Theadora Van Runkle taught herself how to design during her inaugural costuming job: 1967’s Bonnie and Clyde. Rather than go with 1930s high femme for the period piece, she took a tomboy approach that was unconventional for the time, and ended up sparking a fashion trend. Following Bonnie and Clyde’s release, beret sales soared, maintaining their popularity well into the ‘70s.
Her vision at first was met with resistance. “Faye thought I didn’t care how she looked,” Theadora said in a 1989 interview. “Faye thought I was trying to make her look ugly.” Nonetheless, Theadora went on to costume Faye Dunaway for The Thomas Crown Affair, and even dressed her off-screen for her 1969 Oscars appearance.
I wanted to avoid that iconic beret for this drawing, and so picked this moment, which although it’s just as posed as every other still from Bonnie and Clyde, still comes across as more intimate. Warren Beatty is somewhere in the background taking a bath, and Bonnie sports an embroidered slip tucked into her midi-skirt as she flirts with the idea of a hat with a brim.
Tomorrow: Raquel Welch as Myra Breckenridge!