Costume In Film: Populaire

Sometimes there is nothing better than settling down to watch a good movie, especially if the movie features beautiful costumes and sets. I had seen Populaire a few times, and with the handy assistance of screen-shots, I decided to put a little post together here.

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Populaire – set in the years 1958-1959

Directed by Regis Roinsard, the film was made in 2012. The movie stars Romain Duris, Deborah Francois and Berenice Bejo. The plot follows Rose (Deborah Francois), as she becomes Louis’ secretary, set in the years 1958-1959. Impressed by Rose’s typing abilities, Louis decides to enter Rose into speed typing competitions, first regionally, nationally, and eventually globally.

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Rose reading ‘Le Petit Echo de la Mode’

Upon watching this movie a few times, the character of Louis strikes me as extremely controlling, to the point where I actually feel uncomfortable looking at him. The movie does has chauvinistic undertones, however this unfortunately probably reflects the realities of what life may have been like as a woman in the late 1950s. (Although Louis’ utter control over Rose is exaggerated to facilitate the plot).

LOVE this girl - the tie, the hair - attitude!

LOVE this girl – the tie, the hair – attitude!

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Hands up!

Whilst the film may highlight the inequalities between the sexes during the late 1950s, it also draws attention to the excitement and opportunities the workplace offered women. When Rose is offered a position as a secretary in the city, she dreams of a new life – away from the small village she knows. This is a scene that many of us can relate to, and I love the fact that Rose collects fashion magazines, dreaming of a new, exciting life.

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Rose jazzes up her typewriter with the use of some teeny tiny pots of paint

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Then decides to co-ordinate her nails to match. (It’s actually to help her learn to touch-type, but it looks fabulous too!)

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Matching your nails to your typewriter – the very latest trend..

The film also resonated with me, as when I was 16, my mother encouraged me to learn to touch-type (back then, like Rose, I dreamt of becoming a secretary. But my creative side overruled, and I decided to enter higher education – not looking back since!) When I was learning to touch-type, I found it extremely difficult. I tried to give-up a few times, but my mother always persuaded me to persevere. Happily, nowadays, I can touch-type – and it has definitely helped me with my writing work and assignments!

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It’s a bra Louis, I’m sure you have seen one before

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‘You will eat this toast, even if you don’t actually want it’

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Rose’s top here has me hankering to buy Jennifer Lauren’s Gable slash neck top pattern now!

(PS – buy/view Jennifer Lauren’s Gable top sewing pattern here.) Visually, the film is stunning. Many of Rose’s costumes are typical of the earlier 1950s, reflecting her provincial upbringing. As she progresses with her typing accomplishment’s, her costumes and styling become more sophisticated. Also – for fans of vintage spectacle frames – this film is a wonderful resource! During the typing competitions, many of the competitors sport glasses, allowing a great opportunity to glean inspiration.

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‘Let me just display our engagement ring as prominently as I can to the press darling’

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Ready, set, type!

The movie is French, with subtitles (so it is not a movie you can put on then do other things to – ie sewing. You have to actually sit and watch the screen!) As the movie is French, I particularly enjoyed the utilisation of the fashion magazine Le Petit Echo de la Mode – as I have a sizeable collection of issues!

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The movies namesake – the ‘Populaire’ typewriter!

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Rose is now gracing the covers of magazines she previously would have pinned to her wall. Complete with multi-coloured nails of course.

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Rose is obviously jealous of those a-maa-zing cat eyes (I know I am)

For a colourful sojourn into late 1950s styling, Populaire is the perfect movie. Particularly if you ignore/thrown popcorn at the screen whenever Louis is being a complete idiot (although – don’t throw popcorn, you won’t have any left to actually eat! Ha ha!)

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A movie showing a woman with ROLLERS STILL IN HER HAIR! Yes!

I purchased Populaire on DVD a few years ago, but it is probably still available on Amazon and such-like.

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And that’s all folks.

All images are from screen-shots of the movie that I took myself, then cropped/edited for the purpose of this review.

Have you seen Populaire? What did you think?

Until next time dears!

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Costume In Film: The Gang’s All Here 1943

Earlier this week, I was watching a few movies as part of some research for a series of articles I have coming up. The first movie I decided to watch, was ‘The Gang’s All Here’. Starring Carmen Miranda, Phil Baker, Alice Faye and Charlotte Greenwood, the movie was released in 1943.

Carmen Miranda, the ultimate queen of the accessory!

Carmen Miranda, a lady who knows the power of accessorising.

Directed by Busby Berkeley, the movie features wildly ambitious and absolutely bonkers musical numbers! The choreography, staging and set design is so deliciously over-the-top, the movie really is a visual feast.

'Hello, yes?' Using a cat as a telephone receiver.

The only scene in the entire movie that features a  cat. So of course I had to include it here! Haaa ha!

Charlotte Greenwood adds a brilliantly comedic touch to the plot, I really love her in any movie!

'I'm smiling at you, but really I just want to eat your donut'. Give. Me. The. Donut.

‘I’m smiling at you, but really I just want to eat your donut’. Give. Me. The. Donut.

I took various screen shots throughout the movie, and I thought I would share some here. I am not going to give away the plot of the movie, as I don’t wish to spoil it for anyone that has yet to see it.

At least Carmen can always ensure she gets her five-a-day.

Now that is a whole lot of fruit.

There are some great costumes in the movie, of course Carmen Miranda wears some of the more vibrant and eccentric creations.

A bridge of bananas. Just what any musical needs.

No musical is complete without a bridge of bananas.

This was one of the scenes from ‘The Lady with the Tutti Fruitti Hat’ number. The props were just so wacky! Imagine working in the prop department and having to make and paint numerous giant bananas!

An intense ‘staring into the distance’ look from Alice Faye there on the left.

The staring into the distance continues..

I love how all the characters colours co-ordinate with each other in this scene, and especially that pom-pom hat!

Here is a better look at those costumes. It is interesting that Sheila Ryan as Vivien and Alice Faye as Eadie are both wearing very similar colours. In the movie they have a common link which ties them together, so it is intriguing that the costume designer decided to mirror this in the colour choices.

Vivien sneaking a peep at Eadie’s bustline. We caught you Vivien!

We next see Vivien in a pale pink gown, weirdly worn with two belts.

'I'm smiling and yet even I do not know why I am wearing two belts'

‘I’m smiling and yet even I do not know why I am wearing two belts’

But again, her brooch is extremely similar to one worn earlier in the movie by Eadie.

And next up, we have an all-in-one!

It’s difficult to see from this screen shot (and I did keep pausing it and going back to try to get a good picture), but Alice Faye as Eadie is wearing a pale pistachio all-in-one! Swoon.

Later on, we get a fabulous peep inside Vivien’s boudoir, I mean look at the dressing table and those curtains! So beautiful.

The zingy choice of chartreuse on Carmen Miranda in this muted scene shows her as exotic and flamboyant, especially against the almost two dimensional blue of this scene.

How fabulous is Carmen’s blouse and matching turban! I love how the costume is accessorised with  decorative pins, to continue the patriotic red, white and blue theme.

The closing sequence features a number about polka dots, (yes, that’s right, polka dots); and concludes with the floating heads of the cast members singing along. For me, that was a bit too strange, so here is a closing shot of Alice Faye instead!

I picked up a DVD of The Gang’s All Here on either Amazon or Ebay last year. A quick search shows that it is still available on Amazon.co.uk, on both Blu-ray and DVD.

I would definitely recommend watching it, Carmen Miranda is wonderful as always, and the costumes are fabulous! There are also some scenes of dancers, actors and acrobats rehearsing which I did not include here; but their rehearsal costumes are so great!

Until next time dears!