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‘Rear Window,’ Great Closet

All pair magnificently well with a set of binoculars for snooping

05.06.16

Because I had two soft serve cones with sprinkles last week, it means it is practically summer now, which means summer is practically over (not how it works, but not not how it works), meaning I need to sort out my inspirations for what I’ll be wearing when I step out of the hell tunnel that is my morning commute. Luckily, I have an arsenal of style inspiration for every occasion.

Which brings me to style queen Grace Kelly’s character in Alfred Hitchcock’s Rear Window. A perfect example of a perfect wardrobe in a perfect movie set in a perfect Greenwich Village apartment in the perfect summer season circa 1954.

Quick synopsis: Lisa Freemont (played by Kelly) and her boyfriend male lead (Jimmy Stewart) begin to suspect their suspicious neighbor is a murderer after spying on him through the rear window of their apartment. In the film’s climactic confrontation with the killer, Lisa is the one scaling the fire escape and breaking through windows and getting shit done. All this while wearing a fitted floral-print dress.

That’s a statement I can get behind. I can also get behind a celery-colored skirt suit for reasons I haven’t quite come to terms with. Some things just feel right.

Here are some outfits I plan on stealing, reimagined for Lisa Freemont as reincarnated for summer sixteen. She’s looking looking looking looking for revengeee. Playing dirty not clean.

1. Opening outfit:

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Her original dress has peacock feather detailing, but today she’d relocate the bird motif to her accessories: these Etro flamingo earrings keep glamour alive and well. As does a strappy body suit or lace top with a white statement skirt (or this one or this). These Valentino strappy sandals with the feathers are a godsend for convincing her boyfriend that she could, in fact, go with him on his photo safaris. Dare I suggest a skirt swap for a killer pair of white pants? YUP.

2. The celery suit.

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Leave it to a flight attendant’s daughter to be super into this outfit, pillbox hat and all! Unfortunately, a polyester wool blend ensemble isn’t a realistic summer option, but I’m into some weird greens reworked. Change the skirt suit to a swim suit (bikini version) plus a straw hat. (Also, adding these sunglasses can’t hurt…) For a night out, this dress with the same halter-vibe as the film, and for any weekend emergency, these pumps.

3. A négligée

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Lisa Freemont would surely be surprised to know that in 2016, not only can she sleep at her boyfriend’s place without telling his landlord (the fifties sucked!), but the lingerie she packed in her overnight bag is welcome on the streets. We can now rise straight from bed in our satin slips and walk to the bagel shop. What a world!

I’m thinking: these crocodile slides, a satin gown or slip and this Mark Cross “Grace” bag, which is the perfect size for her sleep mask and toothbrush.

4. A yellow floral dress is so iconic.

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As much as I’m into it, I’m also not a huge yellow person. This dress changes up the silhouette and color. Adding ballet flats (and even a floral embellished bag — how bold!) makes it a little more contemporary, but someone could still rock a covert operation in apartment courtyard at night in this. No?

5. For weekend lounging, any ol’ cotton blouse or shirt dress (heaven!) will do. Magazines required.

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Dreamy, right? Much more stylish than the weird 2008 Shia LeBouf remake, Disturbia. (Not that I don’t love that movie.) Thank you Edith Head for costume design so fabulous it still shines fifty years later.

Any other style inspos we should consider? What are you wearing in the heat? Spying on neighbors? Keep your eyes peeled.

Feature photographs via Lisa Waller Rogers and The Hitchcock Zone; carousel photograph from Paramount via Wikipedia; market work by Elizabeth Tamkin.

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  • Allie Fasanella

    i adore this movie mainly bc of grace kelly’s wardrobe tbh. i mean the rest of it is fun, but like come on. to catch a thief also has incredible clothes in it, btwn her and cary grant.

    • EJS

      YES!!! Love To Catch A Thief. I tried to get this photo enlarged and printed to hang above my bed, but went with different prints instead. A mistake, probably.

      • Allie Fasanella

        LOVE IT!

    • Kelsey

      It’s Jimmy Stuart! : )

  • One of my favorite movies! I love her ridiculously tiny overnight bag.

  • Kelsey

    AND that “Grace Box” by Mark Cross is inspired by the Mark Cross Overnight Case she carries her neglige in. PS polyester wasn’t really used yet in 1954 (just being a snob bc this is my favorite movie!) haha love this <3

  • Pudenda Shenanigans

    Incredible that it ‘Rear Window’ and ‘To Catch a Thief’ that she was all of 24 years old.