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Off the Movie Screen and Onto The Runway

Posted by Sheffield on Feb 24th 2012

No, you’re not seeing double. This season, looks from the most stylish Academy Awards hopefuls leap off the screen and into your wardrobe.

The Film: ‘My Week With Marilyn'; The Look: Jil Sander | The Film: ‘The Artist'; The Look: Etro

While reading Stieg Larsson’s best seller “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo,” fashion designer Nicola Formichetti fantasized about the book’s badass computer-hacker protagonist, Lisbeth Salander, wearing looks from his spring 2012 collection for the house of Mugler.

The Film: ‘The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo’, The Look: Mugler

“I love the way she’s shy and awkward but beats up evil men, dyes her hair black, rides a motorcycle,” said the designer, whose collection featured modern, body-conscious looks with sharp shoulders and asymmetrical hems.

Lisbeth, portrayed in David Fincher’s cinematic adaptation by the actress Rooney Mara, is “a modern-day digital superhero—totally what the Mugler woman is about,” said Mr. Formichetti.
As it turns out, “Dragon Tattoo” isn’t the only Academy Awards contender that’s mirrored in the spring collections hitting retailers right around Feb. 26, the date of the Oscars broadcast. The coming season is a veritable fashion cornucopia for cinephiles.

Michelle Williams, who was nominated for her star turn as Marilyn Monroe in “My Week With Marilyn,” could have channeled the bombshell actress’s look in designer Raf Simon’s springtime celebration of midcentury “subtle sexuality” for Jil Sander.


The Film: ‘The Help’, The Look: Erdem

The southern belles of “The Help” wouldn’t have looked a bit out of place sipping iced tea and plotting evil schemes in the early-1960s-inspired frocks presented by London designers Erdem and Jonathan Saunders.

And the models on Gucci’s runway, who had all the glamour of the silent-film era, could have seamlessly tap-danced their way onto the set of the best-picture-nominated film “The Artist.”

The house’s designer, Frida Giannini, said she drew inspiration from two icons of the 1920s: silent-film star Louise Brooks and writer/activist Nancy Cunard. The film’s Oscar-nominated actress, Bérénice Bejo, however, was clearly inspired by Ms. Giannini when she decided to wear a beaded Deco number from the collection to the Directors Guild of America Awards on Jan. 28.

“The Artist” costume designer Mark Bridges, who was also nominated for an Oscar, admits that he was surprised by the film’s contemporary appeal among fashion lovers. Because the movie was shot in black and white, Mr. Bridges said he wanted to make sure that the outfits worn by Ms. Bejo had high-contrast designs and light-catching sparkle.

He also shortened the hems on some gowns to make them easier for Ms. Bejo to dance in. Such flourishes made the looks—some of which were actual vintage pieces from the ’20s—feel more current.

“We tried to be as ’20s as possible, but pretty is pretty and we’re always working with a modern eye,” said Mr. Bridges. “It had to feel romantic, so I think that’s appealing to modern sensibilities.”

The big-budget silver-screen adaptation of “Dragon Tattoo” depicts best-actress nominee Ms. Mara zooming around Sweden in tough leather ensembles, flirting with both women and men and talking down to anybody who gets in her way.

If Lisbeth were a real person, she might also be partial to the spring looks of Gareth Pugh, Rick Owens or the American designer Alexander Wang, who showed fitted bustiers and tight pants befitting a Scandinavian superhero; his models walked the runway carrying motorcycle helmets.
[coverjump5JPG] Associated Press

Bérénice Bejo wore a beaded Art Deco dress to the Directors Guild of America Awards on Jan. 28.

“Dragon Tattoo” costume designer Trish Summerville said that she considers Lisbeth’s style to be “nocturnal and subterranean.” For the looks in Mr. Fincher’s version of the story, Ms. Mara wore a mix of custom-designed pieces and store-bought items that were “altered, aged and overdyed,” she said.

Lisbeth “has limited funds to spend on clothing,” said Ms. Summerville, adding that her character would probably buy her clothes at inexpensive Swedish retailers like Cheap Monday and H&M.

Indeed, an interpretation of Salander’s edgy on-screen look, designed by Ms. Summerville herself, was unveiled at H&M in December. Many of the items, such as a leather biker jacket, sold out within days.

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