Literary fervour is in the air. With adaptations of On the Road, The Great Gatsby and The Rum Diary all appearing on our screens in 2012, literary cinema continues to lift our style wardrobes up and away. We take a look at the fashion in five film classics that were inspired by Great American Novels.
Though Nabokov was Russian, Lolita is classed as his most ‘American’ novel, and indeed, has topped many a ‘Great American Novel’ lists. Stanley Kubrick’s re-imagining is a film classic, and the very reason that, 50 years later, grown women everywhere are still getting around in lolly-coloured, heart-shaped sunglasses. The glasses didn’t appear in the film, only on the publicity poster and book cover, but it was enough to see them enter the popular consciousness forevermore.
In the film, Sue Lyon plays Dolores Haze (Lolita), whose childlike allure creates a joyful veneer that contrasts vividly with the creepy, tortured machinations of Humbert Humbert (James Mason). This film turned high-waisted bikinis, perforated sun hats, baby doll dresses and rolled-up jeans into a subject of sartorial lust whose girly, early ‘50s style still lingers today.
Designers including Christopher Kane and Prada have paid homage to the playful style, illustrating that the best fashion is often full of irony and unsettling dualities.