Fancy

A life like Strictly Ballroom

24 November, 2011

I’ve been quiet recently, focusing on little projects and trying to look after myself and the other day I rewatched one of my favourite movies and took a whole buttload of screencaps because I thought I’d do the internet a favour. Strictly Ballroom came out when I was about 12 years old but I don’t think I saw it until I was 14 or thereabouts. It was so influential for me at that impressionable time because I felt like Fran was basically playing out my fantasy life story, transforming from an acned outsider to a confident performer. Not only that, the writing and art direction really spoke to my soul. My sisters and I quoted lines like “Show me your paso doble!” over and over while trying to stomp our feet with authority, mimicking the dance. I dreamed of a life filled with every colour in this movie, Catherine Martin’s overblown yet symbolic art direction became aspirational to me; and even though I knew nothing about ballroom dancing I hadn’t ever seen a movie capture Australian humour and satire quite like this one.

Screencaps from Strictly Ballroom: Shirley Hastings having a breakdown in a purple tiedie outfit, Scott's sister cheering for him in pink and yellow light, Scott's father dancing beside a record player, Scott and Fran dancing on the roof of the dance studio in front of a glittering Coca Cola sign.

Screencaps from Strictly Ballroom: Scott, Fran, Rico and Ya Ya dancing, flashback scene where Doug dances with a line of women, Liz Holt pleading for Scott to dance with him at the Pan Pacifics Grand Prix, Scott on the dancefloor in a gold bolero kneeling in front of Fran who wears a red flamenco dress.

The styling in the movie is dated but it was so obnoxiously of it’s time that it was parodying the huge fringes and eyeshadow up to the brows while we were all still trying to look like that. I remember I used to rub my fringe with the palm of my hand, hoping it’d knot up and get more body before I pulled it up in a fan-like array and doused it in hairspray. After watching the movie again for the first time in years I still would love to live in the Strictly Ballroom world, but without the ridiculous fringe. So here’s a completely overworked and ostentatious collage inspired by Strictly Ballroom, sourced only from retailers of today on the internet. It actually took me hours to weed through all the boring, unfancy fashions to find the good stuff, being a stylist is hard!

A collage of Strictly Ballroom inspired amazingness, including caps from the movie, Fran's nightie/ socks/ heels outfit and a glam purple, gold and green outfit.

Yours Clothing Floral nighty; Evans purple leggings; Evans grey and pink socks; Isola heels from Shoebuy; 80s Purple sunglasses.

Evans Praslin purple tulip hem dress; ASOS open torque tassel necklace; ASOS emerald glass earrings; Cynthia Rowley gold cage heels with gold leaf socks; Illamasqua Body Electrics make up.

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  • Sarah

    I’ve been loving your tumblr screencaps. Takes me back. Love the Fran socks and shoes styling and their dance on the roof makes my eyes leak just thinking about it.

    It’s on my list to watch again ASAP thanks to you:)

  • Ah, my favourite Australian movie – like your family, my family has quoted this movie oh so much, so your post just made my day!

    As the youngest I watched this at quite a young age so, like you, I was drawn to the colours and aesthetic of it all. No accent can say the “Bogo Pogo” quite like an Australian one :)

  • oohh very cool! I used to love Strictly Ballroom too. Baz Luhrmann is my favourite director, in fact, I did my major assignment in grade 12 Film and Television class on him! SB is such an awesome story of growth and ‘coming of age’. Love it! :)

  • Berta

    Ahhh I was just thinking about watching this again the other day and now I am totally putting it on while I get ready for my belly dance show on Sunday.

  • Kate

    Love love love “Stricly Ballroom!”  My family and I discovered this gem when I was in my teens and have watched it every couple years since… might just be our afternoon movie while we enjoy our Thanksgiving leftovers tomorrow.  Much love to you for reminding me of this fabulous movie!

  • Renee @ Leeloo

    YES YES YES YES
    !!!!

    my ALL TIME FAVOURITE MOVIE.  When my brother and I were about 4 or 5 we knew every single line by heart, and perhaps even the dance moves too!

    x