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Style this week: do the American Hustle


January 13, 2014/4.20

This week’s style round-up is inspired by the widely talked-about, Golden Globe-winning and Academy Award-nominated movie, American Hustle. This gangster movie, set in the ’70s, has two stunning leading ladies, Amy Adams and Jennifer Lawrence. The ’70s glamazon-style wardrobe these ladies have enlisted for the movie is what I have been inspired by in creating this week’s look. Although both Amy and J-Law have the ’70s con-artist’s wife look going, their characters also have their own personal æsthetic.

   Jennifer’s is a slightly off-kilter sex-kitten: a little rough-glam. Her roller-curled bed hair, and silver hoop earrings stay throughout the movie, while she skips between body con-dresses and men’s oversized Ts in terms of attire.

   Amy’s look is more sleek-and-smart con-lady of whom everyone is afraid, her trade-mark look being super-low-cut garments. She sports glam dresses with fur and pencil skirts, with barely-there blouses and über-chic hats.
   My look is inspired by these two ladies’ characters, but I was sure not to be too literal. Why? Because who wants to look like they are in a costume, or, too overly sexy.

   A few weeks ago, while flicking through Aussie label Bec and Bridge’s current collection, I came across this modern, snakeskin-print leather dress. I remember thinking: although it is a far cry from my usual, less obviously sexy style, I like the slightly sex-pot, but still modern-and-classy, vibe of this dress. The red colour, snakeskin print, body-con nature and spaghetti straps scream sexy mixed with various vibes of ’70s and ’90s. The cut-out, very current design lines and longer length create more modernity and make it quirky-cool, not quirky-slutty. I think it is the creative contrast that make the dress really work, and also a perfect, more modern, interpretation of the Hustle ladies’ dresses.
   The first pairing I made had to be a chunky and somehow fluffy jacket. I didn’t want it to be fur though, as that would be a cliché bore and also date the dress. Therefore, I chose its modern counterpart: ostrich feather. I love the current comeback of all things ostrich feather and will most definitely be rocking this look in winter. The particular jacket shown is vintage, but many high-end designers bought them in 2013, therefore, they will be in your local stores in no time. I chose black, as it is classic, and lets the red tone of the dress really speak.
   These Alexander Wang heels were also an obvious choice to me, being modern with an element of ’70s to them. I came across these while having a drooling look at Alexander Wang’s current shoe collection. The whole collection is incredible. This particular pair came to mind, as the black complements the look in a subtle way and the tie-up straps somehow scream con-lady-chic to me. They also further modernize the look with the creative use of straps overlaying in an unusual way.
   This look is quite full-on-busy already, so I didn’t think it needed too many jewels. The obvious choice were earrings, as I couldn’t get away from the idea of modernizing J-Law’s character’s ’70s silver hoops. They are almost her signature in the movie, alongside her tousled curls. I wanted to stick with silver, but make them a take on hoops, not actually hoops. I saw these Meadowlark geometric-patterned, circular earrings the other day and was sold. They perfectly complement the look, while also somehow being an incredible stand-alone piece.
   Matchy-matchy ended up being a funky ’70s component of this look, but I don’t think it’s bad matchy. Therefore, I couldn’t resist including a matching dark-red nail. The ladies seem to have vixen-red nails and lips throughout the movie so I figured, why not? Red lips and nails are always a good way to feel sexy and have fun with your look.
   Lastly, the hair is a fun take of the frizzy curls seen in the ’70s. The model is also wearing minimal make-up, with the red lips, which is what I envisioned alongside this look. I am not recommending everyone go for this crazy-haired look, however, but more let it inspire you to look to the ’70s and have a little fun.
   How do people feel about my newfound sex-pot style?—Anna Deans

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