Must See Vintage Films: Two for the Road (1967)

1960s, albert finney, audrey hepburn, films, Foale and Tuffin, jacqueline bisset, ken scott, mary quant, Paco Rabanne

My most recent Lovefilm rental was a film I’ve been dying to see for years: Two for the Road starring Audrey Hepburn and Albert Finney. I can safely say that it did not disappoint and I remain baffled as to why it wasn’t more successful at the time, or why it hasn’t been re-evaluated as a classic in the years since. I suppose it is mainly a lack of familiarity; when was the last time it was shown on’t’telly?

One reviewer explained the possible contemporary drawback that Audrey Hepburn was a much more established Hollywood star in 1967, and someone like Albert Finney would have seemed a terrible upstart to have equal billing opposite her. It doesn’t help that his character is a dominant, aggressive, opinionated Alpha male, and she is as delicately beautiful and softly spoken as always. That isn’t to say that her character is a washout, far from it, but in analysing a marriage across its entire lifespan, you will certainly see the worst sides of both parties. And the phrase ‘a bit of an arse’ was created precisely for a man like Mark Wallace.

The rhythm of the film is deliciously undulating and swervy, which is dictated by the fact that it is a road movie and that it switches between several different time periods through its entirety. You see how the couple first meet, how they fall in love, how they survive youthful poverty, pregnancy, the changing fortunes of their lives (and how these, perversely, make them unhappier), their dalliances, how they seem to be falling out of love. In fact, it shows every nuance of a complex relationship in snippy vignettes from several holidays, each involving a long journey across France. You never see their home, but you really don’t notice and certainly don’t need to.

It is also notable for Hepburn’s wardrobe, which is provided by a host of swinging young designers (Foale and Tuffin, Mary Quant, Paco Rabanne, Ken Scott etc…) and perfectly places each time period. You know where you are when her hair is long, and her beatnik jumper is red, or when her hair is perfectly coiffed into a Vidal Sassoon cut and her clothes are mod perfection.

You’ll laugh, if you’re anything like me you’ll cry, and you’ll fall ever more in love with Audrey and Albert. There’s even an early Jacqueline Bisset appearance. Definitely a ‘must see’, in my opinion.

Barbarella (Not the Electric kind)

anita pallenberg, barbarella, jane fonda, Paco Rabanne, sixties

Last night I found myself actually having to explain who and what I was talking about when I made a passing reference to Barbarella. I think it started out from my wondering how I was ever going to create an outfit around my thigh high boots (they flip over the top with red cuffs and look adorably Puss in Boots-esque) which didn’t make me look like a hooker; I mused that going for the full on Barbarella-type look might be my only option. I often forget that other people I know don’t actually live in my world and that some things, which are something of a given for me, are totally alien to them. So to speak. My certain knowledge that it was costumed by the genius Paco Rabanne was also called into question. I am always right though, people must learn this.

Ahem. I jest of course…

It’s been a while since I saw the film, although I’ve had it on DVD for a while, so I thought I would settle down and watch it tonight….possibly wearing the thigh high boots and a leotard for good measure. Rar! So here’s a picture spam:-

Although I must, personally, admit to a slight preference towards Anita Pallenberg as the Black Queen. It’s a brunette thing….

Passion For Fashion

bill gibb, eye candy, ossie clark, Paco Rabanne, schiaparelli, vivienne westwood

Thursday will see Kerry Taylor’s Passion for Fashion auction take place in London. With the cream of couture on display, it’s hard not to drool all over your computer screen. Here are a few Vintage-a-Peel favourite picks, and a tissue to delicately dab away the involuntary dribbling…

Ossie Clark

Bill Gibb
Roberto Capucci

Vivienne Westwood
Paco Rabanne

Mad Carpentier

Alix (Gres)

In my fantasy world, I’ve won the lottery and all these will belong to me. You may all, of course, come and play dress up in my Italian Palazzo and enjoy a private Duran Duran show. Well…that’s what fantasy worlds are for, are they not?

Fashion Icon of the Moment: Françoise Hardy

1960s, british boutique movement, fashion icon of the moment, Foale and Tuffin, Françoise Hardy, Paco Rabanne

Françoise Hardy – Lank Haired Goddess
‘Another pouting French goddess??’, I hear you cry? Françoise Hardy is a cut above your average though. An extraordinarily talented singer and songwriter, Françoise charmed audiences throughout Europe in the Sixties. With her long, heavily fringed brown hair and youthful ‘ye ye’ music style, she was quite a radical figure on the French music scene along with Serge Gainsbourgh and her future husband, Jacques Dutronc.

Her style developed from slightly mousey, minimalist Parisian girl to a proper Swinging Sixties Chick who wore clothes by the likes of Foale and Tuffin and Paco Rabanne. She’s also managed to grow old gracefully, and remains a stunningly beautiful, elegant woman. Françoise Hardy, we salute you!