Anyone who took English in high school knows the story of Romeo Montague and Juliet Capulet; it’s a tale as old as time. The famous Shakespeare play tells the story of two young teenagers who were torn apart by the ancient feud between their families. In 1996, the young director Baz Luhrmann turned this classic story into something no one had ever seen before.
Keeping the juicy beauty of Shakespeare’s dialogue, Luhrmann mixes in modern settings (Verona, California) and fashion to make a fast, flashy, and visually startling movie. Rich with words, passion, and great acting, this movie would be a classic in any case (Oh, how I love thee Leo), but the creative genesis of the set design and wardrobe department really sets it apart from other redundant remakes.
Juliet is played by Claire Danes a sweet virgin angel whom seems to be accompanied by an organic glow. Her hair is natural and straight, which was a huge trend in the mid-90.
Her maid, on the other hand, is a classy and sassy modern women, wearing such sinful bright colored power suits. So all is fair with the ladies, but what really wins me over is the appeal of the men!
Romeo and crew are dashing and wildly handsome as they gallivant around the dirty streets of Verona. Strapped with gun holsters and sporting sheer white dress shirts, loose fitting black jeans and tucked-in wife beaters under multi-colored Latin American patterned button ups: a nod to the California fashion of the time.
Benvolio (Romeo’s cousin) and Mercutio (Romeo’s best friend and a Montague sympathizer) are bad boys whose clothes keep up with their crazed antics. At the ball, where Romeo and Juliet first meet, Mercutio, being the avid troublemaker, dress up in full drag. He applies devil red lipstick, squeezes in a two-piece sequined dress and totters around on outstandingly tall metallic high heels.
The clothes aren’t just used to remind you of the time period because they also built tension and create visual relationships between characters. Mercutio and Tybalt Capulet (Juliet’s cousin and Romeo’s enemy) fight in front of a symbolic abandoned stage where Mercutio wears a cotton shirt, black jeans and a silver cross, while Tybalt and his trusty Goonies wear black leather and sliver studs.
Montagues wear looser, brighter and lighter clothing with messy hair, creating a beach-vibe meets laid-back gentleman look.
The Capulets are darker by nature with slicked back hair, leather, cowboy boots, black business pants, and crushed velvet, giving them the mafia look they need to instill fear throughout Verona.
No matter what they wore, these sweet, innocent and passionate young lovers would still steal the hearts of millions. But the way Baz Luhrmann styled it, this timeless love story has never looked so good!
Wonderful Image Layout made by the talented Phaymiss
- Blogger Project: Ventidue
- Fashion Meets Music: Best Coast “Our Deal”
- The Film Link List – 05.19.11
- M.I.S.S. Techcessories: Vivienne Tam and HP Set to Deliver A New “Digital Clutch” in 2010
- Fashion Meets Film: Halloween 2012 Edition!