Theadora Van Runkle, passed away on Friday November 4th. She worked on many memorable films like “Bullitt,” and “Godfather II,” but is widely remembered for her work on “Bonnie and Clyde.”
This film is a constant source of inspiration for designers. Directed by Arthur Penn in 1967, it tells the tale of Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow‘s crime spree in the early 30’s. America was deep in the Great Depression and pissed off at bankers. Hmmm… Sounds familiar.
Theadora Van Runkle‘s costume design for star Faye Dunaway is timeless, and casually elegant. It can be adapted for both spring and fall collections, just change the weight of the knits and wovens.
Theadora's costumes give Bonnie a softness and sophistication in contrast to her "hillbilly" confidants, and symbolizes her yearning for more than her current existence provides.
Theadora's use of berets actually come from Bonnie Parker, but she styles them a little differently and that makes a world of difference.
Bonnie's looks hand knitted and is worn past the crown of the head.
Dunaway's is a finer gauge knit and is worn to the hairline. Big difference. Notice, the deep V-neckline and the open weave detail all point to her GUN. She's definitely not that innocent anymore.
Here's a better detail of the sweater and scarf. I think this most of all, captures the allure of Theadora's work. It's easy, something we can do; a beret angled just-so, a printed silk scarf worn unexpectedly, and a fitted short-sleeved sweater. But it looks so cool. Image mptv.com
Again, beret + deep V-neck (this time with a great print) = cool.
And wasn't Faye Dunway just gorgeous at this age? Image mptv.com.
Bonnie visits her mother for the very last time. Penn shot this with a filter and instantly gives it a worn photograph look, like whatever happiness she's feeling now, is already a memory in a photo, never to be experienced again.
And Warren’s pretty cute too, but Theadora’s clothes are what endure in my mind.