Published on August 7th, 2013 | by beauty international1
Autumn Winter 2013 Fashion Trends: Film Noir
Movies from the Film Noir genre have always been noted for their highly dramatic and stylised visuals and cinematography, but also for the influential costumes of their leading characters. In the past few seasons, fashion designers’ runway shows have been increasingly about individual pieces than obvious trends, but for Autumn/Winter 2013 a definite trend emerged: the cinematic, Film Noir-inspired femme fatale.
We saw 40s-style fashion infused with elements of Film Noir on the catwalks of Carven, Louis Vuitton and Prada, among others. Of course, this particular trend has been seen before – notably at Jenny Packham’s Autumn/Winter 2012 collection and Christian Dior’s Spring/Summer 2010 collection – but this season it seemed more raw, more real, and more appropriate than ever for today’s modern woman. This season’s cinematic woman is refined but alluring, sexy but romantic, in control but melancholy.
Miuccia Prada’s Autumn/Winter collection was particularly notable for being inspired by cinematic femme fatales. The Film Noir mood was created by the dark and gloomy set: a spinning fan on the wall, the shadows of blinds and cats and ravens, the silhouettes of woman outlined in doorways. All these elements created a dark and sinister atmosphere straight out of a Film Noir movie; the models’ zombie-like stares, straggly damp hair and the dresses dropping off their shoulders added to the sense of mystery and foreboding. The clothes themselves were all about the luxurious fabrics and elegant tailoring. Waists were cinched in with wide leather belts, cuffs were exaggerated; there was a beautiful princess coat in a muted shade of grey with fur cuffs, matching skirt suits in different coloured tweeds. The key silhouette repeated again and again was a jacket nipped in at the waist, belted and worn with a full, below-the-knee skirt in a matching fabric: something that wouldn’t look out of place on Teresa Wright in Alfred Hitchcock’s 1943 thriller ‘Shadow of a Doubt’.
Marc Jacobs chose the setting of a grand hotel for his Autumn/Winter collection for Louis Vuitton. Models wearing negligees, elegant sleepwear and plush fur coats – perhaps evoking the infamous ‘walk of shame’ – came out onto the catwalk from the fifty numbered hotel room doors which lined the runway. Their various states of undress created a sense of romance, with the luxurious fabrics and embellishments lending an air of decadence, while their mournful expressions and the evidence of their hasty dressing lent one of melancholy. Silk nighties, pyjamas and lace-trimmed negligees peeked out from under sweeping fur coats; embroidered half-slips were worn as skirts with fitted angora jumpers; thick housecoats with rounded shoulders were belted and teamed with heeled sandals. The colour palette was muted with shades of grey and blue comprising the majority of the collection, with hints of golden brown, mauve, and pale pink.
Stuart Vevers took a slightly different direction for Loewe’s Autumn/Winter 2013 collection: his femme fatale, still very cinematic, was refracted through Spanish director Pedro Almodovar – Almodovar’s favourite, Penelope Cruz, is the new face of the brand. The sultry but dangerous atmosphere was set by the location (the candlelit halls of the Natural History Museum in Paris), the wrought iron stage doors on the runway and the scary film score which reached its crescendo as the last model made her way down the catwalk. The overall look was tougher than that seen at Prada and Louis Vuitton: suits were made of leather, pencil skirts were slashed to the thigh to reveal a glimpse of stockings and suspenders, and stilettos had chains running up their heels.
This atmospheric and alluring Film Noir catwalk trend can be easily translated to a wearable everyday look. For a glamorous evening occasion, look to a body-skimming silk or satin evening gown in inky black or a shade of midnight blue, perhaps embellished with crystals or sequins. Add a simple pair of ankle-strapped stilettos and accessorise with a fur or faux fur stole. But this trend doesn’t just look great at nighttime; plump for a classic tweed skirt suit during the daytime, sweep your hair up into a tousled chignon and add vampy red lipstick for an alluring and mysterious look.