Sunday 14 November 2010

Reel to Real #12: Anna Karina in "Pierrot Le Fou"

Anna Karina, the face of the French new Wave, is my favorite fashion icon because her style is whimsical yet wearable. She made 7 amazing movies with her then-husband, legendary director Jean-Luc Godard, all of which are WELL worth seeing (and all of which feature fantastic outfits; it's honestly hard for me not to write about a Godard/Karina movie for each of these posts). I did my first-ever post on their second film together, "Une Femme est Une Femme," but Anna's look in "Pierrot le Fou" is probably the easiest to copy. Karina's style is so easy to incorporate into your own. I know I have, so I can show you how to do the same.
All of Godard's movies, but Pierrot Le Fou in particular, examine French national identity, and accordingly dress Karina in the colors of France's flag: good old red, white, and blue. These primary colors are put together strikingly, and Karina's color coordinations look personalized, not contrived. The colors' stark boldness makes them stick in your mind.
Karina also incorporates the whole nautical look into her style, most obviously with her sailor hat and stripes (so now anyone who's seen me on a Saturday night in my sailor hat knows where I got the idea from). This establishes her character, Marianne as a restless wanderer. (click on the pictures to enlarge!)
She also, though, wears very traditionally feminine and demure details and pieces such as modest cardigans, Mary Janes, ruffles, and dresses with trimming. Yet unlike say, Catherine Deneuve in "The Umbrellas of Cherbourg" (to reference a pervious reel to real post), she never looks overdone or parodic, because her feisty attitude makes her both girly and tough. So if you're going to go over the top with the ruffles, make like Karina in her white ruffled dress and wear it wth confidence and attitude

In Pierrot, Karina also anticipates current trends including high-waisted, colored jeans, and rompers, which is what makes her style so prescient. What I love about Karina's style, and why I find her to be such a great style icon, is that it is coordinated enough to serve the film's general mood but always playful and full of fun personal touches. Which is of course what true style is all about.

So remember, kids: bold primary colors, nautical, knee-length skirts, ruffles and trimmings, cardigans, stripes, Mary Janes, flats, and a whole lot of sass
Here's some of my Anna in Pierrot-inspired pieces, to show how you, yes you, can be like one of cinema's greatest faces:

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