Inspiration: The Love Witch

the love witch eye makeup

I don't watch a lot of movies. I generally prefer to spend my evening sewing than heading to the movie theater for the latest new release, with few exceptions. What I really look for in a movie is a sense of style, so I love auteurs like Wes Anderson or Sofia Coppola. Bonus for wonderful costumes!

Recently I went to see The Love Witch, which totally falls into that category. Since seeing the trailer, I've been waiting for this movie to come to Durham, and I was so excited to see it was going to be a part of our local theater's horror film festival. It's the story of a young woman who, after the death of her husband, moves to a new town to find love. Unfortunately for her--and the men she seduces--her love potions and sex magic are a bit too strong for the psyches of her lovers and she leaves a string of bodies in her wake.

Anna Biller, who directed and produced the movie, also designed the sets and costumes and even sewed some of the costumes herself, from vintage patterns. Although the movie is set in the present, the main character, Elaine, is constantly in these amazing late 60s/70s dresses. I was so inspired by the gorgeous costuming and styling, especially the high-necked 70s-does-Edwardian ruffled blouses that the main character wears. Samantha Robinson as Elaine is gorgeous in every color-saturated shot and has a gaze that makes you wilt, whether she's cooing over a lover or sneering at him behind his back. I'm totally copying her makeup (coral pink lips and cat eyes? um yesss please), and I just bought myself a 1978 dress pattern so I can make myself a little Love Witch-inspired dress. I've picked out few more patterns (including some of the exact same ones from the movie!) and vintage items for a real Love Witch vibe here.

Besides the sheer beauty of the movie, it was so refreshing to see a blatantly female, feminine movie, horror or otherwise. There are lots of scenes that make you laugh out loud and several scenes that make you shiver, and the whole thing will make you consider what it is to be a woman. My friend and I had a great conversation on the way home about whether Elaine is an innocent, or on a rampage. Anna Biller has some wonderful blog posts on the creation on the movie, if your're interested--she's a super thoughtful woman and it's wonderful to have her in our little vintage sewing girl gang, if you ask me. You should definitely read this New York Magazine article about the Love Witch costumes and Biller's thoughts on making them--and look through the slideshow. Can believe she even hooked a whole rug after she couldn't find one she liked?? That is dedication to your craft.

Are you feeling these crazy Edwardian ruffles as much as I am? I feel like they are a natural extension of the giant, off-the-shoulder ruffle look that's been so popular lately (and more modest, if that's your thing). Have you seen The Love Witch? It's coming out on DVD March 14th and I've already preordered it from Amazon, I can't wait to watch it again.


ps: her little Kelly bags she carries in the movie (the red one is pictured above but she also has a black one too, and there may be others I don't remember) solidify my need of a Mansur Gavriel elegant bag (or, since those are like $700, maybe a vintage version).

allie J.

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  1. I love finding movies like this, which just make you go WOW - I think I'm going to have to look this one up and watch it myself now! The style and costumes look amazing, I can't wait to see what sewing projects you come up with inspired by it! :)

  2. Any film with great costumes and styling is a winner in my mind, and this looks very intriguing! I haven't seen it, but just looking at these screen caps makes me want to find a whole bunch of 70s patterns to replace my whole wardrobe :)

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  4. Love this film! I found it on youtube a little while ago and loved the costumes and styling. I already do the whole peach lips and cat eye thing so I'm ahead of the trend ;)



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