So you won't be surprised that I've only ever watched the 2007 version of Hairspray. I even saw it in theatres when it came out! The 1988 version, on the other hand, I am completely blind about. I have a "classic must-watch movie day" planned indefinitely and it's probably on the list of to-watch movies - along with all of those movies you'd expect a girl obsessed with all things vintage to have watched (no, I have not watched any Audrey Hepburn movies - I know, I know). So now that I've given that disclaimer about my utter lack of knowledge about the original, I'm going to post about the newer version.
I bought it the other day at the video store because it was on sale (4 movies for $15 total!) and I remember seeing it three years ago and liking how upbeat and peppy it was. Well, when I watched it again last night, I fell in love.
And no, I'm not talking entirely about the plot itself (I have both praise and criticism for the way it dealt with the issues it brought up - though cutely campy and an interesting portrayal of 60s racial tensions, it was overloaded on the schmaltz and very modern robotics as a blockbuster at times). I am talking, of course -
- about the costuming.
I'll just cut to the chase and say that the floral dresses shown in both above images, complete with pastel crinolines and dainty little pumps made my day. Paired with boppy dance numbers and the little moments in the movie that made me laugh, like the snapshot of the pregnant women drinking and smoking in a bar, it's no wonder I enjoyed the movie as much as I did. I'm a sucker for pretty clothes (obviously), peppy dancing and singing that almost makes me cringe (see Glee), and those little moments of irony. Not to mention that Brittany Snow has the most adorable outfits matching perfectly in most scenes with Michelle Pfeiffer's. The matching mother-daughter clothing was like a cherry on top of the sundae.
Look at the image above. The little nautical navy bolero with ruffled sleeves and matching belted dress on Amber I need in my wardrobe right now, and the prints of the dresses of the Collins Council girls are all so sweet. I really love the butter-yellow blouse and patterned skirt of the girl in the back on the left - I wish I had a better photo. And, lastly, the blue cardigan of the girl just to the left of the center - those appliques are so cute!
Frothy party dresses with floral prints and gratituous amounts of tulle? Yes please. The Miss Teenage Hairspray scenes were some of my favourite in terms of the clothing - you can tell how these dresses are such a step up from the more casual cotton sundresses, so it's no surprise that they're all just so gorgeous.
I feel like I need to explain more why I'm raving so much over a bunch of dresses. Watching Hairspray is the same experience I have with Mad Men (or at least those episodes of Mad Men I got around to watching!). As an awkward, very visible Asian girl it's not as if I would particularly like to live in the 50s and 60s; but the camp and the clamouring cuteness of certain cinema moments portraying the 60s, including the entirety of Hairspray, hark back to a time when girls wore beautiful dresses and Zac Efron had beautiful hair. (I'm kidding on the last one. But he should really stick to the dark brown.) It's not as if the era was free of its trademark racism and misogyny and societal expectations that would (and does) shock the world of today... but the clothing chosen to represent the time certainly wishes so.
all screencaps via jeezbee
I just can't help it. The bright colours and the perfectly cinched waists over gorgeous full crinolines of the dresses in this movie made me so envious and so happy at the same time. I really wish I could have gotten better views/caps from the school scenes - you see lovely dresses worn that would be seen as crazy amounts of overdressed today, but I'm loving it. There's just something about the shape and style that looks so pretty on vintage dresses like these!
I'm going to have to go and watch the 1988 Hairspray, if just for the costuming as well, though I'm sure there's plenty more about the setting I'm going to love about that movie! What else should I be watching soon, dear reader(s)? Am I stoked!