Fragile, beautiful, disturbed, regal, aloof, and positively seductive, the icy blondes honoured by Alfred Hitchcock‘s movies had complex, intricately woven personalities which puzzled the men who crossed their paths and kept them dipping into the deep waters of both Heaven and Hell.

In the age of Betty Page and Vargas’ pin-ups, the British director’s muses were buttoned-up and not overtly as sexual which, in turn, elevated them to sex symbols, as so much can be said under the shape of a promise.
Amongst them, Janet Leigh (‘Psycho‘), Kim Novak (‘Vertigo‘), Eva Marie Saint (‘North by Northwest‘) and, my two favourite, Grace Kelly (‘Dial M for Murder‘, ‘Rear Window‘, ‘To Catch a Thief‘) and Tippi Hedren (‘The Birds‘ and ‘Marnie‘), have made looking sexy in ladylike twinsets and uptight hairdos an absolute breeze.

Here’s how to update the look… Even if you’re a sultry brunette or a fiery redhead.

The Makeup

In order to get the Hitchcock Heroine look right, keep your focus on the eyes, which should be beautifully contoured with something icy and demure (blue works well on blue-eyed blondes, whilst black and grey on all other tones). A calm intensity – which, at first glance, prevailed in these heroines demeanour – is extended to outfitting the windows to the soul, hence a cat’s eye flick is a must in order to give them presence, with lots of mascara on the upper lashes, whilst keeping the bottom area clean and minimal (let your eyes do the talking by keeping lips bare and moist).
As a modern alternative, update this look by embracing your inner rock chick and pile on a few layers of makeup, preferably after a good night out (as seen below, backstage at Peter Som Fall 14 show). - peter som fall 14

The Hair

Either in a polished updo, or framing the face in the softest golden waves, the Hitchcok Heroine forgos fly-aways and complicated arrangements, showing preference to a minimal, well-kept, glossy mane.
Blondes swear by John Frieda’s Blonde – which I’m told is a lifesaver for lighter shades – redheads can enhance fiery locks with their very own range, and I personally love the brunette one, which turns my sometimes one-dimensional natural colour into a more vivid and healthier shade of chestnut.
Hair cosmetology was still in the dark ages when these original muses quietly invaded the silver screen, but nowadays we’re exposed to a wider choice of products catered for every single concern, so do take advantage of that. I wouldn’t leave the house without a few drops of nourishing hair oil from mid-lenght to ends, and so shouldn’t you.

The Scent

Although the silver screen doesn’t allow us to know whichever fragrance these heroines would have dotted onto their skin, I would image something sweet and non-imposing, such as a kind-hearted floral with a dash of vanilic notes and a wink to spring time.
Fresh and feminine, Coeur de Fleur by Miller Harris smells beautiful and invokes long, sunny strolls in the countryside. Simply wonderful!

The Outfit

Ideally, Roland Mouret.
For more budget-friendly options, there’s Zara and Topshop (the latter, particularly good on providing pastel-hued pieces, endlessly loved by Hitchcock’s costume designers).

The Soundtrack
Anything Bernard Herrmann. The Academy-Award Winner American composer was a storyteller through the mediums of sound and melody, and his work with the British Director was beyond remarkable.

The Literature

Daphne du Maurier. ‘The Birds‘, a novella by the London-born author, was firstly published in a 1952 collection named ‘The Apple Tree’, and had originally taken place in Cornwall, England.
Other du Maurier works adapted to Hitchcock movies have been ‘Rebecca‘ and ‘Jamaica Inn‘.

The Quote
I’m neither poor nor innocent – Melanie Daniels, played by Tippi Hedren in ‘The Birds’. - the birds - 2


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