The girl. The boy. The school. The Rock. Fragments of a mystery from a summer long ago…
Such opens the trailer for Peter Weir’s 1975 film, Picnic at Hanging Rock. In the vein of The Virgin Suicides, the movie centers around the surreal disappearance of three picnicking Edwardian school girls at the eerie and mysterious Hanging Rock. While (in reference to the trailer opening) girls, boys, schools, and rocks play an important role in the storyline, one of my personal favorite aspects of this film is the costuming. If any movie was positively destined to inspire spring fashions, this has got to be it.
Delicate and graceful, dreamy protagonist Miranda and her bevy of companions float through the movie in billowing white frocks, reminiscent of 1970’s flower child apparel. Differing only slightly in ruffle allotment, lace embellishment, and style of collar, the girls’ dresses are practically identical in nature. In comparison to school outsiders, who wear varying ensembles of different colors, the girls stand apart pure and untouched, like a group of virginal sylphs or fair Elvin princesses. During the beginning portion of the film, Miranda and her friends wear dainty black lace-up boots. Once under the mysterious spell of Hanging Rock, however, (to the shock of a down-to-earth companion) they daringly remove their shoes and socks and proceed to walk barefoot amongst the boulders.
At this point, you’re probably thinking something along the lines of"OK, Pink Champagne, enough with the soppy literary-like analogies. This article is supposed to be about FASHION". Dear Chictopians, what Miranda and her friends were doing was, among other things, a free spirited fashion statement. Captivated by the wild beauty and magic of Hanging Rock, the girls cast off traditional Edwardian social phenomenon and instead proceeded to embrace their own comfort zone when it came to their way of dress.
You too should seek to live out this theory when it comes to planning out your spring wardrobe. Instead of following the latest fashion fads simply because it’s cool to do so, revert to a more classic and tried and true post-winter wardrobe that revolves around all things fresh and light. The following Chictopians not only successfully worked a Picnic at Hanging Rock-esque look, but harmonized their outfits in tune with nature.
- Keeping with the theme of this article, yours truly decided to go all-out with the Edwardian fashion vibe. I decided to pair my historical looking high necked white blouse with a long rusty brown and ivory peasant skirt from the 1970’s, instead of something more predictably all-white. I’m also wearing a vintage brown and gold cameo locket, which nods towards clothing styles from both the hippy era and the early 1900’s.
-ImogenLukins sported a look that’s simultaneously trendy and classical. Her floor-sweeping white lace maxi dress would be right at home on both the slopes of Hanging Rock and the S/S 2011 runways. She adds some unexpected texture juxtapose with a perfectly fitting blue denim jacket.
-Rockpapervintage likewise wears a dramatic long lace skirt. Her outfit gets a bit of edge via a sharp black batwing blouse and tough combat boots. Hair tucked up under a cute little straw hat, she’s an ideal example of “feminine-meets-masculine”.
-AshMarie resembles a Grecian minstrel in this pale pink draped dress. Her outfit goes to show that you don’t need an ankle-grazing skirt to imitate the clothing styles of_Picnic at Hanging Rock_. Her fetching polka dot stockings give the look a slight modern Parisian vibe, while her wrapped ribbon headband keep the look within the realm of magic.
HAIR AND MAKEUP _____________________
What’s an outfit without the proper hair and makeup? (Answer: a very busy fashionista!) Have no fear, Chictopians; even if you’re pressed for time, it’s incredibly easy to put together a beauty look akin to Miranda’s. Undertaking the same theory applicable to Picnic at Hanging Rock clothing styles, you’ll want to go for something that’s windswept and natural. Just before the girls wander off to explore the Rock, Miranda’s appearrance is compared to that of a Botticelli painting. You’ll never catch Birth of Venus or Madonna of the Magnificat wearing a face full of plastered-on bold lipstick and eye shadow or a ridiculous sprayed and shellacked hairstyle. Instead of trying to alter your face and hair into something they aren’t, highlight the lovely features you were already born with.
For makeup, stick to three or four products per look. A little concealer, mascara, lip gloss and three-in-one blush go a long way! (Check out this YouTube tutorial) For my aforementioned Picnic at Hanging Rock outfit, I abandoned my usual red lipstick, Brooke Shields-esque eyebrows, and smoldering eye. After applying a bit of concealer, I lightly filled in my eyebrows with a dark brown pencil, dusted my cheeks and eyelids with a rosy pink blush, and applied minimal top-lid eyeliner and mascara. I forewent lipstick altogether and instead filled in my kisser with shimmering pink blush, contoured with a tad of lip liner.
Hair should be styled in a carefree manner, with as little product as humanly possible. Pull back a few strands from around your face with some bobby pins, or let your tresses hang completely loose and natural. If you absolutely need to keep your hair out of the way, try a soft fishtail side braid (which conveniently happens to be in style at the moment!) or a loose ballerina bun at the nape of your neck. _______________________________
Have a lovely spring, Chictopians! I know that we live all around the world; some of us are already experiencing the joys of delightfully warm spring weather, where some of us remain stuck in freezing cold sleet and ice. (Here, I glance remorsefully up from my computer screen outside the window, my gaze falling upon the snow filled Pennsylvanian streets.) Warm or cold, the wardrobe and beauty philosophy behind the movie Picnic at Hanging Rock stands strong. Dare to go against the grain and immerse yourself in all things dreamy and natural. Just be sure not to wander off near too many rocks. You might never come back.