Monday, 6 February 2012

Make Up in Film: St. Trinians

Back in 1992, when I was roughly eight and half years old, I spent a couple of holidays going to the local YMCA Kids Holiday Club. I haven't really got a glue what it was called, I just know that I went! I remember that we did all sorts of fun stuff, including going to the Cinema (this is how I know it was 1992, because it was my first trip to the Cinema and we saw "Hook". I went home with chewing gum stuck to my cardigan....lovely!!), rollerskating and other fun activities. One time, I remember, we had a Fancy Dress Disco, and I did not have a clue what to wear. So, my friend suggested that we dress up as "St. Trinian's". Now, noting that I was only eight and a half, I didn't really know what St. Trinian's were. But, I fathomed that it involved wearing a School Uniform but in a more "rebellious" kind of way. Y'know, shirt untucked, tie done up wrong, holes in your tights etc.

The original St. Trinian's came in two varieties: the rebel younger girls, and the slutty older girls:

Move forward to the more recent St. Trinian's, however, and it's a slightly different story. Of course the uniform still plays an immense role, however, the world has been expanded to centre around the various school "cliques":

The Posh Totty are probably the closest group, in the modern film, to the original "slut" type characters, in both age, appearance and make up. The makeup used is very classic and simple, but sexy at the same time, with a very neutral look.

Being exactly like the younger girls, from the original films, the First Years are the complete opposite of the Posh Totty girls. Wearing no makeup (other than obvious stage makeup for cameras/lighting), the First Years symbolise innocence and being harmless trouble-makers.

The "chavs", in my opinion, don't really represent what I'd consider to be a chav. Instead, I think that in St. Trinian's they're more like "Posh Totty, with an Attitude Problem"!! So, it's really no surprise that the makeup worn by the Chavs is very similar to that worn by the Posh Totty girls. The only real difference is that there is more attention to the eye makeup, which seems to be heavier and more sultry. The look is less "sexy" and more "attitude".
The "Geeks", for me, are probably one of the most cliched character-types in the film. Let's see how many geek cliches Lily Cole's Polly manages to accomplish:

1. Unfashionable Glasses - CHECK
2. No or Very Little Makeup - CHECK
3. Wacky Hair Style - CHECK
4. Expert user of technology - DOUBLE CHECK!!

What more can you say really??

The "Emos" probably wear the most makeup, with quite dramatic effect. Similar to the Chavs, the Emo look is all in the eye makeup, however, in a much more intense kind of way. It's all about the thick eye liner, and for Paloma Faith's character at least the red around the eyes too.

Head Girl is very similar to Posh Totty, in that it's more grown up, and is quite a sexy look. However, whilst the Posh Totty look was more neutral colours, Head Girl's makeup is more sultry, intensified by the red lipstick. But, I think that the aspect of Head Girl that really shows that she is in charge (apart from the attitutude and the hard stare) is the hair cut. It's a very traditional hair cut for a empowered female "femme fatale" type character, that has been used a great deal throughout film history:

Uma Thurman's trademark bob, in cult classic Pulp Fiction, was allegedly inspired by 1920s starlet Louise Brooks.

For such a simple hair style, it certainly is dramatic and it definitely has great longevity, with the hairstyle still being relatively fashionable ninety years after Louise Brooks sported it so elegantly. It's strange how such a simple hair cut can pack so much punch.

There's no denying that St. Trinian's uses makeup to express different clique character-types quite well, from the simple but sultry to the expressive use of eyeliner.

Which looks do you like the best? 
Do you think that they portray the "cliques" effectively?


  1. i loved the original st trinians i thought the film was a bit silly though xo

    1. Agreed, the films are definitely silly, but still fun :)

  2. I really enjoy the Makeup in Film series :) I've not seen St Trinians before but this was interesting!

    1. Aaawww, thanks B. I'm glad you're enjoying it :D


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