Whip It (2009) is Drew Barrymore’s directorial debut, and by all accounts it’s very good too. Set in the literally hard-hitting world of roller derby, Whip It tells the tale of Bliss Cavendar (Ellen Page) and her struggle to find acceptance in this merciless contact game along with some meaning in her life.
We have already covered the costumes in a short piece looking at the ‘vogue’ of roller derby (HERE) with its totally original mix of sporting attire and fashion customisation. If Whip It had been a bigger hit in the States, possibly via more accurate marketing from its distributor, then this look would be all over the fashion pages by now. Hopefully when the film arrives in the UK early next month we can do it more justice. Just going to see the thing would be a good start.
Here, then, to get you in the mood to derby are a few HUGE (click ‘em) photos from Whip It illustrating that wild ‘thrown together’ style. Assembled by costume designer Catherine Marie Thomas, she recreates roller derby’s tough yet playful vibe, one that screams lollipop cute with a generous side of bitch slap. This must have really been what they meant by Girl Power nine years ago.
In addition to directing, Drew Barrymore also appears in the movie as feisty Smashley Simpson. Here she sports a witty costume juxtaposition of alluring and hostile.
Juliette Lewis is Iron Maven and you do not want to mess. Hence the leather, always a classic go-to giveaway. Those exposed zips offer a touch of punk.
Essentially wearing a girl scout uniform with fishnet tights, Ellen Page as speedy Bliss Cavendar can give as good as she gets.
Page with singer/songwriter Landon Pigg as love interest Oliver. Note the lightweight layering. It’s early nineties Seattle Grunge all over again.
Barrymore herself lends a retro air, while her hippie costume colours and embroidered denim reinforce the point.
Whip It hits UK cinemas with a wallop on the 7th April.
© 2010 – 2012, Christopher Laverty.