Monday, 24 February 2014


I don't know about you, but I've always been a bit wary of the disco outfits from the 70s and early 80s. So many creations from itchy man-made fabrics, clothing you're going to be gyrating in all night – surely that's a recipe for disaster? And the their glitzy look walks the fine line between fun/chic and just, well, cheap.

However, I recently re-watched Last Days Of Disco and was pleasantly surprised by how much I like the costumes. The rules for success when it comes to classic party clothes seem to be a great cut, heavy on sequins, and keep the jewellery simple or even non-existent.

If you've not seen Last Days Of Disco, which was directed by Whit Stillman and released in 1998, it's the story of two female Hampshire graduates – Charlotte and Alice – who work at a publishing house by day, and by night attend the hottest 80's clubs in Manhattan. The club scene of the early 80's is portrayed as a wonderful time of freedom to be who you want and dress however you want. Yuppies getting down alongside two men who've dressed as a harlequin and a lion (below) is a particularly awesome moment.

Do those own those costumes or did they just rent them for the evening? That takes a lot of planning, that's a big commitment. WOAH imagine if the yuppie suit is actually a costume?!  MIND BLOWN.

I also love this extra below who pops up a few times during the film. I call him “silver dream guy”.

I like how he didn't paint his neck or hands. So it's like a weird silver jumper.

Alice, played by Chloe Sevigny is conservative and innocent, while Charlotte, played by Kate Beckinsale, is one of those girls at school who would always tell you truths about yourself you didn't really want to hear. And usually prefix those revelations with phrases such as, “No offence but...” and end them with, “I just didn't want you to hear it from someone else...” or, “I thought it better you knew”.

Their outfits reflect their personalities, which is handy. Let's look at Alice first. This lady likes dresses, she only wears trousers once in the whole film, and then it looks like she's only wearing them because Charlotte has made her.

I like this daytime outfit, you can't go wrong with a shirt dress and nude heels in summer.

Clearly a lover of the blue, this paisley shirt below reminds me of the wallpaper I'd like to have in a downstairs bathroom one day, when I live in the suburbs and teach piano and am scared of getting on the Tube.

At night her outfits have a bit more shimmer, although she still often sticks to pastels, and consequently looks quite sweet. Especially since she is a fan of ponytails, barrettes and blue eye-shadow. Her look is very much Elizabeth-Wakefield-In-The-”Clubbing”-Book-Where-She-Has-One-Drink-And-Accidentally-Starts-A-Nuclear-War. (not a real book).

But look, she can do darker colours too, and I have to give her props for wearing my favourite outfit of the entire film, the sequin boob tube and highwaisted trousers pictured below.

Yeah, she really nails it when it comes to sequins.

Can we just pause for a moment and admire this woman's outfit below? Those boots are higher than thigh, they're almost chaps. And with a leotard and huge feathery necklace? Hey, WHY NOT?

Charlotte on the other hand is much more relaxed in style. She goes to the clubs in denim jackets and trousers (always black). (I also like the sparkly one-shoulder dress Alice is wearing in the picture below. Although I'm not sure about the pale pink lipstick accompanying it. It's either really really awful, or really really brilliant...)

Charlotte imbues sexiness into everything she wears. Even just unpacking the car to move into their new apartment she looks slammin'.

And boy oh boy does this woman like a halterneck.

Alice wears this dress above later on in the film which I think is pretty sweet. When I lived with my best friends we were always wearing each other's clothes.

In that still above where Charlotte is holding candles they're getting everything ready for their pre-disco dinner party which seems to be how they did things back then. I wish people invited me to their houses for dinner parties before attending ornate discos in Manhattan.

I love this peplum dress below. I'm a bit scared of peplums, partly because I'm not sure how to spell peplum, but this could be the peplum to change all that.




Aaaaaaand that's the issue with getting married in a strapless dress and wanting photos of just your faces. 

I'm going to leave you with this picture of Cher trying to steal Alice's date. LEAVE IT CHER.

1 comment:

  1. How have I not heard of this film? It looks like my cup of tea! I would love to have gone to this club. If I was a guy, and I was gay, then I would definitely take my top off and try to be the perfect silver painted guy. How did he do that?? Did he put masking tape and wrap it around his wrists to get the silver end lines so perfect? I guarantee there is some sort of you tube tutorial for that.
    Cher does that act of sudden appearance in many 80s films, she's so brilliant at it! Bless her. Though second thoughts I am seriously worried about that silver guy. Can you get silver paint that scrubs off easily? He didn't actually just pop down his nearest B&Q for a silver metallic spray can? I wonder what his story is, he seems to be attracted to anything that is silver. Do you think something happened in his childhood? I reckon he has a mural in his flat. Just loads of tin foil and cutlery stuck to a wall...I cant stop looking at him!!