One of my favorite fashion films is Eyes of Laura Mars c.1978. The story was conceived and co-written by John Carpenter. Faye Dunaway is Laura Mars, a high fashion photographer on top. Laura is controversial and fearless and creates images of violence through fashion editorial. Irony intended in this thriller as photographer Laura begins to see psychic visions (through the eyes of the killer) of the violent deaths of her friends and colleagues before they happen. Enter, Tommy Lee Jones, the detective who is investigating the series of murders and becomes intimately involved with Laura. It is a classic psuedo erotic thriller, a formula we saw so often throughout the 80’s with its surprise twist ending.
I love a thriller but mostly adore the film for its fashion and styling. The production design was by the late Gene Callahan and costume design by Theoni V. Aldredge. Aldredge also designed for The Great Gatsby with Robert Redford and Mia Farrow and The Rose (a Particular favorite of mine in story and boheme 70s Rock Star Styling!!!) starring Bette Midler. Sadly Aldredge passed away last year January 2011. The fashion shoot scenes of the film and the still photos and exhibit photograph were images by Helmut Newton.
Director Irving Kershner used mirrors to keep things tense and reference Laura’s frightening visions throughout the film. Whether you believe it is intentional or not, I see a self-deprecating eye on the excess and end of the disco era. Or mindless entertainment. Who cares? One thing is for certain the
film is beautiful to behold frame after frame.