I finally watched Fellini’s 1960 film La Dolce Vita the other day. Everybody knows parts of the film – its ingrained in our culture, but I felt it was time to know all of it. It’s a bit long but I find I am still thinking about it, and that’s a good sign. There are plenty of reviews about what the film means so I won’t go into that, but what I did find particularly interesting is that the inspiration for this film was the sack dress!
In various interviews, Fellini claims La dolce Vita was inspired by the sack dress style. Balenciaga is usually credited with its invention, however, many designers had versions of the style in 1957 including Givenchy and Norman Norell. The sack style looked glamorous but hid the female form.
Commenting on the style, Fellini said: “I saw women walking along dressed in a fantastic and extraordinary way, so fascinating that it set light to my imagination.” Brunello Rondi, Fellini’s co-screenwriter and collaborator, confirmed the story explaining that “the fashion of women’s sack dresses… struck Fellini because they rendered a woman very gorgeous who could, instead, be a skeleton of squalor and solitude inside.”