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La Parisienne in CinemaBetween Art and Life$
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Felicity Chaplin

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781526109538

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9781526109538.001.0001

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(p.71) 3 Icon of fashion
La Parisienne in Cinema

Felicity Chaplin

Manchester University Press

Fashion is ubiquitous in the depiction of la Parisienne and demonstrates perhaps better than any other motif the variations within the type. These variations are reflected in the eclectic array of film genres in which a fashionable Parisienne appears. The association of la Parisienne with fashion can be traced back to the nineteenth century, when the image of the chic Parisienne was first exported, both throughout France and abroad, as an ambassador for French luxury goods and style. The relationship between la Parisienne and fashion is perpetuated in cinema primarily through the way the type is costumed, but also includes extra-cinematic considerations such as the actress/couturier relationship and the way a certain look, designed or self-styled, was achieved and marketed. Costume forms an integral part of the mise en scène in Parisienne films and has three primary functions: it denotes the elegance of the Parisienne, aids in periodising a film, and provides meaning beyond denotation by referencing a pre-existing iconography. The films examined in this chapter are: Jules Dassin’s Reunion in France, Stanley Donen’s Funny Face(1956), Vincente Minnelli’s Gigi, (1958), Roman Polanski’s Frantic (1988), François Ozon’s 8 femmes (2001) and Jean-Luc Godard’s A bout de souffle(1960).

Keywords:   Fashion, Costume, mise en scène, Funny Face, Gigi, Frantic, 8 femmes, A bout de souffle

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