Have you ever seen a movie or tv program, seen an outfit or piece of clothing and thought to yourself ‘if only I had that!’ Or ‘That’s soo gorgeous!’
None of the films or tv programs in the series of blogs I’m writing were about fashion, nor were they trendsetters; they did however feature exquisite garments and showed individuality whilst being stylish. There’ll be no mention of iconic flicks like Breakfast at Tiffany’s, so-called cult classics like Clueless or new benchmarks like The Devil Wears Prada in this list, the ones featured were usually underrated or so bad/funny fashion-wise that they were good.
To start – Star! – (1968) Featuring Julie Andrews, a biography where she portrayed the legendary stage actress Gertrude Lawrence.
To note – there are literally TONS of outfits in this film, I can only imagine how much of the budget was allocated to wardrobe and how much time and effort it must have taken to make all of the costumes! I’ve posted a selection here based on what I consider to be the most appealing and what I could get pics of. I noticed that many of the outfits were what we would nowadays consider mismatched in prints and colours and I’ve left the most mismatched pieces out though I believe they could have looked nice had they been re-arranged.
Ok on to the pics!
In the first 3min we see Ms. Andrews in a gorgeously feminine and flatteringly constructed skirt suit. The colours might not be to everyone’s taste, but I think this elegant suit could work in many colours and the Black collar is very sophisticated.
I personally prefer longer skirt and jacket/coat suits to the modern short versions which can look like you’re not wearing a skirt at all when worn with an over coat/jaket and hence tacky. These longer versions are not only flattering to different body shapes, they can elongate your height and add gravitas to your image – you can’t say that about mini skirt to work, unless it’s an unconventional workplace.
This stunning outfit would be at home on any catwalk even today, it’s timeless yet distinctive. I prefer it in a solid colour but the shaping is beautiful.
I love this coat, it’s sumptuous and just epitomises glamour. I’d choose faux fur though.
An extremely elegant yet extravagant gown but impractical with the long sides, not one to dance in but to walk around/mingle and sit and look gorgeous in it’d work.
I LOVE this outfit, it’s exotic and enticing. I also like the idea of wearing Gold shoes. I don’t know if this outfit was made of metallic thread or softer Lamé, any ideas?
This is a very classy kimono style coat, who wouldn’t look stunning in that?
What a phenomenal outfit! Here we see Ms. Lawrence (Julie) after she had been fired from her a stage job and managed to get a job as a luxury model. The silver suit is a gorgeous subtle shade which matches the slinky fabric giving it a shimmery look and looked awesome as she moved, and topped off with that coat made the outfit heavenly looking – definitely a moonlight outfit.
Here we see Ms. Lawrence back in her element on stage. She was playing a male character in oversize clothing but still, wouldn’t you like to see men more elegantly dressed nowadays? I don’t mean all the time, but seriously, it would be nice to see more dapper evening wear instead of jeans/skinny jeans and casual clothing worn all the time and just dressed up with accessories or a smart shirt or blazer to transform a regular outfit into going out clothes. Smart/casual wear has its place but it’s not as attractive or romantic as classic, flattering, well cut clothing. Also, such clothing if well made and in neutral colours can be versatile and last a long time so it doesn’t have to cost a fortune to look sharp (without looking smarmy or greasy I hasten to add because a lot of high earners look like that in their nice suits though it’s better to actually not be sleazy or cocky of course).
This is a gorgeously sophisticated Red coat with high collar, it looks warm and comfortable. I can see why she wore Gold gloves with it, the theme of luxury, royalty and star glamour, combined with a Gold dress underneath (and probably shoes) but I would advise against it. Red/Gold is a fantastic combination but in different combinations/amounts.
Why is it that suits (with the exception of very expensive ones and church suits) are so boring nowadays? They’re mostly one colour, loose fitted and with little shape. Now I’m not hankering after the power suits of the 80’s though at least they had character and distinctiveness (remove the shoulder pads ahem) but I do wistfully think of something more feminine and beautiful whenever I’m looking for a new suit. Cookie cutter suits have had their day imo, they might be fine for work but because of their drab lack of style, they’re not great to wear everywhere anymore. Suits are expensive, it doesn’t matter how plain they are, if they’re decently made they’ll be £100 minimum so why the hell can’t we wear them for more than just work without looking non-descript? We should be able to wear our suits to work, travelling or going out and look like we stepped out of a catalogue.
Now we can only see the top of her suit here but that’s enough to show it has style and personality – it may not everyone’s favourite colour, but that’s variable and the shaping and design is exquisite and again, the lack trim gives it class. The bow of her shirt happily compliments and her hat (sans the feather and pointed top) is the perfect topper as it gives height and suits her slender face. Hats are another thing – good millinery = good investment. Not many are needed, but the right ones can add to any outfit.
This is a beautiful, dainty dress with good sweep and movement. It’s light in both colour and fabric, calf length and chic. Julie Andrews was always slender, non-curvy and tall so wearing pleats, especially thin ones wasn’t a problem for her and as with everything else she wore this number gracefully and attractively. However, the beauty of this style of dress is that because of it’s length and fabric it would look good on a variety of body shapes and would accentuate the waist/hips. I’d personally wear it without the handkerchief but it was a great idea as an accessory and added a touch of colour to the neutral outfit.
Another great jacket/blazer and hat (as part of a skirt suit) with a highlighting contrast in the matching blouse/scarf and gloves – great complimentary and stylish dressing.
Now these aren’t everyday wear obviously but I just had to give them a mention as I find them so desirable and gorgeous! She wore this as part of a theatre show and must of had fun in it!
This is a gorgeous, well fitted jacket/coat which would look well over many outfits and with a variety of accessories.
Now this is what a leopard print coat should look like. Leopard print and animal prints in general are classic and are one of the trends that repeats in the cycles of fashion but they are temperamental and depending on how they are used bounce between show stopping glamour and tackiness. Leopard print has been taking its due again in the last couple of years and I’ve seen plenty of coats and jackets use it but I’ve barely liked any of them. Why is it that almost everything with leopard is either shapeless or too skimpy? Most of the fashionable jackets and coats are oversized or have no fit, they just fall. That’s a mis-use or just lack of use of this great pattern imo. Vintage jackets/coats on the other hand were designed better, they either had a good cut or were roomy/swing style but with a trim and/or collar that balanced the shape. As said before, Ms. Andrews was tall and thin and yet this coat made her look curvy – good design should accentuate and enhance, not look bulky or baggy.
Again, this isn’t the most appealing or wearable colour scheme but the detail is noteworthy. Her suit fits her well without being tight, the collar stands out, the brocade is smart but still has flair and the blouse she’s wearing has a unique collar too.
I’m not a fan of the pattern on the skirt or the shade of Green but with a little alteration or modernisation this suit could really work as a modern Spring/Summer suit. It’s has a light, delicate feel to it and is perfectly smart. The skirt could easily be made more into a pencil shape and the scarf really sets the top half off whilst pulling the outfit together in regards to the colours used.
This outfit demonstrates more good use of contrasting colours that are balanced/pulled together well overall by having the the top accessory (in this case a scarf) and bottom parts of the outfit in the same colour with a contrasting midriff. Colour blocking doesn’t have to be horizontally linear like this but it helps to accentuate the bust/waist/hip shape on slender or straighter body shapes whereas vertical lines are better on bigger or curvy body shapes.
This blazer/jacket was part of a skirt suit, it’s not one I’m particularly fond of but it’s a good example of how a jacket can be unflattering. As shown in previous pictures, she wore plenty of stylishly cut and designed jackets, but this one took the interesting things of the form outfits and took them a bit too far imo. This could have been a beautiful suit but the there’s a lack of fit and a slope to the shoulders; the brocade is over powering but could have worked had the jacket been a bit shorter. The length and lack of nipping at the waist makes, in addition to the colour combination ages her even though it’s bright and has the basic idea of a good suit (that length is better on bigger figures). That said, the scene pictured was a very conservative one where she probably wanted to look more traditionally smart rather than vibrant. If it had been Black/White contrast instead of Purple/Orange it would have made all the difference.
This is a gorgeous, typical vintage coat in that is’ obviously well made and has a tailored look, it probably had durable fabric too. It has a full skirt which would have fitted well over skirts/dresses with a lot of sweep without squashing them. The mandarin collar always makes an item look smart and the brocade adds a detailed elegance. It goes oh so well with her dark purse and cute curls.
Another great stage costume, as worn in the finale performance of the film where she carried out some impressive choreography and acrobatics, not your average actress. I had to show this simply because it was so cool.
Baby Pink – a good colour on many skin tones – and again on a jacket (as part of another skirt suit – it was based on a time when women didn’t wear trousers as commonly as they did skirts but if they did they’d probably have some great styles) that was well cut and benefited from an asymmetrical/overlapping wrap style which is not only slimming but also shaping at the waist and hips. Top that off with a matching hat, different coloured blouse and jewellery that matches the blouse and voila – stylish, polished outfit – and the pastel colours add cuteness. What more could you ask?
That’s all for now, and if you’ve seen this awe inspiring, funny and dramatic film you’ll know it was an extravaganza of colour and design. If you haven’t seen it but have been impressed by the outfits shown here, take a look and decide if it deserved to be such a flop at the box office.
I hope you enjoyed this blog post, adieu!