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Sunday, June 17, 2018

Living Fashion in Ocean's 8

mariana leung oceans 8
Ocean's 8 is arguably the most fashion movie of the year. One of the first set-piece scenes is of a retro-styled fashion show at the glorious landmark of JFK Airport's legendary TWA terminal. (Yep,  that's me in the bottom left corner with my camera, essentially playing myself in this scene.) The "designer" is an eccentric, overworked Helena Bonham Carter (can anyone relate?). The big heist revolves around jewelry, and it all goes down at the Met Gala, while everyone looks impeccable in gowns doing it. This is a great movie that illustrates how the choices of a costume designer help craft the character.

The diverse group of women teaming up to pull off the heist represents all types of personal style. Cate Blanchett's Lou has a masculine rock-star swagger to her that is downright sexy. Rihanna's chill street style for her character 8-Ball represents her pride in culture, comfortable in her confidence. Awkwafina's street style tells you her character is street smart and city savvy. Sandra Bullock's Debbie Ocean has a tailored, professional look, coolly disguising her criminal intent, knowing people generally believe what they see. Mindy Kaling's character wears outfits that hint at the character's Indian heritage, but the more fashionable, modern look shows she is the new generation. Sarah Paulson's uptight housewife garb is part of why she succeeds in being a con artist under the nose of her husband and community. She looks the part, so people rarely question who someone is beyond that physical impression.
Anne Hathaway's hilarious self-conscious celebrity performance was enhanced by Ocean's 8 costume designer Sarah Edwards' choices. She wore carefully chosen outfits that she was not clearly comfortable in, like a celebrity relying too much on a stylish to craft a fabricated image. Carter's fashion designer character was supposed to be an aging icon, who was no longer cutting edge, looking to update her status with a celebrity affiliation. Dressing Hathaway in bright pink in a gown with an older silhouette and pattern with an oversized diamond necklace was the perfect picture of a look she wore for the sake of other people's agenda.
The Met Gala itself. I have only been to the exhibit previews, so I don't know how accurate the depiction was in the movie. The staging of the exhibit was not unrealistic. There is some dramatic flair to many of the shows. The broad theme and how the looks relate to them. I suppose Anna Wintour or Andrew Bolton had to have been consulted. Ms. Wintour would have to give her blessing for her character to be portrayed in the film. You see the signature hair bob and tweed jacket at least.
Was the execution of the heist believable? Well, not exactly. There is no reason that every single suspect needed to parade herself down the famous Met Gala red carpet in front of paparazzi when police are looking for them. Does anyone care? No, it was just an opportunity to see our favorite stars cleaned up and sparkly. That was the point of the movie right?
I hope there is an Ocean's 8.2 very soon! (And bring me back!)

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