NEW ORLEANS, LA, May 7, 2000 – The king of the suspense thriller. The master of macabre. Alfred Hitchcock is known for his unparalleled talents as one of Hollywood’s most prolific filmmakers, but on Saturday, June 17 at 11:30 AM (ET), as part of the network’s eighth annual film preservation festival, AMERICAN MOVIE CLASSICS’ series The Hollywood Fashion Machine, will explore a different side of the director with the original special, ‘Fashion of Fear.’ This half-hour special will reveal Hitchcock’ s film fashion secrets and his reason for going to great lengths to make sure his leading ladies were always dressed to kill.
From the beginning, Alfred Hitchcock used fashion to his advantage. Unlike any of his contemporaries, Hitchcock took great interest in costuming his mysterious female heroines, known today as the Hitchcock blondes. Working closely with top costume designers such as Edith Head, he clothed, coifed and accessorized his actresses, not only with a reverence for beauty and great detail, but with the foresight of weaving fashion into the fabric of his plots.
Whether it’s Kim Novak’s purposely vertical upsweep hair-do in VERTIGO (1958), Tippi Hedren’s shocking black bra in MARNIE (1964), or a string of pearls used as a clue by Grace Kelly in REAR WINDOW (1954), women’s fashions were used as sexual metaphors and often contributed to key plot twists in his films.
Through interviews with legendary Hitchcock “blondes” Janet Leigh and Tippi Hedren, ‘Fashion of Fear‘ will delve into Hitchcocks’s reasons for defying conventional 1950’s film fashions to create his trademark “icy-cool” style. In an era of bold on-screen sex appeal, the acclaimed director tapped into his own Victorian ideals of womanhood and preferred to present his women as sexually mysterious, stylish and subtle. While other filmmakers were exploring the use of color in films for the first time, Hitchcock opted to use muted tones or gray, black and white. The conservative director wanted to create an untouchable look of elegance and glamour for his platinum-haired heroines, selecting a classic yet subdued look of lethal femininity.
‘Fashion of Fear‘ features clips from REAR WINDOW, VERTIGO, PSYCHO, THE BIRDS, MARNIE and many more. The special will also feature fashion expert Merle Ginsburg, filmmaker Peter Bogdanovich, actor Martin Landau and others, who offer insight about Hitchcock’s often imitated style, memorable mysteries and unforgettable clothes.
The Hollywood Fashion Machine is a World of Wonder Production for AMERICAN MOVIE CLASSICS. Executive produced and directed by Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato, and produced by Gabriel Rotello, The Hollywood Fashion Machine is executive produced by Marc Juris and Jessica Falcon of AMERICAN MOVIE CLASSICS.
AMERICAN MOVIE CLASSICS is the premier 24-hour movie network, featuring award-winning original productions about the world of American film. With one of the finest, most comprehensive libraries of classic films from the 1930s through the 1980s and a diverse blend of original series, documentaries and interstitials, the service offers in-depth information on timeless and contemporary Hollywood classics. Through the network’s multiple platforms — AMC’s Web site (www.amctv.com), AMC’s original broadband programming and AMC magazine — the entertainment provider informs passionate movie fans about the history behind the films. AMC is available in 72 million homes.