I have to confess to rather neglecting my Fashion & Film blog and if I could find the extra time I'd be going to the gym instead as I need to! However, yesterday one of my lectures delivers a great insight into female transformation as portrayed by Hollywood.
I'm not going to give away too much seeing as our visiting lecturer has a book coming out about it sometime soon, I feel obliged to wait and go into more depth then!
But one film example we looked at played out the double whammy of transformation and consumption comprehensively in the opening sequence - Thoroughly Modern Millie Now I love this film despite it's 1960s interpretation of 1920s costumes. It is a totally uplifting, fun film. Interestingly musicals as a genre have remained very few and far between since the lifting of the Hays Code.
But back to the opening sequence...Julie Andrews as Millie undertakes a walk, a walk along a street that results in a complete transformation of her look. she loses her curls, long frock coat, big hat and lace up boots to become a flapper complete with cloche hat, bobbed hair, long beads and short dress. At each step of her transformation Millie appears from the relevant places, hairdressers, dress shop etc extremely happy until she spies something else that is missing. She loses the smile on her face and her walk slows down as the realisation of not having it quite right dawns upon her.
And there we have it the perfect juxtaposition of looking good and never being completely satisfied...there is always something else. This is pure consumption. We are caught up in the consumption process and that's why we are never quite satisfied. Always looking for the perfect handbag, lipstick or dress that will make us complete.