So I know I'm a little late to the party, especially as someone who is obsessed with her Disney+ subscription, but we finally got around to watching Cruella.
I'm going to be honest, when I heard this was being made and who was playing the titular character, I was really unsure about the whole thing. I feel a little like origin stories are a bit passé now, but I had heard good things about the movie, so thought 'why not?'.
Now, some of my reservations were realised, but honestly, I really enjoyed it. You might be thinking this is a blog post reviewing the movie, and whilst there may be a little of that, this post is about the aesthetics of the film.
The stars of the film are good in their roles, the cinematography is actually rather stunning - gritty yet bold with an almost animated quality - but these things are not what shine in this film. It is the costume and sound departments that have really come into their own. The choice of music for this film is truly genius and features many of my favourite tracks.
Tracks by legendary artists like The Doors, Supertramp, Nina Simone, The Stooges and E.L.O which were perfectly placed in the movie to heighten the action. It made me realise just how much I love edgy fashion and also how fashion and music go hand in hand.
Both fashion and music have been huge parts of my life since I was young, however, due to a variety of reasons (bullying, lack of confidence, etc., etc.) I never really pursued either of them. I used to play the guitar and started to learn the ukulele, got grade 2 in flute and sang in various choirs. I was in a number of bands (still technically am) and my love of music has been with me a long time. Thing is, these days, I end up watching more TV / Movies than I do listen to music and part of me feels that this is because I am not good enough for music anymore.
I quickly realised that because designer apparel was completely out of my reach, and that I was a dreadful artist, I stopped learning and designing. I wanted to learn to make clothes, but didn't really have the patience (I have started to learn in more recent years and have made a few dresses and tops, but I've not practiced in a while). I realise that I watch so many shows and movies that centre around fashion that that desire is still there somewhat (GBSB, Devil Wears Prada, Next in Fashion, Project Runway, Making the Cut and now, Cruella!).
Watching Cruella brought home to me how fantastic the 60s, 70s and 80s were both for the fashion and music industries. So many originals came out of these decades - those trying to shun the past and focus on the future, individuals finally starting to be allowed to be who they were (Artie in Cruella is a great example of how these decades finally started to allow the LGBTQ+ communities to come forward and be seen and heard). My style more recently has edged towards a more 70s aesthetic, and I realise that this is where a lot of my music love is too.
What I loved about this movie was the influences from designers like Vivienne Westwood, Malcolm McLaren, Alexander McQueen, Halston, and even going back to some of the classic looks from the 40s and 50s with the Dior new look and some of the wonderful androgyny of Coco Chanel (Chanel is even mention in the movie). I have to take my hat off to Jenny Beavan who has really created an utter masterpiece with the entire collection she created for this film.
The make up too (props to Nadia Stacey) was so perfectly done; giving edge for Estella/Cruella and that perfectly put together make up for The Baroness.
Whilst the storyline may have been somewhat predictable, and those reservations I held with casting still sort of remain, I will watch this film probably on repeat for the foreseeable future. I have to thank it for giving me back something I thought I had lost, a passion for fashion.
Now, where's my sewing machine...