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Sofia Coppola On Her 80s Influences, Cartier Ad And More

Sofia Coppola may be an iconic ’90s It girl, but she’s an ’80s kid at heart. In an exclusive interview, the Oscar-winning filmmaker shares the influences from the era that shaped her coveted style, wry outlook and latest glamorous ad for Cartier.

sofia coppola

The ’80s has been called the decade when “predictability lost its cache.” Kids wanted to be the freewheeling Ferris Bueller, Madonna proved that shock sells, and enfant terribles like Jean Paul Gaultier ruled the runways. At first sight, those bold and brash years seem at odds with Sofia Coppola’s charmed, ethereal worlds.

Yet ’80s throwbacks are rife in her work – albeit infused with Coppola’s beguiling subtlety, dark humour and on point fashion sensibility. Who else would have put Scarlett Johansson in a glam rock pink wig while belting out karaoke hits in Lost in Translation? Or juxtaposed Versailles chic with post-punk beats in Marie Antoinette? “The ’80s was when I was a teenager, so it made a big impression on shaping me into who I am,” says the director.

sofia coppola

On recreating an ’80s vibe in the film: “I think about going to Mr Chow’s (pictured here); sophisticated, grown-up glamour; and Lauren Hutton in American Gigolo (top right).”

sofia coppola

sofia coppola

On ’80s fashion: “(It always makes me) think about women in a tuxedo or a cream silk blouse and pants.” (Pictured right: Yves Saint Laurent F/W ’90)
On ’80s female imagery:
“I love French Vogue from that era and that kind of sexy, glamorous European women it portrayed – women like Lauren Hutton, Charlotte Rampling (pictured here) and Marisa Berenson.”

Coppola belongs to Hollywood’s Generation X, alongside other auteurs, such as Spike Jonze and Wes Anderson, who came of age during Tinseltown’s era of excess. Once written off as the dazed and confused, the whimsy and wanderings of their early adulthood have blossomed into idiosyncratic cult hits. Coppola’s own lost years, including a brutally panned stab at acting and flirtation with fashion design, have been well documented. It was only when Coppola got behind the camera – showing us the world through her eyes –that the multiple perspectives that compose her rich point of view came together.

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