Successful movie? No. Cruel is a fashion show. Despite the terribly exciting villain’s origin story and all-star cast, Disney’s latest film could easily exist on the runway. A new couture look flashes on the screen every second, leaving viewers in shock and wanting more. Capes on fire, embellishments to hatch, a garbage dress, and of course: Dalmatians. But what caught our attention was the inspiration behind it all – an era of style that is simply out of this world.
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The London glam punk revolution of the 70s changed fashion forever. Disgruntled youth have taken over power in our most favorite way … counterculture with matching clothes. Vivienne Westwood led the masses to find freedom in sex, bold T-shirts, copious amounts of leather, and zippers on zippers. Destroy fashion as she knew it and rebuild something unstoppable. Well, it’s no surprise that Vivienne and Cruella de Vil have some common traits.
During the film, Cruella, played by Emma Stone, goes back to her beginnings in fashion and crime in the 1970s. Working in the studio of a fictional but fabulous designer, the Baroness, Cruella is in a the devil wears Prada-like, gradually becoming the creative genius behind a brand close to the style of Dior. After learning never-before-seen news about her boss’s meanness, Cruella transforms into her Vivienne-style alter-ego. Then fashion becomes interesting.
Jenny Beavan, the Oscar-winning costume designer behind Cruel, created 277 stunning looks for production. Glamorous punk meets European haute couture. And while each look was completely original, RC noticed some subtle nods to our favorite designers, each perfectly suited to the story and the aesthetic.
First of all, Vivienne Westwood, of course. Parallels in the best possible way.
Then Alexander McQueen had all the time to Cruel. His rebellious nature in the 90s definitely justified a major stylistic inspiration for the characters in the film. The combinations of leather, tan, and black / white could often match McQueen’s signatures.
Finally, Marie Quant. A fashion icon from the 1970s known for her “wet look” curation, Quant is a revolutionary cornerstone of London’s youth.
Oh, being young in 1970s London. After watching Cruel, our wardrobes suddenly need be exclusively black, white and red. Jenny Beavan effortlessly brought an era of quintessential fashion to life and embraced it. Disney films have a reach like no other production company, attracting glam punk to the media recognition that 70s fashion junkies were waiting for. The question is … does Cruel do justice to the times? RC say yes.