Carol: a fashion lover’s dream on screen

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There has always been a symbiotic relationship between fashion and movies, each influencing the other.  December’s US Vogue includes an interesting piece about film director, Todd Haynes and costume designer, Sandy Powell’s visit to New York fashion week.  Haynes is the Director behind the film Carol, in which Cate Blanchett is utterly luminous as a mid-twentieth century socialite.  I walked out of the cinema after seeing it, wondering if this was the most beautiful film I had ever seen.  It seems to bask in a golden glow of winter lamplight and slanting sunshine.  In fact Sandy Powell tells Vogue that Haynes gives her guidance through colour alone: “He has a real clear idea of palettes”.

Haynes himself tells Vogue, “Clothes are really the iconic pieces of language that you have to keep in mind when you are entering the character.” and the clothes in Carol are something to behold.  What really struck me was that the mink coat, tweed suits, curvy dresses, stiletto heels and neat little pillbox hats that Cate Blanchett wears would be unexceptional individually, even matronly.  Seeing them presented in the context of the film though, and with the power and elegance imbued in them by the actress, they do indeed form an important element of the language of the film.

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It sent me back to pillbox hats and long, elegant gloves in a big way – Powell was apparently influenced by seeing the gloves featured in vintage Vogues from the 40s and 50s.  Inspired by the lustrous, shimmering Carol it suddenly felt right to be pairing a pillbox with a tweed coat and some sequins or teaming up some black velvet with a little spray of feathers.  If you are a fashion fan, don’t miss Carol it is an inspiring and gorgeous sartorial treat.

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