Café Society:A Look at Hollywood in 1930s
The glitz and glamour that the old Hollywood brought us have always been quite a fascinating time, most particularly in fashion. If 2013 brought us into a major Hollywood glam time travel with The Great Gatsby starring Leonardo di Caprio, this year has Woody Allen’s Café Society.
Set in the glamorous 1930s Hollywood, Café Society is a story of love, life and ambition. It premiered in May 11, 2016 at the Cannes Film Festival which immediately had it garner positive reviews from reputable critics. Apart from the well-written screenplay and exceptional plot, the film is full of genuine vintage fashion that perfectly describes Hollywood culture in the 1930s. What’s more exciting for fashion enthusiasts is that this film is in collaboration with the world’s finest fashion house – Chanel. Costume designer Suzy Benzinger worked with Chanel to fully deliver class and luxury that old Hollywood beholds. Suzy added, “I couldn’t really design this film and not address Chanel. In the 20th century, Chanel was the epitome of style, luxury and glamour. If I was to portray Café Society properly I would have to use Chanel. It is a vital part of history.”
Now let’s take a look at these gorgeous costumes that the characters from café Society showed.
Veronica “Vonnie” Sybil
Vonnie is played by today’s most in-demand leading ladies and also the current face of Chanel, Kristen Stewart. Veronica, or most commonly addressed in the film as Vonnie, is quite an exceptional and unique character that truly stands out among the glamour that surrounds her. She works as Phil’s (Steve Carell) personal assistant whom she is also in affair with.
Style Snippets from Veronica “Vonnie” Sybil
As she is one of the leading characters in the film, it is apparent that Vonnie appears tremendously in every scene. She did not fail to channel the conventionally simple lady in the 1930s which made her look quite special in the huge swarm of glamorous Hollywood women.
Vonnie walks alongside her companion in a peachy beige vintage one piece that features a soft scarf as a tie. Her one piece fashion ensemble is perfectly tailored to give definition to her lean and feminine physique. As the 1930s gave color coordination its own mega spotlight, Vonnie also flaunted a matching bow headband to top off her girly vintage look. For footwear, she wore white ankle socks with a brown suede pair of open-toe strap sandals for a more chic and casual look.
Vonnie, despite her simple and conventional fashion persona, still managed to look impeccably stunning alongside Bobby (Jesse Eisenberg) in her cream white tailored collar dress. The dress is perfectly fit to the sleeves and to the waist with delicate tailoring lines that add dimension to the whole look.
In this particular look, which is definitely an instant favorite for most of us, Vonnie sported the ever-popular fashion that skyrocketed in the 1930s. If you think about Jayne Mansfield or Bettie Page, an outfit like so will definitely come to mind. Vonnie rocked a red polka dot collared polo tied up to bare her midriff region and a high-waist pleated skirt to match it. She also wore a lace belt that features the exact same print that her top has to give her ensemble a more color-coordinated effect.
Sweet, innocent and romantic became quite a popular fashion image for most girls in the 1930s to the early 1940s. Today, we might think that ribbon bow headbands have no space in a full-grown woman’s fashion stash. But this had been proven wrong as Vonnie looked like a sweet lady with her cream beige bow ribbon headband. It perfectly matches her wavy ash locks and her nude-colored pearl jewelry.
We can’t help but fancy Vonnie’s sweet and girly wardrobe that perfectly defines her casual style. In this cream ivory ensemble, she showed how to pull off elegance without dramatic frills, diamonds and pearls! The midi dress featured romantic cape ruffles that fall into a huge bow on to the center of the neckline. She also wore ruffled gloves that match her dress and a stylish handbag of the same color.
Another cute and romantic take on vintage fashion is this lovely printed chiffon dress in a soft and subtle pink shade. Just like most of Vonnie’s wardrobe pieces, this also featured ruffled colors and adorable bow accents. To match her gorgeous wavy bob, she ties her hair with a satin ribbon the matches the color of her dress.
Several years later after meeting Bobby and finally marrying her then illicit affair partner, Phil, Vonnie have stepped up her fashion game which is quite considered a character makeover for her. From the sweet and simple secretary to the elegant socialite wife of a powerhouse talent agent, Vonnie finally broke herself away from the lovely ensembles and went for a full glam comprised of dramatic furs, luxurious gowns and bulky statement jewelry. In this particular look, Vonnie flaunted a lavish fur coat layered over a signature lacy dress. In addition, she also wore heavy pearls and diamonds as dangling earrings and statement necklace.
Beside her beloved husband, Vonnie absolutely reciprocated the elegance that Phil gives off. As a renowned public figure in Hollywood, Phil’s image is quite luxurious and remarkable. With Vonnie being dressed up in dramatic feather sleeves, Victorian print gown and luxurious satin elbow gloves; she showed how the wife of an influential public figure should dress like. Not to mention all her glitzy and blinding diamonds!
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If we talk about an elegantly beautiful and irresistible divorcee, Veronica Hayes takes a spot in the picture. Played by Blake Lively, Veronica embraces the image of a lonely divorcee which her extremely rich husband left for a younger woman. She saves Bobby from the immense heartbreak that Vonnie had caused and eventually took her place in Bobby’s heart.
Style Snippets from Veronica Hayes
Veronica and Bobby’s meeting place is a high-end night club in New York City which explains the group of influential and wealthy people that visit there. As being of social class is already a given in the setup, we already have an idea on how Veronica looks like – rich, elegant and irresistible. In this particular look, Veronicl stunned everyone with her gleaming silver dress with a sexy plunging neckline that beautifully emphasizes her sexy, womanly physique.
Channeling The Great Gatsby fad with her chic red slip dress and gem-embellished feather headpiece, Veronica stands alongside her dapper-looking husband looking quite euphoric and sophisticated. The double straps of her red slip dress also featured silver brooches that added beauty to the whole look.
Well, Veronica is also a typical loving housewife behind all her glamorous and lavish pieces. In this look, she flaunts a simple ivory dress that featured a buttoned-up top and sleek tailored collar. The dress is fitted enough to give definition and emphasis to her lean physique.
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More Fascinating Vintage Looks from the Film
Silk sand satin fabrics, dangling earrings, edgy elbow gloves and blinding necklaces – this particular screenshot from the movie shows how most women from high society dress up for social gatherings in the 1930s. It’s either they bare a bit of skin as their dresses flow effortlessly with its soft gleaming fabric. As for men, it still goes for the timeless classic tuxedo that looks quite elegant and dapper.
Candy, played by Anna Camp, also showed up in this fun, springtime ensemble comprised of vibrant hues and floral prints. The sleeves fall in soft ruffles which resembles a cape, along with dramatic pearl accents and a colorful hat.
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If we are talking about vintage corporate wear, here’s a classic example of it. Beige ensembles and thin vertical stripes add definition and sophistication to the whole look. Partnered with tailored a top, this vintage get-up is how you dress up right for work!
We hope you liked this article about these glorious fashion pieces that Café Society brought us. From vintage casual pieces to glamorous gowns – it’s quite undeniable that Old Hollywood still has it. Which among these looks are your favorites?