Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Film Costume: Cleopatra (1963)

By Isabella Aballi

Probably one of the most influential costumes ever to be placed in a film is Elizabeth Taylor's, Cleopatra. The historical epic directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz and released in 1963 gave way to an iconic costume that would influence fashion for the many years to come. What is so influential about Elizabeth Taylor's representation of the Roman queen after Caesar's reign is that is affects not only fashion in the clothing sense but also in the category of accessories and makeup. There is no doubt that Egyptian inspired snake rings and arms cuffs are all in response to the costume that was presented in this 1963 epic.

The gold jewelry and long maxi dresses with embelishments are still seen today in fashion igniting the image of an Egyptian woman (Cleopatra) or Roman goddess. The last element of Cleopatra's influence is the eye makeup. When women buy eye liner and mascara and eye shadows, the aim is to give the illusion of large rounded eyes which are a key aspect of Cleopatra's beauty. The long cat eyed lining around the eyes is a famous image that follows Cleopatra and is instantly ignited in woman's minds when concerned with eye makeup. Elizabeth Taylor's Cleopatra costume is probably one of the most influential costume to ever be put on screen and follows women in every aspect of fashion.

1 comment:

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