2016 was a year full of stories. We heard untold stories and familiarised ourselves with new ones we hadn’t heard of before. Visual stories took us by storm and we were captivated by the sheer brilliance of those talented storytellers and writers – the brains behind our favourite tv shows and movies from last year. 2016 was surely an unforgettable year for many reasons but I’m most excited for the new stories and narratives set to grace our tv and cinema screens this coming year. Stories that will reveal more about ourselves than we could ever imagine and stories that have the power to change how we see ourselves in our friendship groups and within the fabric of society.
So when I first heard that ‘Hidden figures’, a untold movie based on the lives of three black women who helped NASA launch astronaut John Glenn and his fellow astronauts into space was going to be turned into a film I was absolutely thrilled.
I found it interesting that actress Taraji. P. Henson’s character Katherine G. Johnson used to sew her own garments herself in the 60’s which played a key role in deciding the specific patterns costume designer, Renee Ehrlich Kalfus chose and the colours and fabrics she thought would express Johnson’s own style and the 60’s period. Renee does a wonderful job at highlighting and expressing her character’s personality through style. As the three women journey into new territory, discover and learn new aspects of themselves it forces their style to evolve as a way to accommodate their personal growth.
We see each of the characters’ distinct personality which is well translated through their style pieces. Katherine’s costumes become more powerful and less reserved as she becomes a more valued member in the team. Dorothy, who is played by Octavia spencer is the maternal figure for the other women and her style reflects her maturity. Mary the youngest played by Janelle Monae has a more bohemian free spirited style and often wears more vibrant colours to express this. It’s great to see how the world of fashion and storytelling merge together to create unforgettable visual stories that tell a specific period in history.
What really struck me whilst watching the trailer was how all three black main characters depicted life in 1960’s America exceptionally well through the vintage mid length frocks, and accessories used to style and represent a historical era. Though they were not born in that era they sure did look as though they were.
So as we welcome a new year we’re also welcoming more stories. In the spirit of all things new we say new year, new visual stories.