Silver Screen: The Virgin Suicides

Sofia Coppola’s movie, The Virgin Suicides – faithfully based on the debut novel by Jeffrey Eugenides – was an immense aesthetic reference to me when it came out in 1999.
Still fresh-faced and rebellious, I could identify with the carefree style of the girls whom, amidst existential crisis and the discovery of boys, would still flaunt flowy, bouncy hair, freshly-licked lips, and the kind of innocent gaze which begs to lose its innocence.

Fourteen years on and the Lisbon sisters, particularly Lux Lisbon (who is in no way connected to the famous John Malkovich nightclub), are still in the our collective memory, so brilliantly captured by Coppola and with the main character portrayed by a very young Kirsten Dunst.


Going hand in hand with her chosen attire – made almost exclusively of pastel-hued, flower-patterned tea dresses – Lux’s hair was as soft and golden as a ray of sunshine. If you’re blonde, wash it with a chamomile-based shampoo to naturally bring out the golden, but whatever its shade, this look is all about 1970s carefree understated hippie allure, so your best bet is a residue-free shampoo such as John Frieda Luxurious Volume Thickening one and an equally lightweight, volume-boosting conditioner.
Proceed to letting it dry naturally, perhaps listening to this and daydreaming of your very own Trip Fontaine.


Colour-wise, this is a conservative look, and best achieved by a very light hand. Sticking to pastels and soft corals, impart cheeks with the natural flush one gets whilst flirting to handsome boys by applying a creme, blendable blush such as Stila’s Convertible Color Dual Lip and Cheek Cream in Petunia.
After a natural looking, industrial-strenght concealer, eyes should either be dressed down with a nude, shimmery eyeshadow, or dressed up with a darker hue, and as a final touch, a tiny touch of non-clumping, dark-brown mascara. Lips, slightly parted, remain natural with just a hint of tinted lip balm or a natural-coloured lip stain.


In front of a full-lenght mirror, spritz a beautiful oriental fragrance onto neck, hair and wrists, give a whirl with your favourite vintage dress and be prepared to – unapologetically – break a few hearts.


We could never understand why the girls cared so much about being mature, or why they felt compelled to compliment each other, but sometimes, after one of us had read a long portion of the diary out loud, we had to fight back the urge to hug one another or tell each other how pretty we were. We felt the imprisonment of being a girl, the way it made your mind active and dreamy, and how you ended up knowing which colors went together. We knew that the girls were our twins, that we allexisted in space like animals with identical skins, and that they knew everything about us though we couldn’t fathom them at all. We knew finally that the girls were really woman in diquise, that they understood love even death, and that our job was merely to create the noise that seemed to fascinate them.

Added to their loveliness was a new mysterious suffering, perfectly silent, visible in the blue puffiness beneath their eyes or the way they would sometimes stop in mid-stride, look down, and shake their heads as though disagreeing with life. 

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