It is rather rare to find two creative mediums that go as well together as fashion and films. The knack of cinematographer and keen eye of directors have always been able to capture rather splendidly the dramatic movement of a silk gown worn by an actress walking down the staircase of a formal ball or the first look of the bride in that pristine white dress in the west to the glamorous and bejeweled styled brides of Bollywood. For eons now designers have been known to work with the film production teams to ideate, create and design bespoke styles, garments and looks for the characters that bring them to life while inspiring a million others to follow these iconic styles.
Some of the most memorable on-screen moments have given the audiences and brands some iconic designs that have become either a fashion staple today, a strong fashion statement or an aspirational look. Here is a quick indulgence and escape into the world of cinema that has influenced fashion styles for:
Breakfast at Tiffany’s
A global classic that has been a strong reason behind the iconic little black dress. Known to be designed by Givenchy for Audrey Hepburn in the movie Breakfast for Tiffany’s, today this iconic dress is a global sensation and a must have for every woman in their wardrobe. It was not simply the dress alone, but also the leading lady with her elegant styled look that made the little black dress a popular fashion icon that has lasted decades and become almost timeless.
The black Givenchy gown worn by Hepburn with her elegance and exquisite taste almost speaking to you through the screen, along with her love for diamond necklaces with velvet gloves, a look built in this cinematic movie has influenced many fashionistas. Her character Holly and every single aesthetic element launched trends across the globe. The blue jeans and grey sweater look, the beige trench coat and oversized glasses with blonde streaked hair – everything that we know today to be a fashion staple.
How did Louis Vuitton monetize on the popularity of the leading lady?
The charm of the leading lady Audrey was so big that on her request the brand Louis Vuitton made a portable size duffle handbag, named Speedy, which became a bestseller once Audrey Hepburn was photographed carrying it around. The timeless Speedy 25 today has many ranges of sizes and different iterations. LV is known to use the same shape, launching a new style each season via collaborations.
This spectacle production of design and costume design has been a strong influence over many other film industries as well as for global fashion movements. The strong ostentatious glamor of the movie, the opulence of the sets and props, every single look for the leading characters was screaming about the era of roaring 20’s. An era known for its shimmer and shine, opulence and strong statement with fashion accessories.
Great Gatsby took over the task of presenting the glamorous 20’s in a style and surreal way that reacted rather well and brilliantly with the audiences. Mostly suddenly after the movie was out, there was a surge in fringe based fashion, short hair (chin length hair for women), comeback for making a statement on night outs and red-carpet outfits. This movie in simple words defined and brought back excess and glamor. It is believed that the movie also translated into a clothing line at Bloomingdale’s that sold out instantly soon after its launch.
All them glitters of the roaring 1920’s in the movie:
If you wonder what brands the actors were wearing, rather who the actors were wearing – here is a list of brand names that made sure they brought their old to new collections to the big screen while launching a whole new trend creating more demand for their designs.
Leading lady was seen wearing several Prada and Miu Miu designer dresses. Prada created close to 40 costumes for the movie promoting the flapper girl style using their 2010/11 collection while bringing back the 1920’s fashion. A style that was taken in as a sense of inspiration, copied and produced at large scale by many small and other fast fashion brands.
Official Jewelry Partner: Apart from the stunning and breathtaking clothes, Tiffany and Co. designed numerous jewelry pieces that were featured in the movie. The most famous was one of the archives from Tiffany and Co. – the tiara headband. Close to 30 stunning jewelry pieces designed by Tiffany and Co. were no less than $2 million!
Not to forget, the many scenes in the movie where the famous and extravagant Moet & Chandon champagne brand is promoted during the party scenes.
This titular character of one of the classic Woody Allen movies is a huge fashion icon. Writers made sure the character’s personality was different, in the sense it was weird enough to differentiate it from all other female lead roles in other movies of the era. Diane Keaton, the leading lady playing Annie Hall, made menswear a must-wear for women in the era of 70’ and beyond.
Annie represents a woman who knows what she wants, does what she wants, wearing baggy beige coloured trousers with a waistcoat, a tie and a hat – almost androgynous. From the first look of the character in the movie, one is clear how she is her own person.
Carrying an almost androgynous style with simplicity, charisma and confidence, Annie’s looks were mostly designed by Ralph Lauren who has quoted that ‘Annies style for Diane’s style – very eclectic’. The looks with oversized jackets and vests, floppy men’s hats, cowboy boots, a waistcoat and a tie – all aspects that generations of women would emulate. Annie Hall in this way was a phenomenal progressive movie that leaped away from gender-normative fashion styles.
To this day, luxury brands like Louis Vuitton, Ralph Lauren among others are seen to take inspiration from Annie Hall to create baggy suits for women, with flared pants and bring back androgyny with a twist in their collections.
A perfect example of how customized fashion can be spread to wider audiences. A movie like Bond is a well loved feature film across the globe, and celebrities over the decades who have played the role of James Bond have been seen wearing customized suits that make them appear dapper, sharp and just apt for the role. From Tom Ford to Brioni – these brands have been well known to popularize the suave looks carried rather impressively well by the actors in James Bond movies.
Bond movies are a known classic that have also established a strong fashion icon of men dressing in fitted suits, well tailored pants, sharp looking tuxedos for grand occasions, festivities as well as sporting a sartorial elegance in their regular office wear. James Bond movies have always defined elegant fashion, classic looks with a modern touch and a sense of simplicity to make a bold statement.
– Reid and Taylor and Pierce Brosnan
Reid and Taylor, a well known men’s clothing brand did their best to lure in the customers for fitted suits and custom tailoring by partnering with one of the most iconic James Bond actors, Pierce Brosnan to produce a series of James Bond themed ad campaigns.
Devil wears Prada
If you ever wonder how a few people are running the fashion world and how they do this, this is the holy grail of all movies for fashion. It’s not just a fashion movie, Devil wears Prada is a fashion movie. Known to be a strong female lead movie is also one of the most iconic fashion films ever made for the silver screen. The movie gives us a real glimpse into the much spoken and speculated world of Anna Wintour.
Not only does it show the glimpse of Anna’s world but also a wide angle to a closed in view of the controversial and catty fashion editorial magazine industry. The movie is covered in head-to-toe Chanel ensembles and focuses deeply on how the power in the hands of a rather small number of people who call the shots for what’s in trend, what is a fad, what will be added to the list of classics and what is an absolute no-no.
For everyone who has not seen this movie yet, you are not only going to learn the nitty gritties of the fashion magazine world, but also how demanding the profiles are and what it demands from a person at such a high profile position.
Sex and the City
This one holds a special spot in many hearts and gives the world knack to style with a touch of quirk along with creating aspirations for millions of fashionistas. With each one of the four main leading lady’s characters defined with an iconic scene of style, Sex and the city (SATC) gives you a glimpse of Vivienne Westwood wedding dresses to bridal couture photoshoots.
What truly made SATC a compelling, enduring and influential fashion series was how the show blended so smoothly two different worlds; the high-end fashion statement garments and accessories with thrift and budget finds from local and artisan markets. The show became popular for making street style fashion popular across the globe that connected with many consumers and viewers. The show influenced a series of editorial looks and columns for leading fashion magazines and stylists could not get enough of the mix and match to build eccentric statement looks. The true essence and appeal of the show was in reflecting many different moods, personalities and traits via how a woman dresses which connected and resonated deeply with the audiences.
Even in Indian cinema, Bollywood, leading actors are styled in famous designer clothing for wedding scenes, casual office wears too friendly outings – all these costumes that narrate a story and form a connection with the consumer are seen to be selling like hot cakes. Be it Bagvati – a Hermes Kelly Bag featured in Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara to leading actresses wearing Sabyasachi designer bespoke wedding couture lehengas for their weddings, to H&M and Sabyasachi collaboration that aided both parties to monetize on latest trends. We can clearly see the influence of movies on consumers behavior as well as how that leads the brands to produce as per the demand for monetizing the trends.