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Style Focus – Faye’s Fashion Hits

January 21, 2010

Faye Dunaway, our bombshell of the week, may not be regarded as a style icon offscreen – but some of her best-known characters have made a big impact on fashion and beauty trends.

By far her most influential look was the one she wore in the groundbreaking romantic-thriller Bonnie and Clyde (1967), which was set during the Depression. Faye’s long, poker-straight bob bore no resemblance to anything worn in the 1930s – but it is one of the 1960s’ iconic hair styles.

Also very  influential was the wardrobe devised for her by costume designer Theadora Van Runkle for the film. A very loose interpretation of the real-life Bonnie Parker’s own look, as captured in the iconic sepia photos of her and her partner-in-crime, it was a modern twist on the long, lean silhouette of the early 1930s. And it ushered in the 1970s’ fascination with the decade of deco.

Ms. Van Runkle obviously liked to put Faye in hats because after the selection of berets she sported in Bonnie and Clyde, she spent much of The Thomas Crowne Affair (1968) gazing out enigmatically from under a series of wide-brimmed hats – usually teamed with a sharp skirt suit in a pastel shade.

Faye’s onscreen love affair with hats continued in the little-known 1970 drama Puzzle of a Downfall Child, the story of a woman struggling to cope once her modelling career has run its course.

The trashy 1978 horror Eyes of Laura Mars is worth watching for its fashion – and its fashion shoots. Faye plays the eponymous hotshot photographer who is tortured by premonitions of a series of murders in New York’s fashion community. Here’s a clip of her in action, working the splits in that famous skirt…

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