Thursday, January 3, 2013

I just watched The Fall (2006) starring Lee Pace and Catinca Untaru and I must say, it was a GORGEOUS movie.  I could go on and on about the writing and emotions and cinematography, but here I'll just focus on the costumes.

The movie functions in dual worlds: California in the 1920's, and the fantastical story that Roy Walker conjures for little Alexandria.  The "real world" is done in very soft sepia tones and seem more dream-like than the actual fictional universe.  But, that does allow Roy's story to take on very dramatic, theatrical, painfully beautiful imagery without being ridiculous.

(credit for everything unless otherwise noted: Enchanted Serenity of Period Films and Costume Captures)

Alexandria is an adorable European immigrant girl who broke her arm while picking oranges in the fields.  She always wears soft white and grey cottons and bows in her hair, highlighting her innocence despite her mischievous character.  During her hospital stay she befriends Roy Walker, a paralyzed inpatient who starts to tell her a tragic story.

This motley crew is brought together to take revenge against Governor Odious.  Because of the theatrical style, they are somewhat stereotypically dressed, but not mockingly so.  I love that despite the cultural references, none of them can be matched to any specific time period.  Left to right: 

1. Charles Darwin, in a hilarious but brilliant animal/insect inspired coat that shows his scientific side.  I love the sensible British touches - his bowler hat, white tuxedo button up and Wellingtons.  

2.  The Indian.  Amazing colorful pleated silks make him seem very majestic.  Everything down to his gold weapons and leather shoes are amazingly intricate.  

3.  Roy's imagination (in which Alexandria dives into) puts him in the role as the Red Bandit.  His Spanish-style uniform is masculine, but the flowing skirt gives it amazing movement and sensitivity throughout the film.  The use of masks and shielding one's true emotions is a large theme with several characters.

(On a side note, Lee Pace is gorgeous...........)


The fact that Alexandria has the same costume as Roy solidifies how this has become THEIR story, and that she is going to be an essential help to him despite being just a child.

4.  Luigi.  The cut of his coat (particularly the collar and cuffs) are almost couture.  Also, the fire pattern on his back alludes to his expertise in explosives and likewise hot personality.

credit: fanpop

5.  Otta Benga.  He doesn't have much costume on... but a close-up of his headpiece shows the impeccable detailing he has too.  The natural striping of the horns, the uniformity of the beads and how they change sizes...  He even has a piercing.

Sister Evelyn is a nun working as a nurse at the hospital.  Despite the simplicity of her uniform, it is gorgeously cut and pressed.  She also adds little details (a clip-on watch and knotted chignon).

Evelyn takes on the role of the princess in the story.  Again, here's the theme of secrecy and hidden identity and intentions with the mask.

I can't get over how gorgeous her makeup is, and how all the pinks are perfectly blended together just like her fan mask.

credit: anberlins on Tumblr

A fairy-like dress sets her as the goddess character which, of course, eventually backfires on the hero.  I have to appreciate the sheer and watercolor elements again carried on here.  Reminds me of both Botticelli's "The Birth of Venus" and Millais' "Ophelia."

AMAZING.  Again, another mask effect.  The pureness still has an aura of evil, which feels very genius.

-  Other noteworthy looks:

Sinclair/Governor Odius, the nemesis.  He keeps true to the historical 20's dapper look.  A Great Gatsby allusion with the pool death, perhaps?

The mystic.  I was speechless by this character, actually, because despite the simplicity he is not simply a 'native' - he's actually one with the trees, the way he blended into the story.  I suppose body paint counts as a costume as well.


In the end, everything is unbelievably human.  Roy's depression and heartbreak is as poignant as Alexandria's pure love for him and the importance that he live, simply because he's her friend.  Back to the normal hospital clothes, everything seems so beautiful and on the way to healing.

credit: sophiesnowflake on Tumblr?


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Atlanta/Seattle, United States
What is most interesting is fashion when it's living. I find it inspiring when people dress well - but in their unique interpretation. Searching for people who enjoy having fun with their style and make their own statements. If you want your picture removed, don't hesitate to contact me!
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