Breakfast at Tiffany’s Condo Design
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It’s onerous to consider it’s already been 60 years because the world was first launched to the whimsical eccentric nature of Holly Golightly, the principle character that captured hearts — and broke them too — in 1961’s iconic movie “Breakfast at Tiffany’s.” Audrey Hepburn captured Holly’s flighty but lovable nature, each in persona and residential decor (or, lack thereof at instances).
Holly would possibly match proper in at the moment as a millennial, in all probability reincarnated as a style blogger or a trendy journey and leisure influencer. However again within the Sixties, Holly’s residence wouldn’t have been thought of stylish in any respect, however extra circumstantial to her wayward way of life as a single lady dead-set on securing a extra glamorous life in New York Metropolis.
All through the movie, there’s a sense that Holly is a rolling stone, by no means one to gather moss or develop too hooked up to something that has the potential to actually matter to her. Her residence is hardly lived in, not to mention adorned, aside from important objects like garments and footwear strewn about — after which there’s a cat. The one actual love of Holly’s seen early on is that of high-end jeweler and luxurious retailer, Tiffany’s, the place the place Holly really feels she belongs.
Talking of belonging, there are cringeworthy standout options of the movie that don’t belong. It goes with out saying that the racist depiction of a person of Asian descent, Mickey Rooney’s Mr. Yunioshi, is insupportable — every now and then within the Sixties — and the selection leaves a everlasting stain on a traditional movie of such cultural significance. Whereas it’s troublesome to not additional condemn and reexamine the alternatives made all through the movie surrounding Mr. Yunioshi’s character, this text strictly focuses on the features of Holly’s life and residence and what all of it would possibly imply at the moment.
To commemorate “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” sixtieth anniversary this month (it premiered on Oct. 5. 1961), Condo Remedy spoke to Professor Pamela Robertson Wojcik, movie scholar, Chair of the Movie, Tv and Theatre Division at Notre Dame College, and creator of “The Apartment Plot: Urban Living in American Film and Popular Culture, 1945 to 1975,” in addition to Turner Traditional Films host Alicia Malone. Within the dialog, each provide perception into why sure design decisions could have been made for Holly’s residence and what folks at the moment can draw from her dwelling all these years on.
Condo Remedy: What’s your private relationship with “Breakfast at Tiffany’s?”
Pamela Robertson Wojcik: Like most individuals, I noticed it a number of instances throughout my life and was at all times enthralled with Audrey Hepburn. Through the years, I discovered it more durable to observe due to Mickey Rooney’s racist caricature as Mr. Yunioshi. I returned to the movie after I was writing in regards to the residence plot, movies whose narratives aren’t simply by the way set in an residence however revolve across the residence.
Alicia Malone: “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” is among the traditional movies I noticed at a younger age that disproved the concept older films have been “boring.” I first watched it after I was about 9 years previous, and although I missed all of its deeper nuances, I fell in love with the glamorous class of Audrey Hepburn. Since then, I’ve watched it many instances, and have come to understand how director Blake Edwards and author George Axelrod (from Truman Capote’s guide) mix the broadly comedic moments (such because the scene the place Holly and Paul try to shoplift) with touching dramatic ones. Although, I do wince through the egregiously racist scenes that includes Mickey Rooney as Mr. Yunioshi.
AT: How would you describe the model/look of Holly’s residence?
PRW: In Truman Capote’s authentic novella, the narrator describes Holly’s residence as having a “fly-by-night look,” a “camping-out ambiance; crates and suitcases, every part packed and able to go, just like the belongings of a felony who feels the legislation not far behind.” Her residence appears to be like like that of somebody who has not but moved in.
AT: What could have been the design inspiration behind Holly’s residence?
PRW: Within the movie, the residence represents Holly’s unsettled nature. She doesn’t really feel at dwelling so has not made a house. It alerts her incapability to style a self, her lack of id. On the identical time, Holly’s residence matches in with up to date representations that just about at all times present the only woman’s residence as bohemian somewhat than polished.
AT: Was Holly’s residence meant to look uncared for or under-cared for?
PRW: These residences are normally cheap, insufficient, underfurnished, cramped, messy, and eccentric. Helen Gurley Brown’s guide “Sex and the Single Girl” describes a form of Greenwich Village stylish that single women can aspire to [be] — she recommends purchasing in thrift retailers and DIY aesthetics. There’s a deep cultural sense wherein the only woman is just not supposed to totally inhabit her single residence — it’s meant to be a means station on the way in which to marriage.
AT: What are some design parts that point out Holly’s love for her dwelling?
PRW: Cat is fascinating. A pet suggests a way of permanence and a want to care for an additional. However, after all Holly doesn’t title the cat and says she gained’t till she will beat the “imply reds” and discover a place that makes her really feel like she feels at Tiffany’s — a way of belonging.
AM: The copy of Paul’s guide is one, seeing that she cares sufficient about him to wish to preserve and show his work. The little pops of decor are one other — the pink pillows on her bathtub couch, the zebra print rug, and bed room with its forged iron mattress body and gold vainness.
AT: At one level, Holly redecorates in a South American model, courtesy of her latest boyfriend. What do Holly’s design decisions say about her at this level within the movie?
AM: When Holly begins a critical relationship with José, you possibly can see that she’s making an attempt to decide to him (or commit to creating one thing work in her life) by the quantity of correct furnishings, the artwork on the partitions, and the way that contrasts to her earlier residence. However, it appears to be his style, and none of her personal. She tells Paul that she’s actually blissful, however as she sits in a rocking chair, making an attempt to knit and study Portuguese, she appears overwhelmed by all of the furnishings round her — tiny as compared, out of her depths. A lady who’s making an attempt to persuade herself that she is blissful, when actually, she’s misplaced.
AT: What would Holly’s residence appear to be in 2021?
PRW: Possibly she can be van dwelling and residing off Instagram and social media.
AT: What’s your favourite design second/room within the residence?
AM: Must be the claw foot bathtub couch! Doesn’t look snug in any respect, however it will positively add a contact of glamor and kookiness to any front room.