Sharon Tate: Her hippie and casual style has influenced fashion. Here is his story
The term “60s style icon” evokes several names – Twiggy, Jean Shrimpton, Jane Birkin, Anita Pallenberg, The Supremes, Marianne Faithful, Brigitte Bardot, Cher… An extensive list of women who have contributed to spreading many of the trends we continue to love: from knee-high boots to rompers, through the striped shirt and space age-style metallic colors. But, also another name should be added to the list above, from time to time, that of Sharon Tate.
Unfortunately, the focus of the American actress’s story often centers on her murder at the hands of the Manson Family. In August 1969, then 26-year-old and already the wife of Roman Polanski in the eight and a half months of pregnancy, she was killed, along with four friends, by members of the cult founded by Charles Manson. A atrocious affair, so much so that the writer Joan Didion he described it as the event that marked the end of the 60s and the optimism of that decade to give way to an act of wickedness in which paranoia, fear, drugs, racism, misogyny, manipulation and the cult of celebrity were amalgamated.
Fifty years later, the murders of Tate and LaBianca (Grocery chain owner Leno LaBianca and his wife Rosemary killed the next night) and the circumstances of their death continue to affect us. From the best-selling book by Emma Cline The girls (a fictionalized tale from Manson’s circle of followers, made up mostly of young women) to Quentin Tarantino’s new film, Once upon a time in… Hollywood (in which Margot Robbie plays Sharon Tate) passing through podcasts and in-depth analyzes on the role that Manson continues to occupy in the psyche of American culture, it is clear that the public interest in this horrible story does not seem to have waned.
Margot Robbie as a super heroine
While Manson’s delusion of omnipotence and his ability to instigate young girls to commit unspeakable acts is often recalled, figures like Sharon Tate’s become “footnotes”, as often happens for female victims, within narratives. who show more interest in the killer than the murdered.
Fortunately, however, in recent years, the actress’s legacy has been gradually revisited to become a cultural and visual reference point for a new generation. And deservedly. As his sister Debra Tate wrote in the introduction to Sharon Tate: Recollection, an anthology of photos of the actress, “I always felt it was very unfair that his life was remembered especially for its last moments. Sharon had a wonderful life“.
During that life cut short too soon, Tate, best known for her role in the 1967 cult film The Valley of the Dolls, helped define the spirit of an unforgettable decade of change as well as being an inspirational muse for stylists, photographers and directors. His style mixed mod, hippie elements and a very casual pragmatism (she loved the simplicity of a nice pair of jeans and a T-shirt) and often wore 60s stylists like Ossie Clark and Thea Porter.
Her photos are magnetic: Shoeless Tate in a mustard-colored sundress; on her wedding day with that ivory silk dress with a moiré effect; dressed in suede with maxi sunglasses on her way to the airport; pensive in a navy blue sweater or the Sharon smiling for the lens behind a cascade of blonde hair with black rimmed eyes. A look that influenced Megan Draper’s styling in Mad Men (Costume designer Janie Bryant deliberately chose to dress Megan in a copy of a T-shirt worn by Sharon Tate) and that continues to echo in the aesthetics of contemporary stars like Lana Del Rey.
His style was also emulated on the runways: from diaphanous dresses accompanied by fluffy hairstyles from Julien Macdonald’s SS 2011 fashion show to Moschino’s SS 2017 resort collection inspired by the psychedelic 60s Los Angeles. Which Jeremy Scott followed up with a SS 2017 collection that cited both the book and the film The Valley of the Dolls, interpreting the clothes in a literal way as a series of garments in the shape of paper shapes. Sharon is recalled in the pastel FW 2010-11 fashion show and in the 2015 resort collection with warm 60s tones by Miu Miu, in the FW 2014-15 fashion shows by Gucci and Valentino which both featured flashy minidresses and coats with belts at the waist. And there is no doubt that Sharon also lives on in the high ruffled collars and fluffy sleeves that define the Batsheva aesthetic.
Late last year, many of Sharon Tate’s personal items were put on display at the Museum of Style Icons at the Newbridge Silverware Visitor Center in Ireland before being auctioned by Julien’s Auctions in Hollywood.. Dresses preserved for decades by her sister, including evening dresses by Dior, minidresses, flared coats and false eyelashes. The objects of a woman who had her whole life ahead of her, memories of a bygone era, some of which perhaps embody the tragedy of Sharon’s story: the sale of these objects helped to regenerate interest in this actress and the his style or did he provide crime lovers with an additional opportunity to browse the plots of a tragedy from the past? In any case, what is certain is that Sharon was a fascinating presence, whose image and work are still frequently debated only in the context of his death rather than being celebrated in all their electrifying vitality.