The dress diaries: lights, camera, action!
“I think cinema, movies, and magic have always been closely associated. The very earliest people who made film were magicians” — Francis Ford Coppola.
At Sarsparilly HQ, we love our popular culture and we love our movies: comedies, sci-fi, fantasy… You name it, we love it. When we’re not swishing around town in our vintage-inspired frocks, we’re cuddled up on the couch with a big bowl of buttery popcorn watching our favourite films.
Why are movies so magical? For me, I think the cinema is incredibly inspirational — a really great movie has the ability to evoke so many emotions and, for a short moment, take us away from reality.
As a fashion designer, they’re also a fantastic source of inspiration for my dresses. Everyone likes popular culture right? So why not merge the two? Movies and dresses - the perfect combination. Since I feature so many movie characters on my dresses, I thought I’d share which ones mean so much to me.
How do you solve a problem like Maria?
I often make reference to characters that I share an affinity with. For example, I’ve always loved Dame Julie Andrews, the ultimate vintage queen, who started her career in the 40s and 50s. I particularly loved her, when she played Maria (also my name!) in The Sound of Music. Maria is one of the most memorable characters in musical history. Maria was independent, strong-willed, resilient and, despite being faced with plenty of hurdles, always approached her life with optimism and determination. I like to think that Sarsparilly girls are just as tough as Maria.
Many movie characters I admire often turn up on my dress designs - here you can see Maria Von Trapp, from the Sound of Music on The Hills are Alive dress.
Bring on the bang, pow and zap!
It’s not always female characters that feature in my designs. I’m obsessed with comic book characters on my dresses, particularly superheroes: think Iron Man, The Hulk and Captain America. I love them all, particularly their strength and their special abilities. I often ponder about what powers I’d like to have… maybe the ability to fly or produce my dresses at lightning speed? If you could have superhero powers, what would they be?
As we all know, superheros are hot right now. Has anyone seen Avengers: Infinity War yet? If you have, don’t share any spoilers with me! When I go, I think I will wear the Earth’s Mightest Heros dress. What do you think?
She’s a wonder
Speaking of superpowers, we can’t forget the leading lady herself... Wonder Woman. I love her so much that I made a dress featuring her. She is the ultimate power chick in my eyes. Did you know that the 2017 movie’s director, Patty Jenkins, is the first female director of a female-led superhero movie ever? Talk about #girlpower. Wonder Woman is also over 75 years old, another vintage diva. She was created back in 1941, with her first comic book released right around the time of the attack on Pearl Harbor in the United States. But why do I love her? Well, aside from being just plain cool, she’s been quite the icon for women and kicking-butt before Marvel was even founded. Did you know that she predates Spider-Man by more than 20 years? #whataqueen.
The She’s a Wonder dress, which features a range of comic book images, pays homage to the beautiful Diana Prince, AKA Wonder Woman.
Who’s your father?
With the goodies come the baddies and sometimes the baddies are worth celebrating. Lift up your light sabers and cue music... duh duh duh, duh, duh-duh, duh, duh-duh! Star Wars is the ultimate nod to filmmaking and the perfect representation of timeless pop culture - hence why I had to feature some Star Wars characters on my dresses. Can you believe that is was back in 1977 when George Lucas made the very first Star Wars movie? They’re still getting released today. Talk about staying relevant. I don’t know about you, but I will always love Princess Leia buns. Apparently, Vogue does too? You can learn how to rock Princess Leia style hair buns here.
Too many classic characters from Star Wars that could be featured. Even when I narrowed it down, I couldn’t decide between Darth Vader and the classic Stormtrooper — so I put them both on the Perfect Storm dress, and why not? Sci-fi and vintage.
Bring out the synthesisers!
I’m also a huge 80’s and 90’s movies fan. After all, it was the era that I grew up in. My sister and I quote movies and TV shows in our everyday life… all the time. I love the Breakfast Club, Xanadu, Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s dead, The Lost Boys and my absolute favourite is Labyrinth. I love Labyrinth that much, that my office is packed full of paraphernalia from the movie - yes, all the stuffed toys and pop vinyls!
Since I am such a fan, I had to make a dress that pays homage to one of my favourite movies and include my favourite character from Labyrinth, Sarah - She features on the Turn my World dress.
Wands at the ready
Last but not least, I couldn’t write this blog without referencing one of my favourite movies of all time. Well, series of all time. All I need to say is “Expelliarmus!”. I love, love, love Harry Potter and have been a fan since the books were released, so it was inevitable that I would design a range of Harry Potter dresses paying homage to this incredible series. Harry Potter celebrates being different. What makes all the characters so special is their individuality. I also feel that the series has a fantastic lineup of strong, independent female characters — Hermione Granger, who is proud of her intelligence and extraordinarily ambitious and Professor McGonagall who is powerful, authoritative and fierce. Then there’s Luna Lovegood, who completely embraces her quirks and differences, I would go as far to say that she literally could be my spirit animal. I love her because she isn’t afraid of being who she is despite the fact that others think she is bonkers. She’s true and honest and I really resonate with her.
These are just two of my Harry Potter inspired dress designs, including Ambition & Cunning and Bravery & Daring. Just to make the magic even more real, this was shot at the incredible Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Florida.
As you can see, I love pop culture fashion, bold prints and that rockabilly look. I’m so proud of my range of tv and movie-inspired dresses and I hope you love them as much as I do. If there’s a movie character or a movie that you think I should include in my range, then I’d love to hear from you. Contact Sarsparilly, movie buffs.
PS. We're *so* excited to be launching a brand new Harry Potter-esque dress - It's similar to our house dresses, but a little touch of wickedness. Keep tabs on our fabulous giveaway with my gorgeous friend @southerncaliforniabelle.