Fashion in Film

FASHION IN FILM: A Star is Born (1976)

If you follow me on Instagram, and particularly on my Instagram stories, you know I watch a lot of old movies and I’m always posting clips of  great fashion moments from them. Movies are undoubtedly my favorite way to find styling inspiration and vintage shopping ideas. One of the most frequently requested posts here on Sea of Shoes is a list of my favorite films for fashion inspiration. That sounds extremely hard to narrow down for me and a bulletpoint list doesn’t seem to do it any justice. I figured a better way to address this was with a new series on the blog where I highlight movies with incredible wardrobes and set design, screen grabbing the best shots to slow down and savor all of the best moments from them. I’m no serious film buff, just an enthusiastic watcher, and I’m really excited to embark on this series. I hope you will watch along with me!

I thought a timely film to start with, and really an all-timer of great fashion films, would the Barbra Streisand remake of a Star is Born. In preparation for the new one with Lady Gaga, I have rewatched all of the Star is Born movies and this version is my favorite purely for the clothes and sets. This movie is on Netflix right now, by the way. My mom watched it around the same time as me, and we had an extremely long storm of texts freaking out about the outfits and sets.

I highly recommend listening to the You Must Remember This podcast episode about the making of this to better appreciate how completely insane a concept it was. It’s full blown and over the top cheese, which isn’t for everyone’s taste, but it is extremely mine. I watched it twice back to back to get this post together and it only made me love this movie more.

Let’s go over the best looks from the movie. There will be no plot spoilers if you haven’t seen this, so jump on in with me.

This is where we first find Babs with her lounge act, wearing a pink pinstripe blouse with sequin suspenders and red butt-hugging jeans. She is looking very fresh-faced and ingenue-y. I wasn’t able to find a good screen grab of the full outfit, but she is wearing this outfit with some very cool cognac knee high boots. This is an important detail of an amazing first look. Her back-up singers are decked out in patched and debazzled folkloric denim with tons of turquoise.

Here we find Ester at home in her adorable bachelorette pad, which was furnished with Barbra Streisand’s own belongings. She’s wearing what appears to be a 30s lingerie top with blue jeans, totally comfortable entertaining insanely hot Kris Kristofferson in a blouse buttoned down to his navel and black suit with a western belt slung at his hips.  And who wouldn’t be comfortable in a home like this? She has a beautiful burnished orange tapestry slung over her balcony, a velvet fringe cloth covering a cigarette table, a macrame lamp covering, a stunning pink velvet sofa covered in lace tatting, amazing Hawaiian printed bent rattan chairs….I had to pause this scene so many times just so I could drink in all of the details of Ester’s home. It’s worth enduring the unbearably long scene where Barbra Streisand sings a song that is just sound effects but not any words. Like I said, this movie is a balls-to-the-wall cheesefest.

There are so many amazing outfits in this movie but this is far and beyond my favorite. The antithesis of a groupie outfit: Ester wearing a bell sleeve cableknit knee-grazing cardigan with a matching pom pom toque, with flare blue jeans, striped socks, and clogs. The piece de resistance?  A mink sling tote bag. Total perfection.

The outfits from the ranch that Ester and John build are all incredible, as is the ranch itself. I love this very Yves Saint Laurent inspired peasant look she is wearing here with the plunge printed blouse, wrap belt, printed skirt, granny boots, turquoise concha choker and wide brim feather hat.

70s Santa Fe perfection. Cannot get over the set design of their ranch house.

There is also a particularly delightful montage of John and Ester building the ranch from the ground up, which is basically just an excuse for Babs to wear a lot of her more playful outfits and tussle with a shirtless Kris Kristofferson. In the above image she makes a strong case for argyle knee socks and chambray. Argyle knee socks actually make two appearances in this montage, and in one look she wears them with knickerbockers and suspenders. It’s wonderful.

One of the stranger looks from this montage has Ester wearing a Superman tank top and booty shorts, with striped knee high socks. Weird but cute!

Ester’s dress she wore to accept her Grammy is insane. I love the Art Deco pattern and nod to the 20s with the matching choker and shawl. I really hope Lady Gaga wears an homage to this when she goes to the Grammys next.

 

Here Ester wears the same mink sling bag from earlier, with loose white silk pants and a poet blouse and suede flat cream boots. She wears the most amazing embroidered buckskin coat on top. I would die to see this coat up close in person.

Yes to this set design! I’m inspired to convert my living room into a seated lounge now. I love the lingerie Ester wears throughout the movie, I need to up my loungewear game after watching this. A lot of these pieces appear to be from the 20s and 30s.

There are a couple of scenes where Ester wears three piece suits but this suit is my favorite. Very jaunty with the the double pinstripe action and bowtie.

I would be remiss not to include a screen grab of the ultimate bridal hair moment of all time. She is just too adorable in the wedding scene.

I hope you all enjoyed this round up of the best moments from A Star is Born! Give that podcast a listen and go watch or rewatch it. I’m already getting ready to write the next Fashion in Film post. Let me know what you think!

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