Culture corner: Hippies and hipsters

In cinemas, consumers are about to be exposed to a style proposition of a different sort. Wanderlust, released yesterday in the US, is the latest comedy produced by Judd Anchorman Apatow. It features a New York couple (Jennifer Aniston and Paul Rudd) forced to take a sabbatical from city life and live in a hippie commune.

As Linda, a failed documentary maker, Aniston swaps New York power dressing (Ralph Lauren black double-lapel wool jackets) for a Navajo-style uniform (think a printed Cynthia Vincent cream and brown knit poncho, accented with an orange that is coincidentally also being seen all over the catwalks) when the couple enter Elysium, a back-to-nature style retreat. There, a free-loving lothario (Justin Theroux), who is fond of the sort of animal tooth necklaces that peppered Alexander McQueen’s men’s wear collection this spring, pits himself against Linda’s businessman husband George (Rudd), who struggles to embrace the couple’s new life of nudity and truth circles.

Co-ordinating the sartorial transition from West Village life to spiritual retreat was former Friends costume designer Debra McGuire, whose considered approach to coffee house dressing arguably defined casual style in the 1990s.

“I spent every day for 10 years with those kids,” said McGuire of her reunion with Friends star Aniston. “I know everything about what she likes on her body and how she wants to feel.” To wit: vintage cut-off Levi shorts in a suitably relaxed denim wash, and sturdy Fly leather knee-high brown boots.

On Wanderlust, McGuire employed local southern California craftsmen to create the leather jewellery and separates worn by Aniston and her hippie cohorts, including a brilliant yellow leather fringe midriff top.

Of course, with brands such as Hermès drifting towards 1970s motifs, and Moschino applying fringing to suede casual wear, the worlds of the movie and fashion week may be more similar than we think.

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