A fashion masterpiece long before the devil wears Prada
While real-life trends tend to influence what characters wear on screen, the relationship between fashion and film is rapidly becoming more complex, with film becoming a medium that really drives trends and has lasting impacts on the fashion. Long before the devil wears Prada (more than half a century later), Funny head showed the curiosities and adversities of the fashion industry and closely linked fashion and cinema.
This witty and cheerful caricature of the underbelly of the beauty industry can be enjoyed for many things: a simple yet touching Cinderella story, wonderful music by the legendary Roger Edens and, of course, visuals and costumes. breathtaking.
A classic of Hollywood Golden Age musicals, Funny head is basically a fashion magazine brought to life. The story revolves around Quality Magazine editor Maggie Prescott and photographer Dick Avery, who search for a new role model who can “think as well as they look”, and an ordinary accountant, Jo, who is thrown into the mix. Despite the simplicity of the story, the director tackles an important subject with visionary insight, concerning fashion in particular – the dominance of individuality over a simply perfect image.
How Funny head Has come to
Funny head was largely inspired by fashion photographer Richard Avedon and his relationship with his wife of six years, model and actress Doe Avedon. Not only did Richard Avedon become the prototype for male lead Dick Avery, played by Fred Astaire, but he also took an active part in the creation of the film, filming behind the scenes and helping with the creative direction. Avedon’s humanist hand can be felt throughout the production, particularly recognized at certain moments, such as, for example, the Think Pink! stage.
Funny head was already a Broadway musical but had little to do with the subsequent big-screen adaptation. Only the title and the title song, as well as four other numbers, were extracted from it. The plot, however, was taken from the libretto wedding bellswritten by the Avedons’ friend, Leonard Gersh. wedding bells was never produced, and Gersh sold the film rights to MGM Studios, where it caught the eye of Roger Edens, known as a master of outlandish and interesting musicals. The great Stanley Donen (who also directed Audrey Hepburn in the shine Charade) was asked to do a big-screen adaptation.
The film is to be seen if only to understand the appeal of the incredible actress Audrey Hepburn. Hepburn sings (unlike my lovely lady) and dancing herself, not to mention her incredible chemistry with Fred Astaire.
Funny head Like a 50s fashion encyclopedia
The story told by the costumes in this film is one of a change of spirit, a departure from Balenciaga’s straight lines for Dior’s new look, and the growing popularity of functionality over opulence. Editor Maggie Prescott in Funny head was based on Diana Vreeland, then editor of Harper’s Bazaar. Vreeland herself, by the way, was categorically offended by the film and even forbade mentioning her name in her presence. Maggie Prescott’s looks were inspired by the style of Cristobal Balenciaga, Vreeland’s favorite designer.
It should be noted that it was not Dior who invented the New Look silhouette but rather the one who popularized it. At the time, almost every designer worked with variations on the New Look theme: from Britain’s Hardy Amies, appointed in 1952 as Elizabeth II’s personal tailor, to the Paquin fashion house.
During the 1950s, the direction of sportswear was growing rapidly in the United States, with functional and relatively inexpensive clothing becoming more popular as opposed to status and elite high fashion. More and more active women prefer comfortable pants and turtlenecks to skirts and dresses. It is perhaps no exaggeration to say that Funny head helped make black cigarette pants the hottest item among progressive bohemian girls.
The scene where Jo appears in an all-black beatnik look is key. It is of course Jo’s improvised dance in an underground Parisian café (the choreography was directed by Eugene Loring). There’s a lot of symbolism in this episode, and we’re reminded once again why the boyish Jo was chosen as the personification of the emerging new era of fashion, where there’s less and less room for high fashion. high-flying and often heavy sewing.
The scene is also interesting because initially Hepburn was against dancing in white socks because they would ruin the all-black figure and shorten his legs. However, Donen insisted on socks instead of ballerinas as it was Hepburn’s only solo dance number, and the director wanted the audience to see her every move, not fade into the background. After viewing the footage, Hepburn wrote a note to Donen, admitting he was right.
The platonic love affair of Audrey Hepburn and Givenchy
The audacious and exceptional Edith Head (a woman who does not know the word “humble”), the inspiration of The Incredibles’ Edna Mode, was in charge of costume design for Funny head. However, there were actually two costume designers working on Funny head instead of one, the same arrangement as in sabrinafor which Edith Head won an Oscar while Hubert de Givenchy was not even mentioned in the credits.
Funny head It was the first time he was credited as a fashion designer who created costumes for the film, and Vogue rightly singles out Hepburn’s incredible dresses in that film as one of his greatest Givenchy moments. on the screen.
Hepburn was the brand’s original ambassador “the elegant master of devastating chic”, as Givenchy has been dubbed by The Guardian. When Hepburn approached Givenchy to design his suits for sabrina, he declined her invitation but at the end of the day fell in love with her, and so the lifelong partnership began. Hepburn asked Givenchy to design all of his future suits starting with Funny headsaying, “These are the only clothes I’m in myself.”
The end result turned out to be “a pretty fantasy of romance, sightseeing, and chic,” as The New York Times described in its review. Funny head was both a satire of haute couture and a sincere admiration for it… while paying homage to the intellectuality of the contemporary generation.