When Diane Keaton came in for her first meeting with the wardrobe lady on the set of Annie Hall in 1975, her layered, mannish look was so off-putting that the costumer slyly told Woody Allen “Tell her not to wear that. She can’t wear that. It’s so crazy”. Not one to shy away from eccentricities, Allen defended Keaton’s kookie garb, shooting back, “She’s a genius. Just leave her alone! Let her wear what she wants!” Little did the costume department know that Keaton’s look in the Oscar nominated film would set off fashion trends still followed today…
The story of a young, Midwestern woman trying to carve out a creative, and romantic, identity for herself in New York City during the mid 70s, Woody Allen created the character specifically for Keaton, his girlfriend at the time. In fact, most of the film is loosely based around their relationship, and the idea that love doesn’t always last forever.
Besides the Oscar winning film’s unique visual style – characters often break the “fourth wall” to address the audience directly, and takes are often long and focus less on action and more on talking – it also went to great lengths to portray the new, emerging woman of the time. This wasn’t the woman of the 1950s households who stayed home and baked cookies for her husband! Hell no, the new woman of the 70s was one who had been exposed to the wild and crazy free lovin’ of the 1960s, and enlightened by the Feminist movement at the same time. She wasn’t perfect, nor did she feel the need to pretend she was. She was smart, fierce, and free spirited, in control of her destiny and the world around her. Keaton’s Annie Hall is the perfect example of that. Lovable, quirky, eccentric, and interested in a million-and-one different things, female audiences fell in love with her Bohemian independence and stylish, androgynous threads.
Slouchy, widelegged chinos and tailored waistcoat vests were staples of Annie’s menswear-chic. Just as scattered as her speech was her layering of mens’ oxford shirts, ties, fringed scarves, and dresses n’ sweaters, that really set her apart from the average All-American look at the time. With her collar popped and an oversized blazer perched on her shoulders, Annie reached for her floppy bowler hat, laced up her vintage wingtip flats, and set out to tackle the world. Check out the lobster scene below, and you’ll quickly pick up on the fact that Annie was never afraid to be who she was! Log on to today’s hottest fashion hot-or-not sites, like lookbook.nu, and you’ll see about a hundred Annie-look-alikes keeping the spirit of the vintage-esque, masculine layered look that Keaton and Allen captured so brilliantly in Annie Hall, alive and kickin’!
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