Ladies in Black: get the vintage look this spring

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Ladies in Black: get the vintage look this spring

The new movie Ladies in Black Styles Vintage Chic for Westfield

Spring has arrived with beautiful vintage wardrobe pieces inspired by Ladies In Black (In Cinemas September 20) and the feminine allure of 1959. Costume designer for the film, Wendy Cork, has curated key trends and wardrobe items to get the look, transporting vintage style from the silver screen with new season fashion. Empower feminine charm with looks that travel from the morning commute to evening cocktails. Wendy and her team produced a staggering 1,600 looks in five and a half weeks for Ladies in Black and are the experts on spring fashion.

The Silhouette

It’s all about the dress. Re-discover key looks from the glamorous 1950s.

“The Dior shape was important,” says Cork, “because it became very important in Australia. A lot of women could go to David Jones and have a licensed Dior made for them.” Storyboarding the costumes for Ladies In Black, Cork looked to fashion photographers of the time, including the Americans Irving Penn and Richard Avedon, as well as iconic models of the 1950s, such as Suzy Parker and the house models that worked for Dior.

Wendy Cork's illustration of the "Lisette Dress", worn by Lisa (Angourie Rice) in the film.

Occasion Dresses

“Nip the waist and opt for a three-quarter length to show your ankles and add the perfect mid heel shoe. For the film we preferred dresses and skirts that aren’t too full, which also works for a more modern approach that better flatters the figure”, suggests Wendy. Carefully choose a neckline to suit your age, shape and make demure. Play with pretty spring brights, florals and prints and pair with a kitten heel, sling back or peep-toe shoe.

Cocktail gowns from Ladies in Black, spring florals and lace by: Rosa-Kensington, Manning Cartel, Karen Millen, Ginger and Smart, Love Honor.

Kitten Heels

The perfect Hollyn Fuchsia Suede Sling Backs from Midas.


Wendy says, “Embellish with accessories that add colour and character to suit you. A silk scarf imbues a little style and luxury and brings colour to compliment the face. If pink hues suit your complexion, choose reds and greens, or opt for soft browns and warm golds if that’s more in keeping with your features, skin tones and personal palette”. In Ladies in Black, sophisticated Magda wears leopard print with confidence and chooses soft lemon for her young protégé, Lisa. In the film, Lisa is beguiled and influenced by Magda (the vivacious manager of the high-fashion floor) as she grows from a bookish schoolgirl into a glamorous and positive young woman. Accessorise to present your mood and personality. A knotted silk at the neck immediately suggests European chic.

Spring 18 Oroton classic print celebrating the Australian brand’s 80th anniversary. Magda mentors Lisa in a scene from the film.

Jewellery and makeup accent the elegance of the early 60s era, but avoid anything too bold or brash. Earrings are clasped neatly to the ear and consider a bangle instead of a necklace, or a unique brooch.

Rachael Taylor and Celia Massingham in Ladies in Black. In the 1950s, post-war and post-depression, women were embracing makeup and innovative hair styles. Try Bourjois new Eye-Catching Mascara and Liner.

The Cardigan

An essential for the spring breeze and in-between season style. Wear cashmere if you can, or natural wool and cotton fibers. The fit should be neat on the shoulder and frame your décolletage. A three-quarter sleeve flatters arms, displaying the femininity of the wrist. In Ladies in Black Rachael Taylor’s character (below) fashions a perfect example with her soft yellow cardigan – reminiscent of a young Grace Kelly.

Rachael Taylor as Fay. Pretty cardigans by Karen Millen from David Jones.

The Clutch

Spring brings endless festivities with Spring Carnival Racing, cocktail parties, Christmas celebrations and red carpet film premieres. From 1951 Oroton mesh instantly became a symbol of luxury, elegance and sophistication and their mesh clutch continued into the 60s as a must-have. Original Oroton bags feature in the film with authentic accessories from David Jones’ fashion archives. Strandbags has a vast collection of clutch purses available and Gregory Ladner and Olga Berg at David Jones have beautiful vintage-style designs.

Angourie Rice as Lisa and clutch purses from Strandbags.

Wendy's Fashion Tips

  1. Always start with perfect fitting undergarments... invest in a good bra.
  2. You can’t go past florals for spring.
  3. Chartreuse is a great colour to lift your skin when feeling a little tired.
  4. Keep it simple... and add a fab accessory to highlight the detail. I have a collection of Vintage Bakelite bangles! It doesn’t need to be expensive.
  5. Buy quality over quantity.

About Ladies in Black

Set in the summer of 1959, when the impact of European migration and the rise of women’s liberation is about to change Australia forever, Lisa, aged sixteen, takes a holiday job at the prestigious Sydney department store, Goode’s. There she meets the “ladies in black”. Starring Julia Ormond, Angourie Rice, Rachael Taylor, Ryan Corr, Shane Jacobson, Susie Porter, Alison McGirr, Noni Hazlehurst and Vincent Perez.

In Cinemas September 20. Please click here to view the trailer.

© 2018 Ladies in Black Film Pty Ltd, Create NSW and Screen Australia. All Rights Reserved.

Event Cinemas



Mon 24th Sep


Tue 25th Sep


Wed 26th Sep


Thu 27th Sep


Fri 28th Sep