Sixties Chic

Jeri notes the difficulty of identifying the time period of The Way We Were. Not because it was timeless but because the era in which it was made overpowers the era that was meant to be evoked:

It wasn’t until the day of FDR’s death that I found out we were in the 40s, and I was surprised, especially considering Barbara Streiand’s very 70s makeup and the distinctly 70s look to all of Redford’s clothing.

It occurred to me last week, while I was watching the original Thomas Crowne Affair for the first time, that one of the reasons films from the 60s hold up so well is that it was the last decade in which the clothing still looks as good now as it did then. And yet you can tell even the style of Thomas Crowne is approaching the end of that decade. From about 1970 onwards the clothing became too trendy, leaving the movies visually dated. The same is true of the oversized 80s and the return to flared collars in the 90s. It’s still naturally impossible for us to tell the degree to which this decade’s movies are slaves to trends.

The style of the 60s was still classic enough that it has a wonderfully timeless quality. But what would a new movie made to look like it was made in the 60s look like? That seems to be the intent of Michael Radford in his new heist picture Flawless. I’m not sure why he casted Demi Moore to play an Englishwoman while there are plenty of his fellow countrywomen to choose from, but I can understand why she’d take the role. She hasn’t had a good one in ten years, if ever. But Moore does have an icy look, like a brunette Tippi Hedren, and Radford may be after a Hitchcockian vibe. At any rate Michael Caine is enough to get me in the door.

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4 thoughts on “Sixties Chic

  1. […] bookmarks tagged demi moore Sixties Chic saved by 11 others     GalassozGurl bookmarked on 02/16/08 | […]

  2. Amanda Mae says:

    I contend that you can almost always tell the decade of the film from several things, even really well done hair and make up, and constuming I can usually still place it within one or two years. This is partially due to just the natural effect that a time period has on the art produced within it, and costumes are always a bit modern even if they don’t mean to be.

  3. Amanda Mae says:

    Oh, and I very much love The Way We Were.

  4. Nobody says:

    It’s true you can identify movies from the 60s instantly, perhaps due to filmstock and as much as costumes and camera movement (unwieldy insta-zooms being my bete noir of 70s cinema). But I think the cuts of men’s and women’s clothing in the 60s have a minimalist quality, eschewing excessive flourishes, which produces a look that is elemental, basic and, though not invisible, less distracting than earlier or later eras. (But maybe that says more about my own style preferences than about the 60s.)

    Perhaps to those in the 70s, 60s fashion looked as traditional as the 50s. In some ways perhaps more traditional, as “the elements of style” (to borrow from another art) were being trimmed down to their essence. Admittedly I’m ignoring hippie style of the late 60s, and perhaps the early 60s should be regarded more as a extension, even refinement, of the 50s anyway.

    Admittedly I’m speaking as an amateur whose impressions are derived primarily from the artifices of cinema rather than more spontaneous documents of the era.

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