Autumn/Winter movie inspiration: The Ice Storm

Even if it weren’t in fashion, I would still use The Ice Storm as one of my key autumnal inspirations because the clothes are so atmospheric – managing to be sexy and cosy at the same time.

Sep 26, 2012 at 10:00am | Leave a comment

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Happy families: Kevin Kline, Joan Allen and Christina Ricci in The Ice Storm

Ang Lee’s 1997 film The Ice Storm follows the intertwined affairs of a set of neighbours over the freezing cold Thanksgiving Weekend in 1973 in an affluent Connecticut suburb. It’s a beautifully told story full of black humour and poignant insights but because I’m shallow I want to concentrate on the characters’ AMAZING clothes, which are perfectly in tune with this season’s late ‘60s/early ‘70s groovy prints and patterns (think Chloe Sevigny in Miu Miu’s sludgy trouser suits and platforms.)

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Sigourney Weaver in The Ice Storm

And even if it weren’t in fashion, I would still use The Ice Storm as one of my key autumnal inspirations because the clothes are so atmospheric – managing to be sexy and cosy at the same time.

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Teenage kicks: Christina Ricci and Elijah Wood in The Ice Storm

As with all films where the costume designer is at the top of their game, the clothes perfectly capture the characters’ personalities and express their conflicts and emotions. That visual language is absolutely crucial in conveying the teenage angst of Christina Ricci’s character Wendy Hood, swaddled defensively in her red cape and her mother Elena (Joan Allen) all emotionally repressed in chokingly tight pussybow blouses and pastels.

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Joan Allen as Elena Hood in The Ice Storm (I can't remember who her suave companion is)

One of the best things about The Ice Storm is that you get to choose whether you emulate the parents in the movie in all their keys-in-the-bowl wife-swapping glory, or opt for the style of the sullen teens, Christina Ricci and Elijah Wood in particular.

To ape Christina’s character you will need:
A cape for swooshing melodramatically around your local convenience store, a battered satchel, a sullen expression.

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Sessun Reina Wool Cape, £215, asos.com and Gloverall Melton Wool Cape, £295, asos.com

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Asos check cape with sheepskin collar, £10.50, asos.com and Urban Outfitters zip satchel, £20, urbanoutfitters.co.uk

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Anthropologie riveted plaid jacket, £218, anthropologie.eu and H&M corduroy trousers, £14.99, hm.com

Ape Elijah in a padded jacket, colourful cords and groovy snow boots - perfect for scrunching along ice-covered Connecticut lanes or just, you know, walking to the bus stop.

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APC faux-fur après-ski boots, 455 euros and tassel moccasins, 255 euros, apc.fr

Uniqlo have come up trumps this season with a fantastic range of flannel shirts – all soft and fleecy in a rainbow of different plaids and checks.

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Uniqlo flannel shirts, £19.90, uniqlo.com

And to wrap up, I bring you this ridiculously groovy printed pussybow blouse from Matalan! Wear with high waisted indigo jeans and wooden platforms or go-go boots and blend Sigourney's psychedelic hot mom style with Joan's prim and proper look. Go on, I dare you, it's only fashion!

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Matalan Pussy Bow Blouse, £14, matalan.co.uk

Now tell me, is there a film that inspires your style over any other? A few that spring to mind for me include Roman Holiday, Kramer vs. Kramer and Annie Hall (of course).