Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Savoir Faire 2001

Since it is the 40th anniversary of man’s landing on the moon, it is apt that a mention of it is made on Savoir Faire. Before man had actually landed on the moon Stanley Kubrick had built a whole community on the moon, in “2001 A Space Odyssey”. Instead of the International Space Station we had a Hilton Hotel, serviced regularly by Pan Am rocket, and video phones were a part of everyday life. The most surprising part of all this is, that Kubrick had hired the Queen’s dressmaker Hardy Amies to dress us all in this groundbreaking science fiction movie.

An odd choice and many wondered whether Hardy was up to it, but design he did and the costumes are wonderful! Sir Hardy shook up his traditional image when he created the futuristic costumes which today are instantly recognisable. When costuming the movie there were several challenges involved. One scene had direct political undertones as this was the height of the cold war. When the American’s meet the Russians in the lobby of the Hilton Space Station, Amies made the Russians wardrobe appear as drab and shapeless as possible (which must have killed him) to comment on the social aspects of communism in Eastern Europe in the late 60’s.

Amies’ costumes blend in perfectly with the set decoration of the movie to create an overall concept of what we could expect of the future. Who can forget Kier Dullea in that wonderful spacesuit that has so much more panache and style than the current versions by NASA?

Pan Am’s hostesses in those wonderful almost cat like suits that were not only designed for practicality and comfort but looked good as well.

So to celebrate our landing on the moon and Sir Hardy’s birthday last week, we salute you Mr. Amies, for stepping out of your comfort zone with some savoir faire.

* Suggested reading Sir Hardy’s autobiography “Still Here”.

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