Deadly Chic—Now In Theaters And On The Runways
August 15, 2011
“Revenge is beautiful.” It’s more than the tagline for the new Zoe Saldana film Colombiana. It’s the operating principle behind the female badass movie. Recall Angelina Jolie’s Lara Croft in short shorts and a low-cut tank that revealed décolletage and deltoids in equal measure. As Colombiana’s costume designer Olivier Bériot put it, the wardrobe in these movies is “a little bit unreal, but that’s as much for the men in the audience (’she’s sexy!’ [they're thinking]) as it is for the women (’she’s powerful’).”
Saldana’s dangerous woman fits the accustomed mold, but there are others these days who are breaking it. In David Fincher’s upcoming The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, Rooney Mara sports bleached eyebrows, piercings, and an asymmetrical, dyed-black haircut that is, to quote Stieg Larsson, as “short as a fuse.” (And if you ask us, she bears an uncanny resemblance to model of the moment Saskia de Brauw.) The wintery white Inuit-inspired clothes that costume designer Lucie Bates created for Saoirse Ronan in Hanna, meanwhile, flouted genre convention; still, her character, a 16-year-old trained assassin, was no less efficient at her tasks.
Black, of course, is the wardrobe color of choice for screen killers—and for their deadly chic counterparts on the runways. In his review of Ann Demeulemeester’s Fall collection, Tim Blanks likened her models to “a lost tribe of Amazonian warrior women,” their bodies slung with bandoliers stuffed with feathers instead of bullets. Ohne Titel’s Alexa Adams and Flora Gill similarly amplified the human form, cutting a shearling leather and knit jacket with exaggerated, full sleeves. “It’s about the embrace of the female body,” Adams said, “but not being afraid of its powerful side.”
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Photo: Alessandro Viero / GoRunway.com