For as long as I can remember I have been addicted to watching movies, and as I aged that obsession with movies became a passion for the study of film. Not just enjoying a movies plot line (I tend to lean towards the stereotypical romantic comedy) but the symbolism, the set design, the meaning and use of specific camera angles, and of course, the costumes. A costume can say so much about a character, who they are and what their story is, it can be a symbol of deeper meaning, or launch a designers career. Along with film, my passions lie in fashion, and the ability to bring the two of these art forms together is what inspires my sense of style every day.
Here is a list of some of the films I take my favourite fashion inspiration from, and a little bit about why.
Breakfast at Tiffany’s
Well, we all know the incredible Givenchy little black dress worn by Audrey Hepburn in this film, but there is so much more to Holly Golightly’s ensembles. From her accessories with the beautiful giant chapeau and oversized sunglasses, her alligator shoes, and her effortless ability to wear a pair of slacks with a sweater and some pigtails. Let’s not forgot her oversized men’s shirt and eye mask which make for the perfect lazy look.
The Great Gatsby
They don’t call them the Roaring 20’s for nothing. This decade known for their wild speak easies, their new styles of dance, and of course the huge leaps in fashion. Women began cutting their hair shorter, wearing dresses with higher hemlines, and throwing away the small waist curvy silhouette previously required in women’s fashion. Some of leading lady, Daisy’s, dresses were designed by Prada, and many of the men’s costumes were provided by Brooks Brothers. It was a time of liberation, and these beautifully detailed dresses (exposed shoulders and all) showed just that; freedom and glamour.
It’s simple really, Grease has it all. From puffy poodle skirts and cardigans, to pencil skirts and leather jackets. I could take inspiration from every outfit in this film, but let’s not leave out Sandy’s iconic transformation outfit, those leather pants and off the shoulder, paired with beauty hoops and a red lip, it’s a goal.
Gentlemen Prefer Blondes
The dresses in this film are everything glitz and glamour and the gowns I aspire to one day wear. Complete with sparkles and bows, these curve hugging ensembles on both Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell are to die for. We all know Marilyn’s pink dress with matching gloves and a giant that she sports during Diamonds are a Girls Best Friend, but I am partial to the beauty low cut, high slit, red sequin dresses worn by the girls during their duet.
Grace Kelly’s first dress (where she supposedly just got off a plane from Paris…an ensemble I cannot fathom wearing during travel) is the perfect combination of sexy and classy, and everything 50’s. Designed by none other than the incredible Edith Head, the Y cut neck pre-dates the stylings of Dior and became the style of New York after this film. Not to mention the Balenciaga inspired green suit, Grace Kelly is pure elegance. Take it from Edith herself, in reference to Grace Kelly she states “She is a charming lady, a gifted actress, and, to me, a valued friend”
Okay I’m not going to lie, I am in love with every outfit Baby wears in this film, and could go on forever. I’ll pick my top three favourites to cut down your reading. Number one of course, is the blush pink dress from the final infamous dance number. The way this dress so effortlessly flows as she spins leaves me entranced every time. Two is shown in the montage-like sequence as she practices her steps, and it’s a simple backless bodysuit with jean cut off shorts. This is the exact outfit I want to be sporting on a beautiful summer day. Finally, her the tights with the bodysuit bottoms and tied up tank top. This is the workout ensemble I aspire to wear, and makes me want to get back in the dance studio.
As many of us know, the styles of the 70’s have been coming back recently. The deep necklines featured on Amy Adams, mixed with the leather and fur textures and flowy sleeves, make for some seriously sexy ensembles. While many of her outfits aren’t great for your everyday errands, I find myself desperate for some 70’s flare after watching this film.
Probably one of the number 1 films for fashion, Cher and Dion looks have been inspiring many of us since ’95. From plaid skirts with matching blazers (Cher’s opening yellow suit was made by Dolce & Gabbanna), to button up skirts and preppy tops, their outfits are perfect for any setting. Cher works wonders with over the knee socks (inspired by the 1920’s), and Dion’s use of hats is inspiring (based on the hats in 90’s rave culture).
There are so many more amazing fashion filled films out there I could go on for pages, but these are the most prominent for myself. What is your fashion muse? Do you have any style inspiring films? Let us know in the comments below!