One of the first films I notice the fashion had to be Working Girl, with the big eighties hair and power dressing, which was made even more evident by the transformation of Tess McGill, played by Melanie Griffith, from Staten Island secretary to high-powered executive.
The costumes, designed by Ann Roth **who also did The Bonfire of the Vanities, another favourite, as well as Bird Cage**, set the scene right from the word go, with Tess strutting off the Staten Island ferry working her power suit teamed with dotty tights and trainers. There is a sexiness about her, it is so New York, it is so eighties chic, and her hair really just makes it even more dramatic.
In Dressed: A Century of Hollywood Costume Design, Roth is quoted as saying: “The hair was very exciting to me—you know, it was the big tease. It was the 1980s with a Staten Island flavour. They usually don’t come to Manhattan, but those girls who come and work as secretaries, getting off the boat, their shoes would be in their purses…and they were sexy. That’s the point. They were very sexy.”