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Film Noir Fashion

December 2, 2009

Claudia Schiffer recently starred in the art exhibition ‘Capturing Claudia’ at the Colnaghi gallery in London. The exhibition features Ms Schiffer posing as a film noir heroine in a pastiche of forties and fifties cinema.

Not only the art world but fashion itself has also shown a recent interest in film noir. A fashion article in The Daily Telegraph features the Russian model Maryna Linchuk, showcasing a new film noir inspired fashion, including a velvet Armani dress which costs as much as £4,000.

Any retrospective look at film noir is to be welcomed. But perhaps there is a danger that by portraying the world of film noir primarily as one of wealth and sophistication, it will encourage reductive perceptions (or indeed misleading ones) as to what these films were truly like. I may be making too much of this, art exhibitions and fashion shoots do not have the same narrative depth as films. But if we just remember film noir for its glamour we might risk what Mike Davis might describe as a ‘supersaturation of the genre’.

Over at FashionatFilm, Rosa Burger has posted an excellent and wideranging study of the influence of fashion in the film noir genre, ‘Film Costume – Women in Film Noir’.

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