If you had asked me at the age of 15 what my favorite movie was, I would have answered solidly with Death Becomes Her. Having stumbled upon the videotape amongst our household collection, the comical transformations of Goldie Hawn and Meryl Streep into vein notions of ever after, cleverly combined enough dark themes with light comedy to make it a rebellious teenager’s #1. Over time that videotape turned into a DVD and then a download that even now gets revisited when I’m looking for a bit of dark comedic relief.
The movie itself may have been released in 1992 but the notions and takeaways are still (if not more) relevant today. With the lightening speed growth of social media, it’s validation in the commercial sector and the comparable rate of our increasingly narcissistic society, it’s not hard to draw parallels between a 90’s satirical commentary of vanity and the world today.
It’s these parallels that helped inspire Australian based fashion empire Zhivago’s latest Resort 17 collection. Stepping onto the MBFWA stage, citing Death Becomes Her as their muse, the show opens in similar fashion to the movie itself, with a reinvented new gen dance number reminiscent of Streep’s opening act, I See Me. Typically dominated by strong luxe geometrical shapes and lines, Zhivago’s collab with the Death Becomes Her tale is the perfect fit for a new collection of fashion commentary.
A cohesive meld of Zhivago’s signature look and the Death Becomes Her motif defined the MBFWA Resort 17 offering. With homage to memorable scenes and style elements, the collection unfolds with a cutout version of the Shotgun Showdown, a gowned reimagining of the velor jumpsuit Madeline wore in her pursuit of eternal beauty, the off shoulder shaping of Madeline’s black ball dress and various accessorized details pointing to a fantasized ideal of mortality and vanity.
Pushing the parallels further, each model took to the stage with fractured facial elements representing the decaying beauty that Hawn and Streep’s characters come to endure by the end of the film.
Fashion in film and film in fashion – an often coexisting continuium. Context and history are what I find most appealing when delving into a collection and better yet when it involves filmatic inspiration. Zhivago brings detail and thought to this fashionable portrayal of a 90’s cult hit, whilst keeping true their own signature and identity. To view the whole collection you can jump over to MBFWA or see the show below.
Image Credits: MBFWA, Getty Images and stills sourced from Google Images