In anticipation of the Days of Heaven vintage collection, I give you a glimpse of the original inspiration behind my photography and curating concept; or this is simply a chance to indulge talking about one of my favorite movies...
Terrence Malick's Days of Heaven has been part of the fashion canon for a couple of years now (if you consider Rodarte's tribute as a landmark); but well before that it had attained the reputation of being probably the most beautiful movie ever shot.
Magic hour, Edwardian fashions, an endless wheat field, horses and music by Ennio Morricone, what more could you want?
The film might fall a little short on the plot for some viewers, but the arresting visual style and Malick's gift for creating atmosphere are a pretty big compensation and enough to keep you mesmerized for a little over 90 minutes.
I remember going to see it back when The Tree of Life came out in 2011 and, as the cinephile tradition is in Paris, La Filmotheque du Quartier Latin, this little repertoire cinema by La Sorbonne was playing all his old films for a while. Did I mention it's one of the few theaters that play films in their original language? Dubbing is huge in France, but there's a little network of art house theaters that play original classics as well as new releases (I need to start writing a little guide on that).
It was a pretty sunny day and I remember wearing a light crochet white dress and my newly acquired flea market boater hat (oh I had just cut my dreads after 6 years that summer, so my new pixie cut was crying for a hat!) and watched this vividly colored scratchy print...
Now even in cinemas like that it's getting more and more rare to see a film on print; I LOVE film and cringe every time I take photos for the shop and see how bad digital looks... The death of 35mm is a big debate in the movie world right now, but I think that even if a movie is shot on film it still makes a huge difference than if it was digital.
So go look for dusty neighborhood cinemas and see films on print, please!
The costumes in the movie can be divided into two different categories, as in the end it portrays yet another episode in class struggle : the poor seasonal field workers vs the rich land owner. It has a very depression era-dust bowl feel in many aspects. On the other hand there are idyllic nature scenes that could very well fit in Picnic at the Hanging Rock, for example.
So there are delicate white blouses, lace gowns, piano shawls, Dandy gentlemen and on the other hand calico and ditsy floral prints, earth tone dresses and plaid/gingham shirts.
And, of course, the best pan collar shirts, worn by the guys!
I don't know if it was the selection or simply the very soft evening light we discovered while shooting late that made the connection, but I think this is a pretty coherent analogy between the movie wardrobe's and the vintage collection I selected.
There are many '70s takes on Victorian/Edwardian fashion, which is exactly what this movie from 1978 is doing as well. It also has the same folk country feel and similar calico, art deco inspired prints.
Some might disagree with the concept of a vintage collection, but I think curating vintage and putting together a strong selection is no less important than designing a collection. The creative input might be different, but I still think it should be acknowledge.
The look book will be up on Thursday and the items will be available in the shop on Friday.
In the meantime there will be more screen shots on Pinterest and Tumblr; I'm also preparing a post on Rodarte's Days of Heaven inspired collection tomorrow!