Stealing the Scene – Lincoln and Argo

There are two favorites fighting to be the big winners at the 2013 Academy Awards, and both interestingly enough are based on true events and take place in a period with infamous fashion statements, from clothing to décor. Lincoln and Argo are both powerful films, and part of what made them both so great is the attention to detail in each scene. Even though these films have been “Hollywood-fied” so every detail won’t be accurate, the details still help set the scene and create the feeling so you can imagine being in the same room as the characters. We’ll take a look at one scene from each movie and break down the details and show how they can inspire your style.

Sally Field as Mary Todd Lincoln in Lincoln. Sally Field as Mary Todd Lincoln in Lincoln.
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Set in 1865, Lincoln stars Daniel Day Lewis as America’s sixteenth president and Sally Field as first lady Mary Todd Lincoln. Although the film is about the president, this still shot was a beautiful setting for both fashion and architecture. Mrs. Lincoln’s dress was very full and elaborately detailed with lace and floral print. Nature-inspired details were a favorite among Civil War-era women. Synthetic dyes were being used to make dresses during this time—apparent in the bright pink roses on her gown. A popular dress style during this era was a domed skit which was flat in the front and more dramatic in the back (though you wouldn’t be able to tell here since she’s sitting down). If you notice, her choker-style necklace could easily be recreated today with seed beads and a peyote stitch pattern. As far as décor, the seat in the background emits a feeling of power with the royal purple cushion and dark wood frame. If you would like to add a piece like this in your home, upcycle an old chair by giving it a dark stain finish and suede upholstery.

Ben Affleck and Alan Arkin in Argo Ben Affleck and Allen Arkin in Argo
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This film is based on the true story of a Canadian CIA agent’s plan to rescue American hostage diplomats in Iran in 1979. Although it may not seem like a lot is going on in this scene, the details give clues to the era it’s set in. The mustard yellow walls hint back to the 1970s. This detail, offset by the focus of Ben Affleck’s brown and cobalt suit, completes a color palette you would have seen in a 1970s home. Affleck’s wide collar shirt, tucked in to his slightly flared jeans and covered by a sport coat was a common wardrobe for men in the 70s. Even his simple chain necklace, exposed by the loose, unbuttoned shirt, was fitting for the time. His shaggy hair style and unkempt beard would have been a reflection of the 60’s hippie influence on fashion for men in the 70s. If you want to pay homage to the 1970s in your style, take a note from our Disco Diva fashion trend that modernizes crazes from this fashion era.

There are so many cool fashion influences from this year’s Oscar-nominated films, so be sure to catch them all to spot more fun ideas you can recreate. Les Miserables is full of great historical style you can modernize for your wardrobe, too!


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