Fashion in Film

Fashion loves to use film as inspiration, often recreating movie scenes for editorials. However, the fashion we see in a film is just as important as the editorials it inspires. I spent some time re-watching old movies this weekend, attempting to avoid the cold outside and was reminded how wonderful the wardrobe was in many Audrey Hepburn films. In fact, the opening credits of Charade note that Hepburn’s wardrobe for the film is entirely by Givenchy.Her character was always perfectly chic and suited her quite nicely. More recently designers such as Rodarte with Black Swan, have been hired as costume designers.

Fashion and film will always be intertwined I think, and I’m perfectly happy to see designers getting more involved in film wardrobes. Certainly it wouldn’t always work, and shouldn’t be used to promote a brand or product as with typical product placement, but when a particular character or film seems to collide perfectly with a certain brand aesthetic, why not?

What do you think? Would you like to see more designers work as costume designers?


About Brandie

I'm a freelance photographer based in Paris.
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8 Responses to Fashion in Film

  1. You’ve picked an iconic leading lady and it is hard to compare her fashion outfits to any current movies. So chic, so well put together and very reminiscent of her other movies too ~ e.g. Funny Face. I think it is great to have designers dress the cast ~ I love the idea of designer and muse. On another note, I always think of Marc Jacobs when Sophia Coppola is mentioned, even though she is one the other side of the lens. She is still his muse – or that may have now changed? So many fabulous outfits adorned the screens of old Hollywood but it isn’t like that anymore. Elegance seems to really stand out at awards ceremonies i think… But that viewpoint is open to debate, I am sure.

    • Brandie says:

      Oh I would never compare Audrey’s outfits to anything current, she’s classic! But it’s interesting that designers, like Givenchy, were so involved in outfitting her or others for films years ago, and it seemed to have faded but is possibly making a comeback. As far as awards ceremonies, they are definitely elegant but I also think most actresses play it too safe sometimes. Designers create these fantastic gowns, but more often I find the red carpet choices end up being rather boring.

      • Brandie says:

        Also, you’re right about Marc Jacobs and Sofia Coppola. Though I don’t believe he’s ever been involved in one of her films, there’s sort of a flip, since she did design a bag for LV.

      • I need to check out the LV and Sofia linkage -she was in the LV ads for a while, as was her father.. I need to do some research on Edith Head and her relationship with designers and stars – she’s so prominent in the old movie credits!

  2. dapperdolly says:

    I think catwalk designers are well suited to film design and some do stage/theatre like Zhandra Rodes is currently working on the opera Aida and plenty of design houses do work for film e.g. Versace for Li Hurley in Bedazzled and a whole slew of designers for Miss Piggy in the new Muppet movie and advertising. That said I don’t think the industry is lacking in talented non-household name costume designers/seamstresses/tailors but they have always worked with major films going back through cinema history. You can see plenty of pieces here for example:

    • Brandie says:

      Very true, they have been involved for years…it just seemed to me there wasn’t much talk about it until Rodarte did some work on Black Swan. Though, I don’t think it was as common to have a designer such as them or YSL to be part of the costume design process until Hebpurn and Givenchy’s collaborations. I also wonder how costume designers feel about huge brands such as Karl Lagerfeld for Chanel, etc. being involved in films because their work is often overlooked in favor of the designer’s contriubution, given situations such as this.

      Thanks for the link too!

      • dapperdolly says:

        I dunno, I don’t think the relationship between designers and film ever went quiet – it might not seem obvious I suppose since many films aren’t about fashion but fashion themed films stand out such as Clueless and The Devil Wears Prada or Sex and the City. A non-fashioned theme one which I think had major designer collaboration may have been The Cell.

        I sympathize with industry clothes designers and makers who are sidelined by the more commercial or well known design houses butting into their territory so to speak and it must make their jobs more complicated and perhaps their salary/benefits are affected by that too? Then like in the link you gave, there is the question of credit and how does the most work which is always touchy and if not managed well studio staff and the designers brought in could be treated as separate groups. There are probably examples where they’ve collaborated well but when it comes down to it a hell of a lot of money is in the advertising and the well known names will be sold more to the public. I think credit should be given fairly but the world barely works like that – the whole film, fashion and associated industries are almost anything but fair. People follow the money and elitism mostly.

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