For avid Turner Classic Movies watchers, the month of November is dedicated to film noir, and it goes by the punny name Noirvember. We all love the gritty, interesting stories, but the costumes are a dream as well.
Today, on the very last day of Noirvember, I'm squeezing in one last post. So much ink has been spilled about the wardrobe choices of our favorite femme fatales and rightfully so. Their dress can be a weapon or a means of disguise. And even though they tend to leave a destruction in their paths, they're so fabulous, you can sort of forgive them.They have so much to teach us, so I'm compiling it here. Take note, ladies!
|Incidentally, I've been searching Etsy for a vintage anklet for some time|
Silhouette is very important. The femme fatale is marked by a pronounced silhouette, a waist pulled way in for a dramatic hourglass. Rita Hayworth's Gilda is a perfect example.
Black is anything but basic. We know how important contrast and shadows are to the film noir aesthetic. Black costumes enhanced that while also saying these characters are dangerous and sexual. Gilda and that dress on Ava Gardner in "The Killers" are the examples that spring to mind, but really, what femme fatale didn't appear onscreen in at least one black ensemble?
And who can forget Lana Turner's white ensemble in "The Postman Always Rings Twice"? She's is a vision in white as she throws herself on the mercy of her lover. (For an extended discussion of Lana's nearly all-white wardrobe in the film, check out this post from GlamAmor.)
Sheers are perfectly suggestive. The first time we see Rita Hayworth in "Gilda" she's following the previous femme fatale style rule, a little bit of shoulder, and her sheer peignoir is a gauzy dream. The fact that we only see Gilda from the shoulders up leads me to believe she's actually naked, or mostly naked, under her nightie.
So, there you have it. Rules for dressing from some of the most poisonous, wicked and interesting female characters on film.
(Originally posted on Pop-o-matic Deluxe)