Thursday, November 21, 2013

Cate Blanchett vs. Kate Beckinsale: Katharine Hepburn or Ava Gardner in The Aviator?

Movie stars nowadays dress like tramps compared to old Hollywood starlets.

This is a particularly special post for me. Not only does it involve one of my all-time favourite stylish films, but it is also officially the 100th post of When Fashion Met Film. How exciting.

Therefore, to celebrate this splendid occasion, I decided to reminisce in more ways than one. Firstly, the topic is about well-dressed screen icons from the 1940s, as portrayed by Cate and Kate in The Aviator (2004). Secondly, it's a throwback to my first ever post, Gwen Stacy vs. Catwoman. This is only my third "vs.", mainly because I don't really enjoy pinning two stylish characters against each other, unless it is relevant, like Sienna Miller vs. Scarlett Johansson, since they both portrayed Hitchcock heroines around the same time.

Nevertheless, here we are. I may regret this decision, as I love both Cate and Kate, and Katharine and Ava were both incredibly stylish, but so different. 

The real-life Katharine Hepburn was infamous for her masculine take on style. She was known for wearing wide-legged trousers and blazers in her free time, but was not afraid to amp up the glamour for red carpet affairs. 

Ava Gardner, on the other hand, always looked like pin-up perfection.

Costumer designer Sandy Powell won an Oscar for her efforts in this film, and it was undoubtedly well-deserved. I can't think of any film in which the characters represent their real-life women, style-wise, better than in this film. 

Had I been asked a couple of years ago whose style I preferred, I would have definitely gone for Ava's sexy, glamorous and colourful wardrobe. However, now I feel more inclined to side with Katharine's, as it's versatile and chic, and perhaps the best example of power-dressing before the 80s.

Either way, this film is (and both women are) a constant inspiration.

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