Norma Moriceau RIP

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Norma Moriceau RIP

Postby biolumen » Mon Aug 22, 2016 11:06 am

MM2 and MM3 costume designer Norma Moriceau has passed.

Norma Moriceau: costume designer gave films distinct flavour

Norma Moriceau put the croc-tooth necklace on Paul Hogan and the distressed biker leathers on Mel Gibson for the films that broke them on to international screens. On Sunday, the Australian-born costume designer behind some of our most iconic films and characters died in Sydney.

Director Phillip Noyce, with whom Moriceau worked on four films, including Newsfront and Patriot Games, calls her “a unique Australian talent”.

“Norma was arguably the greatest film costume designer our country has ever produced,” Noyce tells The Australian. “Perhaps her most memorable designs for me were for Dead Calm, where she made a 19-year-old Nicole Kidman into an icon with those leg-exaggerating shorts and loose-fitting shirt accentuating her body shape in ways that dreams are made of.”

Moriceau is best known for her work on both Crocodile Dundee films and for creating the post-apocalyptic style of George Miller’s middle two Mad Max movies, Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior and Beyond Thunderdome. In a completely different turn, she could bring out the bucolic beauty of Miller’s Babe or the cartoonish charm of Maurice Murphy’s Fatty Finn.

“Arguably the two most iconic characters to emerge from Australia at least in international terms are Croc Dundee and Mad Max,” Miller says. “And I think that was her mastery, to create iconic characters. In many ways directors channelled her vision. She’d work with the actors and characters and played with it, always somehow finding that extra special look.”

Miller says that Moriceau lived in Sydney’s Darlinghurst during filming of Mad Max 2 and would walk to work past an S&M leather shop. “She’d be bringing in this stuff. I rather naively thought: ‘This is perfect for Mad Max.’ And that made the whole look of the Mad Max films.”

Noyce says Moriceau’s work for the Mad Max films was particularly groundbreaking. “It was her post-apocalyptic look for Road Warrior that created a much-copied future uniform that travelled all the way to this year’s Oscars, where Jenny Beavan was awarded for essentially copying Norma’s fierce originality (for Mad Max: Fury Road).”

(Many at the time were unhappy that Beavan failed to acknowledge Moriceau in her acceptance speech. In an interview with a British magazine soon after she said she was “very indebted” to Moriceau’s work on the previous films, with some costumes from the archives at Fox Studios being used in Fury Road.)

An Oscar may have eluded Moriceau, but she won three Australian Film Institute awards, for Mad Max 2, 1980’s Fatty Finn and 1978’s Newsfront.

She lived in London for many years, first arriving at 16 to model at the time of the burgeoning 1960s Biba scene, and later was closely associated with the city’s punk movement. Her photograph of a young Vivienne Westwood in a “destroy” T-shirt for the 1978 book Punk! Not Another Punk Book is one of the most iconic of the designer from the time and is still referenced in fashion shoots.

Moriceau also created costumes for the 1980 punk “documentary” The Great Rock ’n’ Roll Swindle, featuring the Sex Pistols. She worked as a fashion editor at 19 and Honey magazines during her years in London but was lured into costume design in the late 70s. Her first film was Journey Among Women (1977), set in colonial Australia and starring Nell Campbell.

According to her friend of 30 years, Sydney writer and editor Steve Freeth: “She had a toughness about her, and she didn’t suffer fools lightly, but she was a big softie beneath it all. She certainly had a great sense of humour and liked the black side of life.”

Adds Miller: “She was one of those people who treated the movie stars like ordinary people and ordinary people like movie stars. So everyone loved her for that. She worked on a very troubled film out here, The Island of Dr Moreau. The person who adored her was Marlon Brando. Because she was very playful and she was intimidated by nobody.”

She travelled often to India and Africa, but was equally taken with her own back yard and its bush landscapes and indigenous communities. Between working on projects around the world, Moriceau would retreat to her beloved “humpy”, made from found objects, on a property in rural NSW.

Noyce brought her to Hollywood for Patriot Games in 1992 but said “she was never at ease in that competitive world”.

The “ferocious smoker” was diagnosed with oesophagal cancer, and continued to play by her own rules until the end. During a stay at a hospice earlier this year, the crossword fanatic made Freeth smuggle champagne and cigarettes past the nurses. When the issue of an obituary after her death was raised by Freeth, the perpetually private Moriceau simply responded, “Oh, I’d hate that.”

She died at her apartment in Sydney’s Elizabeth Bay in the early hours of Sunday, aged 72, with Freeth and a nurse by her side. ... 2c76c50a0f
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Re: Norma Moriceau RIP

Postby Taipan » Mon Aug 22, 2016 11:30 am

Sad news, her iconic designs started the whole post-apocalyptic trend that lives on to this day :(
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Re: Norma Moriceau RIP

Postby MWFV8 » Tue Aug 23, 2016 3:04 am

She put the punk into the apunkalypse. RIP.
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Re: Norma Moriceau RIP

Postby seriz » Tue Aug 30, 2016 3:42 am

from the Sex Pistols to Crocodile Dundee, she was simply the best !
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Re: Norma Moriceau RIP

Postby RW-777 » Mon Sep 12, 2016 1:08 am

Genius...Inspired...Changed Everything!

Felt I should say something!!
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