Sky movies and Instyle magazine’s list of the 10 most iconic movie costumes has had me pondering what I consider the best and the most iconic. Most of their list I agree with, but I definitely don’t think that Atonement and Moulin Rouge should be on there. The green dress from atonement is amazingly gorgeous, but the movie is too new, too fresh. For something to be iconic it must be “an important and enduring symbol” – the key word being enduring. We’ll have to wait and see if Keira’s green dress stands the test of time- I have yet to see the movie so I really have no idea if the movie will be remembered as fondly as some of the other movies on the list.
A quick rundown of the list is:
1. Keira Knightley’s green dress in ‘Atonement’
2. Marilyn Monroe’ white number in ‘The Seven Year Itch’
3. Audrey Hepburn’s little black dress from ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’
4. Olivia Newton-John’s tight jeans in ‘Grease’
5. Kate Winslet’s blue dress in ‘Titanic’
6. Vest and tie worn by Diane Keaton in ‘Annie Hall’
7. Nicole Kidman’s corset in ‘Moulin Rouge‘
8. Liza Minnelli’s socks and hat in ‘Cabaret’
9. Cate Blanchett’s dress in ‘Elizabeth: The Golden Age’
10. Vivien Leigh’s dress in ‘Gone With The Wind’
I haven’t had time to decide on my absolute favourite costumes or the ones I consider most iconic, but I figured I should write about a classic film that has some great outfits worn by one of the most beautiful stars ever (and some absolutely smashing dialogue). Sullivan’s Travels is a very witty and sharp comedy from 1941 starring Joel McCrea and Veronica Lake. Joel McCrea stars as John Sullivan, a top Hollywood director who is being pushed by his studio to make Ants in Your Pants 1939, a sequel to his hit Ants in Your Pants. Sullivan desires to make a more socially responsible film, something highlighting the dispossessed in Depression era America, as he believes comedies have no place in an America overwhelmed by poverty. He sets off across America dressed as a hobo with no money in his pocket. Along the way he meets the gorgeous Veronica Lake, who knows much more the hardness of life than he does. Sullivan learns quite a few lessons about life over the course of the film, and the film includes quite amazingly realistic images of chain gangs and the poverty of the time. The script is fantastically funny, full of verbal jousting matches between Lake and McCrea. One of the best parts is after the hobo Sullivan encounters the Girl in a rundown cafe in Hollywood and takes her out in a car he’s “borrowed from a director friend named Sullivan”…
Sullivan: Don’t you think with the world in its present condition, with Death snarling at you from every street corner, people are a little allergic to comedies?
The Girl: No.
Sullivan: Perhaps I don’t make myself clear.
The Girl: Say, how come you know a picture director well enough to borrow his car?
Sullivan: Well, as a matter of fact, I used to know most of those boys. But naturally, I don’t like to mention it in a suit like this. As a matter of fact, I used to be a picture director.
The Girl: Why you poor kid!
Sullivan: Don’t get emotional. I’ll be all right.
The Girl: What kind of pictures did you make?
Sullivan: More along educational lines.
The Girl: No wonder. There’s nothing like a deep-dish movie to drive you out in the open.
Sullivan: What are you talking about? Film is the greatest educational medium the world has even known. You take a picture like Hold Back Tomorrow . . .
The Girl: You hold it . . .
The gorgeous cream wool coat and silk dress she is wearing when she meets him suit her perfectly, and highlight her fantastically shimmering blonde locks. This is a total aspirational outfit- a struggling actress who can’t pay her rent, she has this one outfit that makes her appear as if she has already achieved all of her goals- quite a change from the poor boy’s clothes she takes on later in the film. I’m posting a video of the scene where they meet below- while the script is hilarious on paper, on film Lake’s sassy comebacks and sweet looks make it the best scene in the film.