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Tippi Hedren misses ladylike '50s dress codes

Published 18/11/2016

Tippi Hedren
Tippi Hedren

Hollywood veteran Tippi Hedren always ensures her outfits are her "choice" and are accessorised well.

Tippi Hedren misses the ladylike and elegant "dress codes" of the 1950s era.

A successful fashion model from her twenties, Tippi became an actress after she was discovered by director Alfred Hitchcock while appearing in a television commercial in 1961. She received world recognition for her work in two of his films, The Birds in 1963, and Marnie in 1964, with her costuming and signature blonde hair causing her to become an instant style icon.

In her newly released book, Tippi: A Memoir, the 86-year-old reminisces about the fashion of times gone by.

Of the 1950s, Tippi writes, “We dressed more than we do today. Jeans are almost acceptable anywhere (now), which is kind of sad. There was a dress code when I first started to model; I even wore high heels all day.”

Tippi and her fellow Hitchcock heroines, including Grace Kelly, inspired at two of Alexander McQueen’s shows, with his Spring 1995 and Fall 2005 collections featuring bird motifs and sophisticated suits.

And she puts down the continuing influence of Hitchcock’s work on popular culture in part down to the iconic ensembles put together by costume designer Edith Head.

“Edith Head was wonderful, she was so, so creative. I was able to sit in on a meeting with her and Alfred Hitchcock, and it was amazing the capability that she had to turn her clients around to thinking her way. She always won. She was brilliant,” she explained, adding that the designer made her multiple versions of the green outfit she wears in The Birds. “You know, I had that green dress with the green jacket, but I had six of them. Well, they had to do that; the movie took six months to make.”

Tippi, who has appeared in over 80 films and TV shows, added that she continues to wear outfits which are simultaneously fashionable and comfortable, especially when she is attending red carpet events with daughter Melanie Griffith and granddaughter Dakota Johnson.

“I’m generally comfortable in whatever I’m wearing for whatever event. I make sure that my clothes are my choice and they fit well and they’re accessorised well. I’m very spoiled,” she added.

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