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17 June 2009

Film Couture: Les Dames du Bois de Boulogne

Brooding, melodramatic, and beautifully styled, the 1945 film Les Dames du Bois de Boulogne is a tale of revenge served cold. Auteur Robert Bresson retells the story of Denis Diderot's Madame de la Pommeraye with the help of dialogue by Cocteau and sets furnished with props from Madeleine Castaing's shop.

But what most swept me away was the beyond stunning wardrobe worn by woman-scorned Hélène (played by Maria Casares). Well, no wonder - Alix Grès and Schiaparelli were its creators, and their respective signatures of exquisite draping and wit are reason enough to see this classic.

The plummeting V-neck shows a daring amount of décolleté and is even more exciting in combination with the full-coverage elsewhere. Note the shimmering beaded hem...

which is picked up by this jet necklace...

Note the finally woven mesh scarf thrown over this Grecian goddess gown

Love the dramatic tulle that veils the face then gathers around the neck

another great hat and super strong shoulders.... this dress is intriguingly combined with a cape

and doesn't every fashion show end with a bride? Yes please, Madame Grès...

6 comments:

balsamfir said...

Oh I hope its on Netflix. New film to me.

Toby Worthington said...

Maria Casares! I never quite got over the impact of her appearance in Cocteau's "Orphee'" when her role as the messenger of Death required Dior's New Look and platform pumps~all in black, of course. The film mentioned in this post is new to me as well~ the fashions, the script and the Castaing props would seem to be quite a combination.

little augury said...

this looks divine-I find it fascinating to watch and watch again. it is amazing the detail that each aspect of a movie works in perfect harmony as one- but that doesn't stop me from being completely overwhelmed by something like these costumes, I am fascinated by sets- As you obviously must be from your last book. Envious of your immersion into MC- I can't wait for that book. be sure to give us updates.la

Lynne Rutter said...

le sigh!

home before dark said...

"The plummeting V-neck shows a daring amount of décolleté and is even more exciting in combination with the full-coverage elsewhere." Didn't that used to be the recipe for sexy? How refreshing to see a sexy woman showing what she was endowed with versus all of this silicone being exposed in mind-boggling amounts. I wonder what will happen to these implanted women if they chose cremation? Snap! Crackle! Pop!

Emily Evans Eerdmans said...

Mr. Worthington, I am completely entranced by Maria Casares and am putting Orphee at the top of my Netflix queue. I came across a quote that mentioned how Casares' jolie laide looks were the perfect accompaniment to Schiaparelli's creations. I certainly find her much more interesting to look at then the current plastic, rubber-stamped beauty of today. Case in point - Jennifer Grey, better known as Baby in Dirty Dancing, who once she got a nose job, was just another pretty face.