How ’70s and ’90s Glam Punk Is Resurrected in Disney’s Cruella


Blockbuster film? No. Cruella is a fashion show. Despite the wickedly exciting villain origin story and star-studded cast, Disney’s latest film could easily exist on the runway. A new couture look flashes on screen by the second, leaving onlookers in shock and craving more. Cloaks on fire, hatching embellishments, a garbage dress, and of course: dalmatians. But what caught our eye was the inspiration behind it all — a style era that’s simply to-die-for.

London’s glam punk revolution of the ’70s changed fashion forever. Disgruntled youth took back the power in our most favorite way… counter-culture with clothing to match. Vivienne Westwood led the masses to find freedom in sex, bold T-shirts, copious amounts of leather, and zippers upon zippers. Destroying fashion as she knew it and reconstructing something unstoppable. Well, it comes as no surprise that Vivienne and Cruella de Vil have some traits in common.

During the film, Cruella, portrayed by Emma Stone, is traced back to her early beginnings in fashion and crime throughout the ’70s. Working at the atelier of a fictional but fabulous designer, The Baroness, Cruella is in a Devil Wears Prada-like environment, steadily becoming the creative genius behind a brand akin to the elegant styles of Dior. After learning some unprecedented news about the evilness of her boss, Cruella transforms into her alter-ego à la Vivienne. Then the fashion gets interesting.

Jenny Beavan, the Academy Award winning costume designer behind Cruella, created 277 show-stopping looks for the production. Glamorous punk meets high-end European couture. And while every look was completely original, CR noticed some subtle nods to our favorite designers, each perfectly matched to the story and aesthetics alike.

Vivienne Westwood

First, Vivienne Westwood, of course. Parallels in the best possible manner.

Alexander McQueen

Next, Alexander McQueen had quite the moment in Cruella. His rebellious nature during the ’90s definitely warranted major style inspiration for the characters of the film. Leather, fire, and black/white combinations could often be matched up to McQueen’s signatures.

Mary Quant

Finally, Mary Quant. A pivotal fashion icon of the ’70s known for her curation of the “wet look,” Quant is a revolutionary London youth cornerstone.

Oh, to be young in ’70s London. After watching Cruella, our wardrobes suddenly need to be exclusively black, white, and red. Jenny Beavan effortlessly brought a quintessential era of fashion to life — and mainstreamed it. Disney movies have a reach like no other production company, garnering punk glam the media recognition that ’70s fashion addicts have been waiting for. The question is… does Cruella do the era justice? CR says yes.


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