When I describe to people my personal “aesthetic”, I tend to point in the direction of the pop culture that inspires me. There’s Disney related things, Magical Girl genre shows, music videos, retro pin up ads, etc. But there happens to be one particular movie (that I only saw within the last year or so) that really has become the true definition of my style and taste in multiple things – but mostly within its visual language: The Young Girls of Rochefort. And with the release of the new Kate Spade Spring 2019 collection, my love for this movie (and this colorful style) continues to grow.
Covered “head to toe” cinematically in bright, luscious pastels and feminine elements (including Gene Kelly in a bright pink polo shirt), this Jacques Demy movie musical tells a simple tale of twins (played by real life sisters, Catherine Deneuve and Françoise Dorléac), who are looking for love in all of the weirdest directions (one of which involves Kelly) – sometimes missing the path to their romantic destiny (even though it is right in front of their eyes!) It’s a slice of life, an entire decade, and a culture, all in a 2 hour and 8 minute running time.
I first happened to discover this movie when (R.I.P.) Filmstruck was still around. Film critic Alicia Malone had discussed Jacques Demy’s films during the spring via her YouTube channel, and when I heard “brightly colored French musical with Gene Kelly” I was sold. Sure, Kelly’s role isn’t very big (and he’s sadly dubbed through a majority of the movie by a French voice actor) but his presence is absolutely precious in this movie, along with that of the rest of the cast. Maybe the story is a little flat in places, but the performances, Michel Legrand music and visuals are what made this movie stick to my soul.
In a similar fashion, a certain collection from the Kate Spade brand debut in September of last year, and never had I found a runway show more glued to my personal style. Sure, there were Betsey Johnson shows/collections that spoke to me 10 or more years ago, but these pieces (overseen by new creative director, Nicola Glass) were truly a sight for my pastel loving eyes to behold.
Bold, unapologetically feminine prints, cuts, and colors flooded the catwalk back then, and now have officially infiltrated the Kate Spade stores across the country (along with their online store.) The classic spade logo has been reintroduced to the brand in new ways, along with Nicola’s signature touches that make this collection vintage, a little modern, but ultimately timeless – especially to a girl obsessed with the rebellious nature of color.
Sure, to some these pieces are loud and obnoxious, but to someone that tends to think they have a pretty loud and sometimes annoying personality, this collection and movie speak to me. Hearts and the ideas of love are at the forefront of both, featuring the silliness of romance within the film, and the imagery of colorful florals and valentines day symbolism within the prints of the clothing – perfectly transitioning from winter to spring, or being something you can wear year round if you’re like myself.
I really hope this means that the Kate Spade brand continues in this sort of femininity explosion direction. It speaks to me, and so many customers on so many levels, without losing the identity of the brand itself. And living within a culture and era that is so focused on being covered in black, head to toe, and making that the definition of cool, wearing these unapologetic colors on my sleeve is my way of defining my happiness and my persona – just as The Young Girls of Rochefort does in film form.
So what movies or visuals define your happiness these days? Comment below!