{Style Wise} – Feathered Frenzy: Where Were You “Last Year at Marienbad” ?

Fresh off our post featuring an interview with Colleen Atwood and her immaculate creations for the new film “Snow White and the Huntsman“, {the Eye} began thinking of Charlize Theron’s haunting black raven feather “Transforming Cape” and how much it reminded me of Delphine Seyrig’s amazing feathered dress from the ambiguous and elusive 1961 French art house classic, “Last Year At Marienbad“.

Print This Out and Frame It!

Since it’s release in 1961, the film has captivated it’s viewers with it’s sleek black and white photography, decadent Hotel backdrop (Marienbad), and it’s mysterious plot, which involves a Man named “X” and a woman named “A” who may or may not have met the last year a Marienbad. It’s a wild ride through flashbacks, memories, dreams, faded thoughts, and blurred desires that remains the pinnacle of the New Novel movement.

 X

Empty salons. Corridors. Salons. Doors. Doors. Salons. Empty chairs, deep armchairs, thick carpets. Heavy hangings. Stairs, steps. Steps, one after the other. Glass objects, objects still intact, empty glasses. A glass that falls, three, two, one, zero. Glass partition, letters.

++++

+

Written by the renowned French author Alain Robbe-Grillet, and directed by Alain Resnais, the film hoped to break the bounds of narrative and conventional film style all together, and in exchange offer us, the audience, the chance to shape our own perception of the story being unfolded before us.

We may never get an answer from Resnais or Robbe-Grillet on what the film truly is or isn’t about, but it truly is a remarkable and powerful thing to have complete control over our own perception – don’t you think?

From a style perspective, it only takes one look at Delphine Seyrig‘s iconic black feathered cape to understand its staying power in our style consciousness.  Chic and elegant, it would take some serious rock ‘n’ roll attitude to pull this kind of look off today. This didn’t stop Karl Lagerfeld from using the film as the jump point for his collection last Spring/Summer 2011 for Chanel.

While the collection captured some of the signatures of Bernard Evein‘s enigmatic costume designs – feathers, sequins, sheer, black – there’s something masterful in the simplicity and cleanliness of the film’s sumptuous designs.

Here at {the Eye}, we’re going to sit back and let this mystery of a film continue to confuse and delight, as the demons of fashion plant the seeds of inspiration from sea to sea. What Resnais and Robbe-Grillet attempted was to reject accepted notions of time in telling a story- they step forward, backward, under, and sideways creating a timeless lingering legacy.

Inspiration is a strange thing going on and on, snowballing on through time non-stop. Between Charlize, Delphine, and Chanel it might be safe to say, if you’re feeling a little frenzied by feathers – you may just be on the right track!

We love a good mystery, and know you do too, so check out “Last Year At Marienbad” at Criterion today!

++UPDATE++ “Last Year at Marienabd” is part of the TIFF Cinematheque Summer in France programme at the TIFF Lightbox. So if you are in Toronto, and want to enjoy this grand mystery on the big screen, get your ticket today. We will see you there.

Sincerely,

{the Eye}

Similar Stories:

One response to “{Style Wise} – Feathered Frenzy: Where Were You “Last Year at Marienbad” ?

  1. Pingback: {style-wise} Emanuelle Riva, Mon Amour . . . | The Eye of Faith·

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s