Sunday, 28 March 2010

Reel to Real #9: Catherine Deneuve in "The Umbrellas of Cherbourg"

Jacques Demy's "The Umbrellas of Cherbourg" is a lovely 1964 musical featuring future grande dame of French cinema Catherine Deneuve in her film debut. And what an impression she makes! Playing the romantic teenager Geneveive, pining for her soldier paramour, Deneuve's wardrobe helps make "Umbrellas" one of cinema's most memorably colorful works.  Each of the film's set piece is meticulously composed, and Deneuve's clothes always match or complement  the sumptuous backgrounds in a manner which is swoon rather than groan-inducing. 
Deneuve's clothes are generally pastel-colored, helping characterize Geneveive as a young, naive romantic (as do her girlish hair bows). Notice details such as the cut of her coat in the shot above, peter pan collars, and other soft accents. 

While her look may be a bit too extreme in its uber-femininity for the modern fashionista, but of course her look is extreme, considering it's part of an all-sung operetta. While we needn't match the wallpaper, our closets could always use a bit of Deneuve's fun and classic look. 

Here's a clip from the film, featuring it's most famous song, "I Will Wait For You". I highly recommend checking out the whole film; it's got one of the best and most nuanced endings i've ever seen and is a visual treat throughout:

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