Monday, January 30, 2012

Wardrobes I Covet: Veronica Corningstone, Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy

It might not feel as great as writing or watching a movie, but putting together an outfit, especially one with a vintage leaning, is one of my favorite past times. I've always enjoyed expressing my personal style through clothing. I pattern mix, remix outfits, and thrift with the best of ‘em. If my life permitted it, I would play dress-up every damn day.

In an effort to combine my love of film and fashion, I’m going to start a series I’ve been thinking about since 2009: Wardrobes I Covet, where I attempt to analyze and possibly gush over movie fashion and how clothing pertains to a particular character or cinematic idea. I've never formally (is this formal?) written about fashion before, so this will be a new adventure.

My first entry is about a movie that's generally not taken very seriously because it's a comedy that stars Will Ferrell. American audiences adore his films (or at the very least, pay to see them) and critics are indifferent to him. I, frankly, find his work with Adam McKay to be fascinating and hilarious. I also have soft spots for Blades of Glory and Semi-Pro, but his work with McKay sticks to my ribs best because they're so oddly subversive and perverse.

Their first collaboration, Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, is a perfect example of their zaniness. Like a contemporary Hepburn-Tracy flick (on acid and at a circus), it's a battle of the sexes comedy about a group of incompetent News Anchors in the '70s who are intimidated by a newly hired female Journalist. Ferrell stars as the titular character and Christina Applegate is Veronica Corningstone, an incredibly professional and able Journalist and aspiring Anchorwoman.

The film's classic comedy pedigree is illustrated in Veronica Corningstone's attire. Though it's set sometime in the '70s, her wardrobe and hair strongly recall the female reporter characters of '40s Hollywood, such as Hepburn in Woman of the Year and Rosalind Russell in His Girl Friday. Corningstone's trademark outfit is a solid colored skirt suit with either a fun yet tasteful patterned shirt and a large pointed collar (which is probably the only indication of her character existing in the '70s) or a simple dress paired with incredible high heels. Aside from one scene, her hair is always down and parted on the side with a swoop of Veronica Lake peekaboo curls, which adds to her vintage mystique.

Like Hepburn and Russell in their films, Corningstone wants to be taken seriously as a career woman and dresses the part. She also follows their suit by being stylish and sexy without losing an ounce of professionalism. This element of Corningstone's character adds a touch of class to the otherwise raunch-filled and insane McKay-Ferrell combo. While everyone else at Channel 4 News looks like they stepped out of That '70s Show, Corningstone throws the 2nd wave of feminism a bone by honoring her comedic foremothers through fashion in the fight for equality.

In addition to the likes of Hepburn and Russell, Corningstone's duds also evoke the style of one of the most fashionable ladies of the '70s, Faye Dunaway. The Bonnie & Clyde, Chinatown and Network star rocked the decade by incorporating both a vintage and contemporary feel into her amazing apparel. She's probably most famous for the Bonnie beret, but her costumes in Network are also spectacular and a bit old-fashioned feeling.

In the film, Dunaway strictly wears neutrals in the form of loose fitting slacks and pencil skirts paired with scarves and knotted blouses. Corningstone borrows both the beret and blouses from time to time, but as an onscreen Anchor Lady, she generally prefers the pop of brighter colors and patterns. Still, Dunaway is an obvious influence on Corningstone's style and I'd imagine her character looked up to her as both an ambitious peer and lady of the moment.

My personal favorite Corningstone outfit is probably the purple skirt suit she wears for the channel's commercial. It reminds me of something a refined lady would wear for traveling. I also really dig the pin stripes and the way the purple and white play off of one another. Color-blocking is one of my favorite elements of fashion and Veronica Corningstone blocks like a champ.

Announcer: You're watching Channel 4 News with five-time Emmy award-winning anchor Ron Burgundy and Tits McGee.
Veronica Corningstone: Good evening, San Diego. I'm Veronica Corningstone. Tits McGee is on vacation.
Ron Burgundy: And I'm Tits... I'm Ron Burgundy.
Though McKay and Ferrell will probably continue to go on as underrated cinematic satirists, I'll continue to appreciate their cuckoo commentary on pop culture. The character of Veronica Corningstone is one of the many highlights of their illustrious partnership thus far and I can't wait to see what other nut ball satire they cook up next, especially if their tales are as fashionable and considered as Corningstone's clothes.

Please see below for some other spiffy fashion photos!


  1. Those pink shoes are simply adorable! Is there any chance you could tell me what type of shoe they are or possibly where I could get some?

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