Even the men, David Niven (as Sir Charles Lytton, the infamous jewel thief), Peter Sellers (the bumbling inspector Jacques Clouseau) and Robert Wagner (as George Lytton, the handsome con artist), wear looks worth lauding. They’re seen in striped Cricket sweaters and wool coats with a Tyrolean feel.
As the film works towards the climax—the heist of the Pink Panther—it doesn’t take itself too seriously. There are moments of hilarity and good clean fun. Sellers, who believes he’s hot on the trail of the culprit, doesn’t even suspect his wife—for both her infidelity and for being in cahoots with the bulgar, Sir Charles. Sellers trips on a rug, gets his hands stuck in a vase, and makes a fool out of himself on numerous occasions. The film is but anything but serious, but the fashion certainly is.
In particular, there’s a song and dance sequence starring the singer Fran Jeffries that’s a fashionable feast for the eyes. She tours a cozy room at the resort singing “Meglio stasera” or “It Had Better Be Tonight.” The audience is delighted and also impeccably dressed in preppy colors and low-key high fashions. It’s a study in smart après-ski dressing and the whole scene could very well pass as a Slim Aarons photo.
The era pre-dates slick skiwear with techy fabrics, Olympic-like silhouettes, and trends for heavily logoed gear. Another scene sees the elegant Cardinale ribbon down a mountain in a pale blue jacket, legging-like trousers, and a Cossack hat. Off the slopes, she wears YSL’s cigarette pants and matching tunics. Though skiwear has advanced so that we’re more protected—from the sun, cold, and potential injury—there’s a way something about the understated swankiness of The Pink Panther’s take on après-ski. Our own, below.
Cozy Knits and Preppy Sweaters
Knitted Ski Pants
High Fashion Headwear
Slick Ski Jackets