Iconic Film Styles: Shampoo (1975)

Costume Designer: Anthea Sylbert

Such outrageous style, somehow most of this could never fly in 2010, even as part of some retro-vintage throw-back. I wish I could pull off Julie Christie’s hair, especially before Beatty takes the shears to it, though either way… I feel so much more in tune with Goldie Hawn’s style though, more feminine, more hippie, more delicate. Unfortunately, I don’t have the figure to pull them off so wonderfully waif-ishly as she does. For me Shampoo is a film that reflects so completely the style of an era. The film plays out like a strange period piece, especially as the characters seem so incredibly self-aware of their physicality and sexuality. Warren Beatty’s character in particular is perceived by most men as being a “poof”, despite the fact that he is balls deep in most of the women he meets. In many ways, Beatty’s style and persona is more revolutionary and exciting than that of the women because he redefines masculinity in a chic and ironic way. Even beyond fashion, Shampoo is one of the most underrated films of the 1970s, I heartily recommend it.

3 responses to “Iconic Film Styles: Shampoo (1975)

  1. I’ve made Peter Biskind’s Beatty biography “Star” a guilty-reading Take The Empty Chair At the Bookstore thing (know how they appreciate that!), so I’ve felt kinda immersed in that Warren Beatty “world” of late . . .

    Beatty makes for a complicated phenomenon, to say the least. I was hurt by the insinuation he wounded Diane Keaton’s feelings on “Town & Country” by sitting with Goldie Hawn and loudly reflecting on how the two of *them* still looked so hot . . . is he really that shallow? And did he truly think Hawn was hot ten years ago (I’d spring for Diane, naturally!).

    btw, Biskend opens the book with one of the most moronic discussions I’ve ever seen from a film ‘scholar’–on the topic of ‘How many great films do you need to make in order to be a great director?’ He manages to make so many outrageous claims and calculations over a few paragraphs (Renoir only made TWO movies anyone’s ever heard of??!!?), tying it in a final beautiful knot of idiotic absurdity by giving Beatty honorary credit for many starring roles, inc. “Splendor in the Grass” which oddly did NOT count towards the score for Elia Kazan, previously mentioned, who only got two (OtW, ASND)!

    Yeah, I love Beatty too but c’mon, “Splendor in the Grass” helps make Beatty a great filmmaker but not Kazan?! What a steaming pile of rubbish . . .

  2. I don’t do much biography or autobiography reading (at least not as of late) but I guilty relish in the gossipy tone that many of them adopt. This book does sound rather absurd, I’ve never heard a more flimsy attempt at evaluating the work of an artist in any given medium. Arbitrary doesn’t even seem like the right word to describe his method. I almost want to check it out just to see it for myself.

  3. Do . . . it’s in the preface and it’s a scream. I can’t imagine how the editors let it see print! He drags in Welles, Peckinpah, all kinds of people. For somebody who publishes on film, it’s a scandalous passage; even if somebody on the street were holding forth like that, I’d ridicule them!

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