9 fashionable movies every style-obsessed human needs to watch
The films that never go out of style
While you may consider yourself “on trend”, your wardrobe curation is still dictated by higher powers. Art doesn’t just reflect the times, it also influences it, and nowhere is this more obvious than in these fashionable movies, whose characters inspire designers, spark trends and even immortalise an era.
Whether you notice it or not, fashion in films is staring you in the face — it’s showing you how to style a tutu in the streets of New York, it’s stepping out of a town car in a little black dress and it’s wearing pink on a Wednesday.
In the case of some films — The Devil Wears Prada and the inimitable Miranda Priestly — it even gives you a glimpse behind the scenes of the fashion industry and how it functions. So throw on your best movie night ensemble and start watching.
9 fashionable movies you need to binge-watch:
The cult film plays out like a fashion industry mockumentary, with its insight into the the world of tastemakers served with a side of humour. Leave aside the fact that the costumes themselves are extremely high-fashion, the film highlights the influence the industry has on everybody who puts their pants (Prada or not) on one leg at a time in the morning. From Meryl Streep, the Devil editor-in-chief running the magazine to Anne Hathaway, the frumpy assistant trying to find an 'in' to the world of journalism, the movie has both extremes of the spectrum covered. It also depicts just how much of what you wear is dictated by fashion's higher powers.
Audrey Hepburn's most iconic role seared more than just the actress's lithe figure into pop culture; it also made the LBD an icon in its own right. The Little Black Dress is everything right about fashion — black, timeless and versatile. This particular Givenchy LBD designer for Hepburn is the most iconic black dress of all time. And like any girl who has ever got dressed up to go out ever knows, no wardrobe is complete without one little black dress.
While wildly exaggerated, Zoolander does incorporate all elements of the world of fashion. From ageing models to exploitative designers, the comedy is a wake-up call to any fashion moghul who takes themselves too seriously. Let's also not forget Derek Zoolander's wonder look 'Magnum' which is basically the ultimate pout.
Not only was Clueless a perfect representation of '90s trends with the plaid skirts, knee-high socks and flip phones, but it was also one of the first movies to highlight the importance of fashion in a lady's life. While Cher Horowitz, played by Alicia Silverstone, may not have known much about life but the 'it girl'' did know nearly everything about fashion. It's with this knowledge that she managed to convince her peers that she was an authority — dress for the job you want, not the job you have, ladies.
"I'm just highly selective. You see how picky I am about my shoes and they only go on my feet."
That's right, how you dress translates to how you live.
The movie picked up where the TV show left off — four women in New York with fabulous wardrobes influencing the world's fashion choices. The notoriously popular franchise's costume designer, Patricia Field, styled each character to match their personality. Carrie's flirty and whimsical high-fashion ensembles, Miranda's power suits, Samantha's loud colours and Charlotte's preppy dresses all became as much a part of the show as the women themselves.
Anyone who loves fashion knows that the best way to stay on trend is to shop. Isla Fisher swipes herself into debt by being unable to resist the charm of store windows. This is a comedic-cautionary tale for all women who don't know when more is too much.
Director Wes Anderson is known for placing a heavy importance in his films on aesthetics, something that carries onto his characters and the way they dress. For this particular movie, he requested the costume designer to try and make as many of the outfits as possible so that they could best capture the characters' personality. The character of Margot Robbie played by Gwenyth Paltrow, styled in short tennis dresses along with camel-toned coats. This look not only had a great impact on Alessandro Michele, the current creative director of Gucci, but also influenced Lacoste, who custom made the dresses for the character.
Lennon-esque sunglasses, denim bell bottoms, tassels and leather jackets... all signs of a more rebellious time. Almost Famous is a fashion revolution in costumes. With older characters dressed in the no-nonsense structured cuts of childhoods spent in the '40s, while the younger hippies embraced the love generation in all its tie-and-dye glory.
This is an honourable mention. While none of the styles were particularly revolutionary (we've all seen Juicy track pants a million time), Mean Girls did highlight the importance of dressing a certain way. Let's talk about a few of the rules Regina and the gang served Cady with at lunch:
- Don't wear a tank top two days in a row.
- You can only wear your hair in a ponytail once a week.
- On Wednesdays we wear pink.
- You can only wear jeans or track pants on Friday.
Any violation of these rules and you were out of the Plastics. While this is dumb high school drama, it is isn't far removed from the politics of the fashion industry. For example, if I wasn't wearing pink today, I'd be fired. Okay jokes, but let's save Casual Friday for Friday, yes?