Douglas Sirk’s last masterpiece Imitation of Life (1959) brings lightness through dark, serious topics. The plot’s complexity parallels the equally complex characters. Lora Meredith (Lana Turner) and Susie Meredith (Sandra Dee) embody a mother-daughter relationship filled with angst. Both mother and daughter are extremely ambition, but struggle for their own personal goals. Lora’s desires to become a Broadway star, she goes through a heavy transformation to reach her goal. Susie greatest ambition is for her to mother realize that she’s a mother first and for most. Susie craves womanhood, due to Lora’s lack of adult action. These two characters try to mold themselves into something are not for their ultimate desires. Sirk creatively takes on their issues and relationship through the costuming. The clothing Lora and Susie wear are carefully selected to justify their needs and wants. For mother and daughter, ambition goes hand-in-hand to their outfit selections.


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