In some ways, it’s a shame that the epitome of sex appeal is in cartoon format, in other ways – it makes her all the more influential when it comes to style and attitude. Jessica Rabbit has time and again been voted as the most alluring, sexy, and down-right amazing female cartoon character of all time, and we’ve decided that she’s the style icon we’d like to channel for New Year.
Created by Gary K. Wolf in 1981, when he wrote the novel Who Censored Roger Rabbit. The story centres around Eddie Valiant, a detective who lives in a world where humans and ‘toons’ mix together. The deceased Roger Rabbit, a famous cartoon character, is murdered, and his widow, Jessica Rabbit (née Krupnick), is a prime suspect. In 1988 a film version was adapted from the book, with significant changes. Notably, Roger Rabbit remains alive, and a key character in the movie, and his sultry wife is a more moral character, despite her suspiciously seductive demeanour. As she says to Valiant, played by Bob Hoskins, ‘i’m not bad, i’m just drawn that way.’
Her husky drawl, voiced by Kathleen Turner, is one of her key characteristics in the film, but it’s her appearance we’re focusing on today. Her first scene occurs in the Ink & Paint club, where she works as a singer. As she appears out of the curtain, singing Why Don’t You Do Right (voiced by Amy Irvine), we notice her impossibly long legs, her tiny waist, her ginormous breasts, long curtain of red hair, and perfect-pout red lips. During this scene her strapless dress sparkles, which was the intention for the whole film, but the effect would have been too expensive. It turns out that her ‘off-duty’ matte red dress became even more iconic – because it was more attainable. Every fashion designer has their version of the Jessica Rabbit dress at some point in their back-catalogue, and every season, women use her as the inspiration for an evening look.
The roots of Jessica’s creation came from a number of things. The original author, Wolf, was an avid fan of Tex Avery’s 1943 cheeky cartoon, Red Hot Riding Hood, in which a smouldering red-wearing thigh-flashing club singer, Red, is pursued by wolves. She was the basis for the written character, and with embellishments, like the inclusion of Veronica Lake‘s peek-a-bo hairstyle, and Marilyn Monroe‘s dry-wit charisma, she became a fully fledged character in her own right.
Having internationally recognised style can easily come from having just one perfect outfit. Rosie Huntington-Whitely‘s cover of Love magazine featured hair and beauty which was obviously inspired by the character, and Katy Perry dressed in her signature look for a DH1 ‘Salute the Troops’ performance, in 2010. There is even a sex toy named after her, the rabbit dildo, which retrospectively makes her line to her husband, that she loves him ‘more than anyone loves a rabbit’, even more hilarious.
Even though Betty Boop may have thought that Jessica Rabbit was a ‘lucky girl’ to be married to Roger, we think that the rest of the population, men and women alike, can see who the real allure in the relationship was. If you want to add a bit of sauce to your New Year’s Eve, then get yourself a Marchesa satin gown, curl your eyelashes and pile on the mascara, perfect your red lip, and add a significant amount of smoky eye colour, right up to your arched brows. After sweeping your hair to cover your eye, all you need is to slip on a pair of slinky pumps, and remember to wear some cheeky lingerie, in case your seductive efforts actually work. Why don’t you do right, and get at it like the Rabbits.
1. Shu Uemura, Eyelash Curler; £20, motilo.com
2. Dominic Jones, Esna 23-karat Gold- plated Earrings; £165, motilo.com
3. Agent Provocateur, Winnie Underwired Polka-dot Tulle Bra; £75, motilo.com
4. Dolce & Gabbana, Animalier Smooth Eye Colour Quad Desert 123; £44, motilo.com
5. Dolce & Gabbana, Animalier Classic Cream Lipstick; £26, motilo.com
6. Gianvito Rossi, Suede and PVC Pumps;£430, motilo.com
7. Charlotte Olympia, The Dolly Suede Platform Pumps; £595, motilo.com
8. Dior, Diorshow Iconic Extreme Mascara; £23, motilo.com
9. Causse, ‘Castiglione’ Long Calf Hair and Leather Gloves; £420, motilo.com
10. Notte by Marchesa, Strapless Satin Gown; £565, motilo.com
- Styled by Rebecca Corbin-Murray