Independent fashion brand Bombshell HQ was conceived in 2008 by former television costume designer, Katya Wildman. After struggling to find the right dress for her curves, Katya set out to design her own and created a go-to dress that would flatter all shapes. Designed to be a woman’s secret weapon, a Bombshell HQ dress enables women to feel like they can take on the world.
A fan of fashion and interiors through the ages, Bombshell HQ founder Katya Wildman talks us through her favourite interiors and wardrobes to be featured on the silver screen. From a jewel heist caper and a coming-of-age tale to a New York ad agency, there’s plenty of inspiration to be found...
The Graduate, 1967
One of my favourite cinematic portraits of ‘60s interiors, fashion and glamour, and one of my favourite soundtracks too, The Graduate tells the story of Benjamin Braddock (Dustin Hoffman), a recent college graduate returning home to the suburbs without an idea of what he wants to do next. He begins an affair with the much older Mrs Robinson (Ann Bancroft), a friend of his parents, however he eventually becomes infatuated with her daughter, Elaine (Katharine Ross).
There’s no doubt that animal print was the print of the decade. A statement look that oozed wealth, class and demanded attention, costume designer Patricia Zipprodt had Mrs Robinson prowling in cheetah, leopard and giraffe print throughout the film, from her iconic underwear and coat to a statement skirt.
It’s easy to be seduced by the set too; her home is just as opulent as her wardrobe. Designed by film set decorator George Nelson, Mrs Robinson’s Beverly Hills abode is the epitome of 1960s upper middle-class style. The house, into which Ben is lured, is brimming with shadow-casting tropical plants, decorative bottles of booze and decadent accessories in monochrome tones - it’s the perfect backdrop to her seduction.
Here’s to you, Mrs Robinson.
To Catch A Thief, 1955
I adore the laissez-faire attitude of Alfred Hitchcock’s jewel heist caper, To Catch A Thief. Starring perfectly matched stars, Cary Grant and Grace Kelly, it’s hailed as one of the most stylish movies in cinema history for good reason. The romantic thriller features John Robie, a reformed cat burglar, forced to prove his innocence, and convince everyone he’s not responsible for a series of robberies. He encounters Francie, the bored and pampered daughter of an oil family who is intrigued by John’s reputation, all set against the glitz and glamour of the Côte D’Azur.
An ice-blond Grace Kelly glides through the film in dream-worthy evening gowns and day outfits, perfectly capturing her timeless elegance. My personal favourite is the blue chiffon evening gown worn on her first encounter with Cary Grant, a floaty number, which is an appreciable nod to Christian Dior’s ‘New Look’ first launched onto the fashion stage in 1947. In fact, this look is also an inspiration for Bombshell and kick-started my love of fitted bodices, drapes and longer line skirts.
Just like the fashion, the interiors are a feast for the eyes. The story moves from Riviera cafes and beach resorts to hotels and stunning villas, merging traditional French details with classic style. Overflowing with diamonds and sapphire blues of the Mediterranean and cloudless skies, the film is fizzing with charm and grace, and goes down smoothly – just like a glass of Champagne.
Mad Men, 2007
A drama series about one of New York City’s most prestigious ad agencies at the beginning of the 1960s that focuses on the firm’s most talented yet mysterious executive, Don Draper (John Hamm). Over the course of seven seasons, the show follows Don and his cohorts through the raucous decade with meticulous detail and references historical and pop culture events such as the Moon Landing, Beatlemania, and the assassination of JFK.
Although set in 1960s New York City, the bold costumes have lent plenty of design inspiration for us at Bombshell HQ - we love a touch of ‘60s glamour. One of the most stylish characters, Joan Holloway (Christina Hendricks), takes notes from Marilyn Monroe with her hourglass-shaped dress in cobalt blue, emerald green, and lipstick red. It would be amiss to not mention Betty Draper (January Jones), who consistently stole scenes with her impeccable taste, from suburban attire to my personal favourite, a Grace Kelly-inspired blue evening dress worn in season two.
Equally loved because of the wonderfully accurate set designs, Mad Men features some of the best styling seen in a TV series. From the agency’s sleek offices to Don’s luxe living room, each interior is a time capsule celebrating the style and glamour of the iconic decade. The sets feature Florence Knoll sofas, Eames chairs and silver-rimmed whisky glasses; in fact, the designers were so dedicated to creating an authentic look, original pieces were borrowed from the Herman Miller archive.
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