If there were ever an inspiration to dye ones hair red, this is it. Forget Jessica Rabbit, Satine is the ultimate pin up cabaret inspiration from the divine mind of costume designer, Catherine Martin and her Director husband Baz Lurhmann.
The places I look for fashion inspiration all stem from some kind of whimsy. I borrow from character and steal from the next in order to compose a look for my day. When I first saw Moulin Rouge, all I wanted to wear were feathers, corsets and sequins. I loved Satine, on the stage within the Moulin Rouge and off stage with her love. Her adoration of Sarah bernhardt gave her character motivation to be extraordinary. The role of the role model a heavy desire in her eyes.
When we discover a character that enthrals us it is essential we use this attraction as style inspiration. Celebrities do not have the same kind of whimsy and wonder, nor costume designers that enhance their character on a daily basis. What I am saying is do not be satisfied with the status quo. Normcore be gone! The time for theatre in life is now! Art and theatre are our richest places for inspiration and Satine is a stand out for me.
I’ll begin with some of her costumes that are not so fancy, but are exquisite anyway. The tailoring of her skirt suits is harsh. Note the structure and strong lines of the lapel and close cut tailoring to her body. A jacket of this kind is always a classic and for, like a white shirt – a wardrobe necessity. Have all your jackets tailored by a lovely seamstress so that it hugs you in all the sensuous curvature of your body. She wears them when she needs to be strong and serious in the film. Tailoring and structure gives us a sense of this before the scene even alludes to her role in it. We can bring this into our own days when we require this of ourselves. It is as if the tailoring holds her up, helps her to follow through with what she has to face. Whether it is leaving her lover or pleasing the duke. She finds it easier to be harsh and to leave her emotions behind. What is interesting is the veil that accompanies this outfit. The veil is used to help her hide those true emotions. As of she knows she cannot hold it all in and needs to hide away, if only a little. This is where the realness of her character lies.
Bright and bubbly? Or smoldering temptress?..
Satine questions Zidler on what kind of Courtesan the Duke would like the most. She reveals herself through this line as someone who is essentially all these characters, as we all can be. When she is with Christian she is a wilting flower in his arms, bright and bubbly within the honeymoon of their forbidden love and a smouldering temptress that has him around her little finger. As a woman I take on these roles. The costume that Satine wears when playing each of them is pure inspiration for taking on the role in my own life. The red dress enhances her as a smouldering temptress and in contrast the pink with hearts is all the bright and bubbliness contained in the feathered skirt. She has something to play with, making her playful and deliriously fun. Think about this for inspiration – having part of your outfit as a prop is all the fun!
Bright and Bubbly
The show must go on. The show must go on! Hindi Diamonds is an incredible scene in this film. The more is more is more. So, more is more. Embellishment, headdresses and sparkling everything! Every girl needs a little sparkle in her life and this my darling is one such place to take inspiration from. The show must go on! Do not be afraid to adorn yourself. The worst that will happen is nothing. The best – you will make people smile and in doing so, feel so fabulous. The theatre is on the street!
Satine Style Essentials:
- Red lip stick – I adore MAC Russian Red
- A little red dress (Like a little black dress but this one will take you from zero to smouldering temptress in 1 second!)
- Smart tweed tailoring with black accents
- Flaming red locks
- Indian inspired jewellry and headdresses for saturday nights!
- Corsets with matching accessories: Black lace kimonos, feathered skirts
- Heart shaped embellished accessories
- Long white gloves
- Pearl beaded chokers to elongate your neck
All photograph stills from Baz Lurhman’s Moulin Rouge main feature image collage by The Moon and The Mirror