Dedicated Followers of Fashion: A Look At The Best Dressed Films
There are plenty of films out there with amazing costumes, but here we take a look at films with impeccable fashion - that is to say, featuring clothing of the time and for the time - in honour of Lagerfeld Confidential, now available on Volta.
How to Steal a Million (1966)
Directed by William Wyler and starring Audrey Hepburn and Peter O’Toole, How to Steal a Million is a kooky twist on the standard heist film, and the only thing more mesmerizing than Peter O’Toole’s eyes is Audrey Hepburn’s wardrobe. From her little white driving helmet with matching glasses and gloves to the sultry black lace dress complete with lace eye-mask and shimmering silver eyes, Givenchy did a damn fine job of styling Ms. Hepburn.
Who doesn’t want Cher’s nifty computerised closet filled with tartan mini-skirt suits and knee-high socks? Amy Heckerling’s Valley Girl take on Jane Austen’s Emma is brilliant in many ways, but the fashion is to die for and, surprisingly, still feels fresh over 15 years later. By taking elements of early 90s California and creating a definitive though heightened look, the characters in Clueless remain fashion icons years later. The subsequent television program didn’t do to badly either, and is the reason this writer owns not one but two muffs (of the hand-warming variety!)
The Devil Wears Prada (2006)
Patricia Field is probably best known for her sometimes-wacky styling of the ladies on Sex and the City, but The Devil Wears Prada upped the ante even further and is estimated to be one of the most expensively costumed films ever, mostly due to Field calling in favours from designer friends. Decked out in Calvin Klein, Chanel, and of course, Prada, the characters look impeccable.
Pretty Woman (1990)
Besides having one of the best shopping scenes ever ("BIG mistake. HUGE.") Pretty Woman has it all - feeling a bit risqué? Go for go-go boots, a blonde pageboy and a cap! Going to the races? Hats and neutrals! Want to seduce Richard Gere? Wear only a tie! Gary Marshall's twist on My Fair Lady/Pygmalion let star Julia Roberts strut her 88 inches of leg in style.
Pretty in Pink (1986) Molly Ringwald epitomises 80s granny-chic in this classic John Hughes film. The florals, the pastels - and of course, the shoulder-bearing prom dress. On the other end of the spectrum Jon Cryer kept things sharp with whacky clashing patterns and bright colours. And let's not forget the hats. Oh, the hats.
Annie Hall (1977) One of Woody Allen's most beloved films and characters, Annie Hall's signature look - somewhere a mix between Chaplin's Little Tramp and Katherine Hepburn's iconic pants suits but uniquely her own - in fact, most of Annie's costumes came from Dianne Keaton's own wardrobe. While certainly not the first to don men's clothing as a fashion statement, Dianne Keaton's performance and la-di-da attitude inspired a huge change in women's fashion at the time.
Ciao! Manhattan (1972) This semi-biographical film followed Susan (Edie Sedgewick) around Manhattan through a haze of parties, artists, drugs, and eventually destruction. Sedgewick's signature messy pixie cut, black eyeliner, chandelier earrings, and black ballet tights made her a poster girl of the 60s and Ciao! Manhattan showcases it in it's ultimately maddeningly accurate portrayal of the avant-garde socialite's life.
Grey Gardens (1975) The Maysles Brothers' documentary about the fallen-from grace socialite aunt and cousin of Jackie Kennedy-Onassis is at once fascinating and heartbreaking; but to keep to the task at hand, we need to pay homage to Little Edie's incredibly bold fashion choices, from wrapping jumpers around her head secured with dramatic brooches (probably to hide a recurring case of Alopecia) to her own description of her outfit: "This is the best thing to wear for today, you understand. Because I don't like women in skirts and the best thing is to wear pantyhose or some pants under a short skirt, I think. Then you have the pants under the skirt and then you can pull the stockings up over the pants underneath the skirt. And you can always take off the skirt and use it as a cape." While it may seem overly eccentric, Little Edie's look has been inspired photoshoots in Vogue and designers like Galliano - she had something going on.
La Dolce Vita (1960) There's been plenty of talk about movies inspiring fashion, but La Dolce Vita was the other way around - director Federico Fellini was inspired by designer Christobal Balenciaga's 1957 sack dress, which deviated from Christian Dior's previously scandalous "New Look" by removing the waist and broadening the shoulders, allowing the clothing to billow around the woman and, as Bruno Rondi, Fellini's screenwriter and collaborator said, "render a woman very gorgeous who could, instead, be a skeleton of squalor and solitude inside."