Do films still have an influence on the world of fashion? “I don’t think there’s a connection any longer,” says Simon Doonan. I totally agree. Today, style trends in movies have been replaced by TV shows such as Scandal or Sex in the City where Carrie Bradshaw sparked a run on Manolo Blahnik stilettos.
However, there is still a fascination with what we see on the big screen. Taking an example from each decade, here is a brief list of memorable fashions in film.
Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961)
It’s over 50 years since this movie lit up the silver screen, but it still captivates audiences with Audrey Hepburn starring as the anxious and carefree Holly Golightly, or “the authentic American geisha”.
In one of the most memorable opening scenes in the history of cinema she steps out of a yellow cab on Fifth Avenue, in front of Tiffany’s, dressed in a Givenchy gown, dark sunglasses, long black gloves and pearls. Or, as Golightly explains, “It’s tacky to wear diamonds before you’re 40.”
Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s
Annie Hall (1977)
Actress Diane Keaton plays the quirky Annie Hall in Woody Allen’s Oscar-winning film. She wears an interesting blend of masculine and feminine attire that caused a lot of comment when the movie was released.
Diane Keaton in Annie Hall
Borrowing from the boys, she appears in tomboyish vests, ties and jackets. Baggy pieces are mixed with softer scarves, blouses and high-waisted trousers. Her sunglasses complete the look – oversized, but stylish.
Out of Africa (1985)
Set in the captivating beauty of Africa, the fashions that Meryl Streep wears throughout the movie reflect the time (1913-1930) when the author of Out of Africa, Karen Blixen, lived on her coffee plantation in Kenya.
The actress wears a number of looks in linen, cotton and drill cloth in shades of white, khaki and brown. Midi skirts, jodhpurs, safari jackets, white shirts, pith helmets, wide-brimmed hats and knee-high boots – all convey a free-spirited and independent personality.
Meryl Streep in Out of Africa
Pretty Woman (1990)
This widely successful film became one of the highest moneymakers of 1990. The actress Julia Roberts first appears as a down-on-her luck hooker, named Vivian Ward, who wears thigh-high patent boots.
She is recast into a gracious date wearing an elegant black dress and follows this with an off-the-shoulder red evening gown. Equally stunning is the scene where she appears in a striking white coatdress and a wide-rimmed black hat as Roy Orbison’s Pretty Woman plays in the background.
Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman
The Great Gatsby (2013)
Scott Fitzgerald’s book was published in 1925 – just before the 1929 stock market crash. This was the era of the new woman who now had a right to vote and smoke cigarettes in public. It was the birth of the flapper girl.
Carey Mulligan in The Great Gatsby
The Great Gatsby film is a reflection of the twenties lean and mean silhouette. The bias cut, one-shouldered looks and feathered skirts all became popular. The film conveys glamour and decadence with headpieces, long strings of beads, cloche hats, fringed frocks – it’s all there.
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