CDG - The Costume Designer

Fall 2017

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 69 of 71

SCRAPBOOK The pantheon of Costume Designers who paint would be incomplete without Theadora Van Runkle, the gifted art- ist responsible for this iconic image from her first movie, Bonnie and Clyde. Van Runkle worked initially as a fash- ion illustrator, then sketch artist for the likes of Dorothy Jeakins and others. The immediate impact of her designs for Faye Dunaway on fashion was seismic, as young women worldwide imagined themselves as the glamorous antihero, trading their minis for maxis and donning berets. Fifty years later, we still see ghosts of Bonnie Parker in the rakishly set caps, twin sets, and A-line skirts cut on the bias for move- ment, which have informed countless designers and maga- zine editorials to date. So many in fact, that any and all I saw, I would drop in the mail to Theadora, usually with a sharpie note to the effect of, "Look familiar?" Step away from the character and the design and, just for a moment, consider the effortless wonder that spilled from the intuitive paintbrush which defined features and limbs with delight and ease. Then add the personality she conveys in the cloud of smoke, the gun worn at the hip like a fashionable accessory, and the wheat blowing at her feet, you can see how much fun Theadora had making a character unforgettable. Van Runkle is the rare breed of designer who was an artist first and last. Theadora Van Runkle Bonnie and Clyde Illustration courtesy of Max Van Runkle.

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of CDG - The Costume Designer - Fall 2017