Director Sofia Coppola has become a bit of a buzz name in the fashion community lately, with her quirky, elegant style garnering a steady stream of adoration from fashion’s most high. Marc Jacobs made her the face of his fragrance campaign back in 2002, Dior sought her out when it came time to direct a commercial for their Miss Dior Cherie perfume line, and she released a capsule collection of handbags and shoes for Louis Vuitton. She’s currently storming the Chateau Marmont, the infamous Hollywood celeb haven, to film her latest flick, Somewhere. In a nutshell, Coppola has been keeping herself busy lately!
We here at M.I.S.S decided to take a look back at the rising star’s directorial debut, the visual tour de force The Virgin Suicides. Based on the novel of the same name, the film tells the story of the five teenage Lisbon sisters who, one by one, commit suicide in their middle-class Detroit suburb. Set in the 1970s, Coppola does an amazing job of capturing the Lisbon sisters’ awkward transitions from the innocence of girlhood to the confusing – and overwhelming – stage of womanhood.
Like any good Coppola film, she pays intense homage to the period the story unfolds in through fashion. The costuming painstakingly recreates each funky detail of the 70s, from the boys’ velvet bell bottomed suits to the girls’ billowy sleeved maxi-dresses. Holly Hobbie paisley-inspired floral prints run rampant on the girls skirts, and their A-line, Chevron print dresses are nothing short of 70s spectacular. Their casual digs are just as vintage, with the sisters donning track shorts, striped crew-neck Ts, and pastel colored spaghetti strap tops. Shearling coats, vacation blazoned Ts, and chenille boxy striped sweater vests all make retro fabulous appearances as well. Coppola makes a constant effort to let fashion speak for the girls, as they fluctuate somewhere between tomboyish, little girl looks and a more provocative, skin-baring style of a grown woman.
When the girls dress up for the prom, Coppola uses the dresses to convey the girls excitement. To them at this awkward stage of teendom, dressing up in flowing prom dresses is what really makes them women. Similarly, when Lux (played brilliantly by a very vulnerable Kirsten Dunst) says good night to her date Tripp Fontaine after an especially PG-rated date with the family, her kiddish T shirt and bellbottoms give her the appearance of a confused Cindy Brady who doesn’t know her role. But when she sneaks out to Tripp’s car to experience a sexual rush of womanhood, the T is gone and Coppola has clad her in a flowing, adult nightgown in a reddish pastel. Tres sexy, and definitely very, very adult. Check out the clip below to get an idea of what I mean, and enjoy a steamy moment!
Coppola made sure that The Virgin Suicides is all about recreation. Recreating the suburbs, recreating the 70s vibe, recreating the fashion, and recreating the awkward, and sometimes painful, transition that we all go through as we realize that we have to put aside being a little girl and try to become more of a woman. Everyone, including all of us here at M.I.S.S, can appreciate that.
Side note: Coppola used her industry connects to hook up the soundtrack as well, with everything from 70s classics to this dope song by Air, “Playground Love.” Peep the vid below!
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