Friday, June 4, 2010

Ingrid Bergman in Casablanca (1942)



Casablanca is a movie I have never really been able to get into. I tend to fall asleep about halfway through and never really pay attention to it. I resolved to watch it this time. It took me two tries but I did it.

It is one of those movies where the famous lines are so very famous that when you finally watch it you feel like it is really cliché. It is hard to watch Casablanca and not feel like the characters are imitating some famous movie.

But I did find it to be an unexpectedly funny and a politically intriguing film. There are some really good moments. As a historical artifact of an interesting time in European history, it is fantastic.

I find Ingrid Bergman leaves me cold and my husband absolutely reviles her character. But, she has some fabulous outfits in this film. The one above I thought was potentially an accessible one for people to attempt to re-create and wear today.

Here is my interpretation:

Run-down:
Shirt: Old Navy, Women’s Perfect Tee in Black Combo on sale for $10
Skirt: Lord & Taylor, Kate Hill Knee Length Drawstring Linen Skirt, on sale for $49.99
Vest: J. Jill, Handstitched Linen Vest in White, $99
Belt: Charlotte Russe, Knotted Leather Snap Back Belt, $8.50
Hat: Kohl’s Croft & Barrow Striped Straw Floppy Hat, on sale for $14.40
Sandals: Payless, Predictions Julep Sandal on sale for $9.99
Total: $191.88

This outfit feels like travel to me. It seems like something to wear to dinner at a Caribbean resort or to go sightseeing in a European city. I also think it is dressy enough (with the hat) to wear to a ladies lunch and without the hat out shopping or maybe to work in the summer.

I think linen is a very summertime fabric. While I doubt that Ingrid’s jumper was linen, I decided to match the vest that I found. I think the wide lapels on this vest mimic the jumper effect of Ingrid’s outfit.

Instead of a white hat, I decided to punch it up a bit by picking a striped hat to go with the shirt. The shoes and belt are simple and white and everything except the two main linen pieces is very inexpensive.

I think altogether my version is significantly more breezy and casual than Ingrid’s outfit, but I feel this makes it more wearable and accessible today. I would never think to dress up a simple striped tee or wear a linen vest so this is an interesting example of how looking at this old movies can make you think outside the box with your style choices.

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