Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Behind Annie Hall

They say you should never try to get to know your idols. Against this advice, I began to read Diane Keaton's autobiography, Then Again, and have felt very let down by the following casual remark about her image in Annie Hall:

So I did what Woody said: I wore what I wanted to wear, or, rather, I stole what I wanted to wear from cool-looking women on the streets of New York. Annie's Khaki pants, vest, and tie came from them. I stole the hat from Aurore Clement, Dean Tavoularis's future wife, who showed up on the set of The Godfather: Part II one day wearing a man's slouchy bolero pulled down low over her forehead. Aurore had style, but so did all the street-chic women livening up SoHo in the mid-seventies. They were the real costume designers of Annie-Hall. 
I initially found this flippant deconstruction of the Annie Hall look rather disappointing. But on second thoughts it is really interesting to find that the figure of Annie Hall was a composite figure that stood for a real social trend happening on the streets of New York. Perhaps it is this authenticity that I have always been attracted to, even if I was unaware of its origins. It's also rather exciting to think that behind Annie Hall, the icon, there were loads of real Annie Halls living out this image in SoHo in the mid-Seventies.