Join historian and author of Film Noir Style:The Killer 1940s Kimberly Truhler for a dive into the dark side of forties style and a celebration of the film noir genre's most influential films and stars.
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In 1941, Hollywood turned down a dark alley and began to explore stories of vice, corruption, and murder. Pictures featured tough leading men and mysterious women who were often very good at being bad. While navigating the impact of the Production Code and World War II, studio costume designers defined the style of the decade's crime thrillers and murder dramas, which would collectively become known as film noir. They transformed Hollywood's leading ladies into intrigantes and femme fatales - women who would do anything to get what they want.
The actors in film noir, led by Humphrey Bogart, set style standards for America in the way they wore suits, fedoras, and trench coats. And oh, the women - whether good or bad, they captured the imagination of the country and immediately began influencing fashion. Film noir made stars of young actresses like Lauren Bacall, Ava Gardner, Gene Tierney, and Marilyn Monroe and magnified the careers of Rita Hayworth, Barbara Stanwyck, Jane Greer, and Gloria Swanson. In all cases, costume design proved vital to their success.
Kimberly Truhler is an author, guest speaker, and host of a screening series on the History of Fashion in Film. She has been an adjunct professor and expert for companies like Turner Classic Movies, BBC Worldwide, Christie's auction house, and Elle magazine, and was featured in CNN's 2019 docu-series American Style.
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