Monday, December 20, 2010

The Virgin Suicides (1999)

Sophia Coppola's first wide release film was Virgin Suicides (1999). The costumes were designed by Nancy Steiner. The film is set in Detroit in the 1970's and was written in the 1990's and filmed in Toronto.

Above major stylistic influences for the film included Picnic at Hanging Rock (1975), the polaroid aesthetic of the 1970's, and right Juergen Teller's sepia toned photo style.

Above and below small floral motifs on sundresses signify innocence.

The color palette alternates between blushing pinks and pastels above to the more standard school uniform colors.

Above Trip Fontaine the male lead. Below the iconic shot from The Graduate is referenced down to the drink in the left hand.

The other boys in the film are made similar through school uniforms and below for the school dance. The girls wear understated, high wasted, light colored floral dresses.

The Virgin Suicides is based on the book by Jeffrey Eugenides. There are many changes from the original text such as the stylistic aspects to the dance. The book suggests that Lux and Trip above wear large crowns and ribbons and actually question the whole pageantry of the event. Coppola and costume designer Steiner chose to minimize the looks which would have been closer to the more natural ease of the mid 70's.

Coppola and Stein's ability to capture adolescent innocence is best seen in the interior bedroom shots where the girls lounge in pajamas. Below in Coppola's latest Somewhere, Stacey Battat chose to dress the young Cleo character in similar pastels for both casual and evening looks.


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