Over the top
Sofia Coppola's "Marie Antoinette" causes an overdose of extravagant shapes.
While some may dispute director Sofia Coppola's portrayal of the Marie Antoinette as a vapid girl who loved shopping, no one can argue with the film's powerful influence on fashion.
Vogue magazine has decreed that the extravagant, over-the-top voluminous 18th century gowns in Sofia Coppola's "Marie Antoinette" - designed by Oscar-winner Milena Canonero is the biggest influence on fashion this year.
"It's all about volume," the rag mag editrix Anna Wintour declared in a recent TV interview and who in their right mind would disagree with this indisputable style sneer.
While some may dispute Coppola's portrayal of the young queen as a vapid, bubbly fun-loving girl who loved shopping, partying and sipping champagne, no one can argue with the film's powerful influence on today's apparel market.
So go ahead and blame the French teen queen for this latest fashion flashback - bubble skirts, sack dresses, empire waists, vests, corsets and leggings (worn all at once, please) on the international designer runways.
Several London designers embraced the bigger-is-better fashion theory during their collections. Dolce & Gabbana did molded corset dresses with enormous bubble butts (with platform shoes, just to make life and walking a runway- a little more perilous) in their Milan collection.
Peter Som showed billowing coats and high waisted organza gowns in his recent Big Apple show. Anna Sui's New York show was a wave to Marie Antoinette with French revolutionary hats, leggings and high boots, along with scads of voluminous bubble skirts and tent dresses.
This week Nicky Hilton took a turn modeling in Roberto Cavalli's Milan show, wearing an enormous bright red bubble butt dress that only added more fuel to the pregnancy rumors fire.
Gosh, isn't that just what women look for in an outfit; something that adds "volume" to one's figure, especially around the hips and ass?
I know I do. "May I help you find something," the helpful salesgirl will ask. And I always reply, "Yes, please. I'd like a dress that makes me look as wide as I am tall,"
This season, it won't be hard to find. But truth be told, neither you nor I will be able to resist this royal pain of a fashion craze. And after flipping through a few fashion magazines in a doctor's waiting room, we will undoubtedly find ourselves trying on bits of the Antoinette look. For Fall, it will be nipped military jackets and bubble skirts with fur touches in rich velvets and plummy hues. For next spring, we'll be hankering for those tent dresses and empire waist frocks, albeit in lighter fabrics and mouthwatering pastel colors.
If you really need to be in step with the Marie trend, you can always pick up a pair of Manolo Blahnik's period footwear from the film. The shoe designer is selling a limited edition of his Marie shoes in his Euro boutiques.
Coppola is actually a talented fashion photographer and clothing designer in her own right. She even worked briefly for Chanel designer Karl Lagerfeld in Paris when she was 15. So it's fitting that Chanel hosted her LA premiere party at the Chateau Marmont this week.
The historic Hollywood hotel originally designed with a whiff of a Loire Valley chateau was transformed for the night into a mini-Versailles, complete with a black-and-white tile ballroom, crystal chandeliers, a gilded hall of mirrors lounge and more bouquets of pink flowers and piles of pastel bonbons than you could wave a feathered fan at.
And of course, several of the celebrity party-goers including Mischa Barton - got into the Marie mood by wearing Chanel. Even Coppola, who is several months pregnant, was regal in a Chanel empire waist chiffon frock, ankle strap shoes and bright red Antoinette lips.
According to most awards observers, Canonero is a lock for a Globe, Guild and Oscar nomination for her sumptuous "Antoinette" costumes in mouth-watering candy colors. "She' definitely the frontrunner for best costumes at this point," predicts one awards handicapper. "She's the one to beat."
But this expert prediction could be because Coppola's frivolous film should get something, now shouldn't it, and best director, best screenplay, best actress/ actor just ain't gonna happen.
Now for the bad news: this is not the end of queenly film fashion trends.
To be sure, it's doubtful that the dowdy costumes Helen Mirrren wears to portray the reigning Queen Elizabeth in "The Queen," will end up in anyone's closet who doesn't live in an assisted living retirement community.
But brace yourselves for another royal fashion trend in 2007 sparked by "The Other Boleyn Girl, " starring Scarlett Johansson as Mary and Natalie Portman as Anne Boleyn, sisters who fought for the affections of Henry VIII, the monarch who liked to cut his ties with troublesome ex-wives with a swift axe blow.
And this week, The Hollywood Reporter announced that Johansson has signed on for the lead in another Tudor period film, "Mary Queen of Scots."
Gosh, I can hardly wait for the Tudor trend: somber black velvet gowns, long gauze veils, and stiff white neck ruffs.
Sadly, just like poor little Marie A, Mary's life also had a cutting edge end. She was beheaded in 1587 for treason, implicated in a plot to assassinate her sister Elizabeth.
If only it were that easy to get rid of film-inspired fashion trends.