style brick road: Roman Holiday

Monday, 12 January 2015

Roman Holiday

As far as romantic comedies go - there's only one that one truly HAS to watch before judging the whole genre. Visually impeccable and a cult of filmography, Roman Holiday is a feature that possibly won't make your brain tingle heavily, but will definitely push your heart and cheeks into a big ol' stretch (aka grin). Although there's no super-deep messages hidden in the story of a rebellious heiress, these 2 hours are feel-good moments filled with good acting, dramatic visuals and just a well-rounded story with all its bits.

What made me talk about it here is (of course) the visual aspect that's kinda inseparable with any Audrey Hepburn movies as she's the kind of face that makes you stop and stare. And Roman Holiday is no exception - costumes that make you hold your breath (although not in an over-the-top My Fair Lady kind), and if my word and your eyes won't cut it - you've got the award to prove it. Edith Head was the lady behind many legendary costumes and the face behind the record amount of Oscars in the category of Costume design (8 of them - including the ones for The Sting, Sabrina and The Heiress, and respectively many many maaany nominations aka 35), a name any costume enthusiast will only dream about even attempting reaching in its career. Head was one of the first (if not the only) superstar costume designers that was just obliged to create stellar work and and be respected for it. Although I would love to eat my words, there's really no one who could achieve what Lady Edith did, although there are sure the names and the talents in the industry today (see Colleen Atwood and Catherine Martin). It's probably the same thing as it is with film divas - there's possibly no one like them today, who works with such significance, elegance, grace and poise. 

But personality aside, Edith Head was a genius whose outlet felt perfectly output in Roman Holiday. Having a rough 90% happening in a set of 36 hours (which was quite different for a visually rich 1953 film), the challenge was to give meaning to the costumes yet don't take from the exclusively romantic story between Joe (Gregory Peck) and princess Ann (Hepburn). It's the crisp white shirt (worn by most characters throughout the film) that symbolised a kind of romantic vision of the world, absolutely achievable yet elegant - the goal of deprived and sorrow character than Ann is. Stuck in a long nightgown rather than a pyjama she dreams off, little miss princess is challenged to put on her cropped version of a white button-up and run into the world. The most inspirational scene (hence my outfit) for me is the one where the princess gets her common wish come true - in an almost unconscious state, she gets a pair of striped pyjamas she always wanted. And that's when the romance began.

Not to blurt too many bits of the plot or to ruin the perfectly heartwarming moments, my own version of the Roman Holiday in an outfit came from melting the main trio into an outfit - Joe's white shirt, Ann's striped pyjama and Irving hipster-like (remember - it's 1953!) bearded, easy-going attitude (hence the non-ironed silk) and face. It's not even remotely accurate in terms of time or style, but rather a contemporary reference to one of the most romantic, most legendary movies ever made.

Vintage silk pyjamas, Minelli moccasins, United Colours of Benetton button-up, www.danielwellington.com watch & mom's bracelet from Kamena Duga