TOP 10 Fashion Moments In Film
Famous Costume Designer Edith Head once said, “A designer is only as good as the star who wears her clothes.”
Some of these choices are based on one iconic look while others are a closet full of revolutionary styles.
So, make sure your shoes match your belt and sit down as I rank the Top 10 Fashion Moments in film.
Vivien Leigh in Gone with the Wind (1939)
With an 18 ½ inch waist, southern belle Scarlett O’Hara could pull off any extravagant gown and in the 1939 classic Gone with the Wind, actress Vivien Leigh (who in real life had a 23-inch waist) wears some of the most beautifully crafted and iconic gowns seen on film. She is decorated in ruffles, large hats, bows, and luxurious colorful fabrics that mimic the intense personality of Scarlett O’Hara.
Sean Young in Blade Runner (1982)
Set in a dystopian Los Angeles in the year 2019, Ridley Scott’s neo-noir thriller allowed audiences to get a visual representation of what the future would be like in terms of design, technology, and fashion. Actress Sean Young donned iconic looks that represented elements of the future but were also influenced by the fashionable style of old Hollywood actresses in the 1940s. Every time Sean Young enters a scene, you can’t take your eyes off her.
Joan Crawford in Mildred Pierce (1945)
A look that was a clear inspiration for Sean Young’s outfits in Blade Runner. In a story about a woman who goes from rags to riches, famed costume designer Milo Anderson had the task of dressing one of Hollywood’s most fashionable and elite stars, Joan Crawford. In Mildred Pierce, Crawford is a representation of an intelligent, strong, business woman. In dressing such a character, Anderson places Crawford in designs the accentuate her large shoulders and tiny waist. Throughout the film, Crawford wears an extravagant fur coat, tailored jackets with oversized shoulder pads, and form-fitting knee length skirts. The designs in this film really inspired the look of power suits women in the corporate world would wear as the years went on.
Jane Fonda in Barbarella (1968)
What’s brilliant about Roger Vadim’s sexually fueled sci-fi film is that although it is set in the future, the tight-fitting costumes and seductive makeup Jane Fonda wears in the movie is very much 60s inspired. Every outfit Fonda dons in the film is a symbol of sexuality and strength while also an interpretation of what futuristic clothing would like to people in the 1960s. Although Jane Fonda’s acting career really took off after Barbarella, a film she would disassociate herself with in the 1970s, her phenomenal figure and intricate outfits in Barbarella would make the movie one of her most popular films.
Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman (1990)
Really, everything Roberts wears in this movie is iconic. Even the clothes she wears as a prostitute on Hollywood Boulevard are fashionable. But its when her character’s life transforms into a fairy tale and she goes from hustling on the streets of Los Angeles to attending fancy dinners, polo matches, and the opera that Roberts is dressed in elegant gowns that accentuate her lengthy figure and helped make her a fashion icon throughout the 90s. Marilyn Vance, who designed the full length red opera gown that is now synonymous with film, stated that initially the dress was intended to be black but after multiple test shots, Vance decided to go with red and it ended up being the perfect decision.
Mia Farrow in Rosemary’s Baby (1968)
Fashion among women really evolved by the late 1960s. With the “Mod” movement that had already taken over London in the early 60s, American women were influenced heavily by the European subculture and expressed it in their clothing. Miniskirts were becoming shorter, box-shaped mini-dresses were becoming a trend. As the 60s were coming to end, women were becoming more androgynous, cutting their hair short and wearing little makeup except for heavy false eyelashes. The first American woman to really display this type of look on film was actress Mia Farrow in Rosemary’s Baby. Although a horror film, the movie is more remembered for the chic yet simple fashions Mia Farrow’s character wears throughout the film. And of course, the iconic Vidal Sassoon pixie cut that inspired an entire generation of women to cut their hair short.
Diane Keaton in Annie Hall (1977)
Along with being a brilliant actress, Diane Keaton has been regarded as having an “eccentric” and “unique” sense of style. I can’t imagine what audiences must have thought in 1977 when they went to see a Woody Allen film and saw a woman who wore oversized khaki pants, ties, and men’s hats. It must have been so unusual to people at the time, but Diane Keaton has been quoted as saying that she was heavily influenced by the clothes that women in SoHo were wearing at that time. The quirky eccentricity of Annie’s wardrobe in the film influenced a generation of women who would incorporate menswear into their wardrobe; a fashion trend that is still relevant today.
Alicia Silverstone in Clueless (1995)
Being a fashionista was a quintessential factor in Silverstone playing valley girl Cher Horowitz. Everything Cher wears in this film depicts a personal style that influenced a whole generation of aspiring fashionistas in the 1990s. From her gym apparel to the iconic matching plaid mini-skirt and blazer, Cher’s impeccable outfits and attitude to match are what make Clueless the classic it is today.
Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961)
The film that introduced us all to the iconic “little black dress.” Audrey Hepburn was already a fashion icon when Breakfast at Tiffany’s was released in 1961, but in the opening scene of this film, her status as a fashion muse went beyond any other actress that has ever lived. The dress, which was created by French designer Givenchy has become one of the most iconic symbols in film of the 20th century.
Marilyn Monroe in The Seven Year Itch (1955)
A look that has been studied, admired, and reinterpreted in pop culture for over half a century. Dubbed as the “Blonde Bombshell,” Marilyn Monroe remains the most iconic sex symbol of all time. Over the course of ten years, her films grossed over $200 Million. Audiences were blown away by her talents as an actress but also her ability to make a garment come alive. No film better exemplifies this than Billy Wilder’s 1955 comedy The Seven Year Itch. In one scene, Marilyn is walking along the streets of New York City with her costar while wearing a beautiful white cocktail dress designed by William Travilla. Feeling a breeze from a subway train, Monroe stands over the subway grate and the breeze blows up her dress, revealing her legs and undergarments. Thousands gathered at Lexington Avenue in Manhattan to watch this iconic moment in history. Due to censorship, the full shot of Monroe standing over the subway grate is not shown in the film, just her legs. However, photos of the monumental moment surfaced immediately after the scene was filmed and the image of Marilyn Monroe’s dress blowing in the wind and the joyful expression on her face is one of the most iconic images of femininity and sexuality of the 20th century.
Thank you for reading my article and for more Top 10 Lists, please subscribe to my blog Some Like It Hollywood!