Film Noir is a seriously under-appreciated genre of cinema, especially from the '40s-'60s. There's a lot of variation in the genre, but it generally concerns some sort of crime or dirty dealings, a cop or a detective or just a Lone Ranger type of guy, and the classic femme fatale.
The Big Heat, Double Indemnity: Barbara Stanwyck is my favorite femme fatale of all time.
The Big Sleep, Double Indemnity:
The Big Combo, The Big Sleep: Lauren Bacall comes in a close second (that face!).
The key to dressing like a film noir femme fatale is being chic and polished, with slight retro touches, but at the same time provocative and almost dangerous in a very subtle sort of way. Think classic silhouettes, menswear touches, and subversively dark accessories.
DKNY Double Breasted Jacket, $425 at shopbop.com, Rebecca Taylor Zip Front Dress, $395 at shopbop.com, YSL Y Patent-Leather Clutch, $645 at net-a-porter.com: I really like the idea of pairing a lingerie-inspired, boudoir dress with a boyfriend blazer. The dress is quite retro, the fitted cut is sexy but not too revealing, and the bows at the shoulder add just enough girliness to contrast with the brazenly red hue of the dress. Throwing a menswear blazer on top helps to balance the sensuality of the dress by adding a slightly offbeat, almost overconfident feeling, and the grey hue of the blazer doesn't compete with the color of the dress. Plus, the oversized silhouette of the blazer is a nice play on volume with the slim lines of the dress and makes the ensemble daytime appropriate. The clutch is the perfect mixture of the simple, practical shape with the edgy, almost dangerous vibe of the patent leather. I like the idea of a large clutch for this look because it has an evening feeling, but when you use it during the day it feels a little out of place in a very glamorous sort of way.
Christian Louboutin Luly 140 Leather Sandals, $995 at net-a-porter.com, Juicy Couture Dynasty Faceted Earrings, $58 at shopbop.com, Kenneth Jay Lane Crystal-embellished Snake Ring, $135 at net-a-porter.com: I love these shoes so, so much. They just scream 'His Girl Friday.' The platform makes them practical and the perforation around the edges gives them an Oxford vibe that contrasts nicely with the Mary Jane-esque straps. That combination of masculine and feminine really sums up the femme fatale persona--she's feminine in a seductive, charming sort of way, but stereotypically masculine in her cold-hearted manipulation and take no prisoners attitude. As for the jewelry, I went for a ring and earrings because a necklace would clash with the neckline of the dress, and the earrings and ring highlight the neck and hands in a very hypnotic sort of way. The earrings are very dramatic and nouveau-riche, and would look amazing with a retro updo, and the snake ring looks lovely and sparkly from a distance but up close it's cold and deadly, just like a femme fatale.
Film Noir pics: filmreference.com, vonsamuel.wordpress.com, martinsfilmnoir.com, filmreference.com, ardfilmjournal.files.wordpress.com, cursosdecine.files.wordpress.com, DKNY jacket: shopbop.com, Rebecca Taylor dress: shopbop.com, Christian Louboutin heels: net-a-porter.com, Juicy Couture earrings: shopbop.com, Kenneth Jay Lane ring: net-a-porter.com.