photographer (James Stewart) stranded at home because of a broken leg witnesses suspected scenes of murder through the window of his New York City apartment and pieces it together with socialite and fashion savvy girlfriend (Grace Kelly.)
Watch out for
- The entrance scene of Grace Kelly in the black and white dress with deep V scoop neck (front and back) and full chiffon skirt. 
- Three piece pistachio green suit (with white halter dress shirt) and pillbox hat complete with a mesh veil. 
- Black dress ensemble with sheer shoulders and belted waist. 
- Brocade dress with full A-line skirt. 

(3) To Catch a Thief 
Plot: Reformed jewel thief (Cary Grant) suspected of returning to his old ways, meets the beautiful and rich Frances Stevens (Grace Kelly), but soon proves his innocence. 
Watch out for
- Grecian dress with delicate thin straps in varying colors of blue and sashays of light chiffon. 
- White strapless dress with sweetheart neckline and bandage-like strip detail in the bodice. 

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