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How to Get the Hitchcock Heroine Look

Fans of Alfred Hitchcock's movies will enjoy this LA Times piece that breaks down the archetypal Hitchcock heroine (though, if you allow me to be a film geek, I'd argue that Hitch didn't have any real heroines, but that's neither here nor there). Check out two of the ways to get the quintessential look:

  • Hitchcock's favorite coif was a tight, coiled-up do in a shade of brut Champagne. Typically, those severe buns would unravel as the character encountered obstacles such as dementia, amnesia or a savage attack by crows.

For one more suggestion,

  • Use a swath of red lipstick, and nothing more. Hitchcock women never over-accentuated their features. This fall, the crisp, crimson kiss of lipstick has replaced the glossy pout. Pick a color that will leave a dramatic lip print.

Now, not every Hitchcock woman wore red lipstick. The director didn't just slap red lipstick on his actresses for the heck of it; his "good" female characters wore cool, barely-there makeup to minimize their sexuality, while red lipstick blatantly signified sex (which, in Hitch's world, means trouble). For instance, in Vertigo, the idealized Madeleine has light pink lips and blonde hair; but as "imperfect" Judy, she has red hair and red lips.

I'm so fascinated by Hitchcock's women because he made sure they were coiffed and dressed to a T—creating an extremely idealized version of what he thought women should be. "You know why I favor sophisticated blondes in my films?" he once said. "We're after the drawing-room type, the real ladies, who become whores once they're in the bedroom." Well, there you go.

Who's your favorite Hitchcock blonde? And are there any other quintessential Hitch hair or makeup looks that you can think of?

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antoinettedies antoinettedies 6 years
Grace Kelly is the epitome of a Hitchcock heroine
ducks ducks 8 years
Penciled brows definitely. Pale foundation and powder.
trésjolie1 trésjolie1 8 years
I agree about the eyebrows, they were perfect, and well defined on all female leads.
megnmac megnmac 8 years
I loved Gwyn in that Perfect Murder Movie - didn't like the movie as much as Dial M, but was really struck with how poised and cool she was in it! I think Laura Linney would be my go to in a remake! I'd also consider Naomi Watts, since she shows the pulled together to falling apart abilities... (and the one I meant to post at the end showing eyebrows is here and Dial M was here - SORRY!)
bettyblue1 bettyblue1 8 years
junebrug wrote..."I love Hitchcock's "cool blondes." They were the epitome of the beautiful, ladylike, and often initially frigid women of his dreams. She was always dressed perfectly, spoke perfectly, acted perfectly, but something simmered beneath the surface. The only actress today that I could see playing those parts would be Gwyneth Paltrow, with ashy hair in a Chanel suit, showing no emotion at the sight of her husband's murder" LOL Gwyneth did actually in A Perfect Murder (w/Vigo - yum :))...It was a remake of Hitchcock's Dial M for Murder
Lovely_1 Lovely_1 8 years
Or Uma Thurman..I dunno why but if she was all dressed up with soft make-up I'm sure she'd look hot!
junebrug junebrug 8 years
I love Hitchcock's "cool blondes." They were the epitome of the beautiful, ladylike, and often initially frigid women of his dreams. She was always dressed perfectly, spoke perfectly, acted perfectly, but something simmered beneath the surface. The only actress today that I could see playing those parts would be Gwyneth Paltrow, with ashy hair in a Chanel suit, showing no emotion at the sight of her husband's murder.
megnmac megnmac 8 years
I love the Hitchcock women - and would agree there are no heroines. Grace Kelly in To Catch a Theif (here and here) is a perfect example, as she is in Rear Window, as her hair slowly becomes less coiffed (here and here) and Dial M for Murder (here) I absolutely love the Hitchcockian movies - this is a great post to think of old movie beauty inspiration! I'd say the eyebrows are something that he used to frame the face since the makeup was less pronounced... like here:
Beauty Beauty 8 years
Ah, I remember that commentary about the gray suit. Nothing, absolutely nothing, was without meaning for Hitch. And it's also fascinating to read about the way he treated his actresses—especially poor Tippi Hedren, who was told she'd be attacked by prop birds but was instead attacked by real ones.
Mikaela81 Mikaela81 8 years
Great piece - I absolutely LOVE Hitchcock. Grace Kelly would have to be my favourite, with Kim Novak coming in 2nd. If you watch the commentary on Vertigo, they talk about the choice of the gray suit and why the colour was picked and so on. It's very interesting.
UrbanBohemian UrbanBohemian 8 years
Nice idea for a post! I definitely have a film geek side, so I appreciate it!
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