Monday, May 17, 2010

Joanne Woodward in The Three Faces of Eve (1957)

I saw this movie when I was very young and it absolutely fascinated me. I watched it again for the first time in a long time the other day. I had completely forgotten that it is based on a true story – the first well-documented case of multiple personality disorder. Joanne Woodward, who was a relative unknown at the time, won the Oscar for Best Actress for this film. (Another bit of trivia: Joanne Woodward later played the doctor in Sybil from 1976 with Sally Field, another classic about multiple personality disorder.)

What I wanted to do with this movie was capture the feeling of the movie in one outfit. I knew that I wanted to find a way to make Eve White’s attire not be boring and I wanted something with a rounded “Peter Pan” collar.

Here is my interpretation:

Shirt: Urban Outfitters, Pins and Needles Peter Pan Collar Blouse, Long Sleeve in White, on sale for $19.99
Skirt: Down East Basics, Samba Skirt in Grey Violet, $26.99
Shoes: BP Maddie Pumps in Grey Patent, $59.95 via Nordstrom
Hair Clips: The Limited, Puff Flower Clip in Grey, $12.50 each times two of them, $25
Total: $131.93

I felt drawn to do another monochromatic look for this movie (like I did for Streetcar). Joanne Woodward seemed to be in a liminal space, perpetually in-between, neither able to move forward or back because of her disorder. This cried out for a gray outfit, which wasn’t hard to imagine since the film is black and white. It is also symbolic because her two main personalities are called Eve White and Eve Black.

The shirt is white, but it seems gauzy and transparent. You could put a grey camisole underneath to emphasize the monochromatic theme. The shirt is demure and somewhat mousy like Eve White.

The grey skirt is simple and no nonsense. It is practical like Jane, the personality that ends up unifying the main character. The hint of purple in the skirt keeps it from being too boring. The shoes, also in grey, are similarly unifying and practical. I end up selecting Mary Jane’s a lot in this project. Something about them feels so vintage and retro to me but still wearable, relevant and glamorous too.

Lastly, I selected some flower hair clips to incorporate the fun-loving party girl personality, Eve Black. You can see from the left-hand mirror image that Eve Black routinely wears flowers in her hair. I think a bit of frivolity in a grey outfit is unexpected.

The prices are great for this outfit: only a little over $130 from head to toe. I was pleased to be introduced to Down East Basics (which has an array of lovely skirts for less than $30) by Design Mom’s blog.

I would certainly wear this outfit to work. This feels like a great rainy day ensemble. If the flowers are too much in your hair for an office, you could try a hat or a gray flower brooch. Also, some jewelry would jazz this up a bit for everyday wear, such as a small string of pearls.

I don’t typically wear monochromatic looks, especially in such a potentially boring tone, such as grey. But, after working on these two monochromatic looks – Streetcar Named Desire and Three Faces of Eve – I am going to give it a try soon.

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